By Kerrie Kennedy
Most bands jump at the chance to join the legendary Warped Tour, but according to Title Fight‘s Shane Moran, it’s a place where politics get in the way of the fun and where bands get consumed by their own egos if their not careful. Now just over a year since we filmed the band at the Metro Theatre in Sydney, Title Fight are preparing for the release of their sophomore album ‘Floral Green’, out September 21st.
We caught up with the guitarist of the Pennsylvania quartet to chat about his experiences on the Warped Tour, why he prefers to play in smaller venues and that bizarre video for ‘Secret Society’.
What has Title Fight been up to recently?
We have been sitting at home enjoying the summer! We were at Warped Tour for most [of the summer] so we are just trying to squeeze in as many activities as possible…camping, hiking, swimming… normal summer stuff.
Warped Tour must have been pretty exciting, how did it go?
It was really good for the band. On a personal level, I was sort of weirded out by it, but overall it was interesting to see that world; a touring festival in the States with so many different kinds of bands and different kinds of people. I’m glad we did it, but I’m not sure I liked it as much as I expected to.
Why is that?
A lot of great things can be said about Warped tour; I’m not trying to discredit it at all. But there are lots of egos and people who prescribe to the Warped tour culture of how many years they’ve done it, what stage they are playing on and so on. It’s very political in a way and some of us don’t subscribe to that, but the people who did made me uncomfortable. I definitely prefer touring with my friends or doing a tour where we know our place and handle things on our own terms.
But it was good for the band, you must have picked up a lot of new fans?
I like to think so. The stage we played was an eclectic mix of music and a lot of bigger metal core bands played. When we played before one of the huge bands a lot of the time there would be a few hundred extra kids just waiting for them that weren’t there to see us. But it was cool, we never played to nobody and there was always someone watching and listening. It seems like we made a significant amount of new fans, actually.
Did it feel strange to be on tour with some of those massive bands?
Yeah! I mean, I wasn’t really starstruck by anybody. But it’s cool to see Taking Back Sunday and people who were on MTV when we were growing up. It’s funny to be in the company of people like that. But for the most part it was nice to just see your friends there, because it made you feel more at home in the midst of such a weird environment.
Did the band have any strange experiences with fans on the Tour?
I think a lot of kids that know about us know we are not some unattainable force. So, if people want to talk to us or find us, it’s pretty easy. I don’t think we put off that star-power vibe like some of the bigger bands do. When people see us walking around they approach us like a friend, which is very cool. It’s normal, we’ve been very lucky to never have any weird fan experiences. Everyone we meet that is excited to meet us has been really cool and normal.
Title Fight has an impressive social media following, do you run your own Facebook page?
I don’t have a Facebook but Ben [Russin] does, and if anybody emails us or gets in contact to say something important or compelling we make sure we respond. On the Warped tour we got a tweet off one person saying her friend had died, and that they were planning to watch Title Fight at Warped Tour. So they asked us to send a song out to them. Stuff like that is the least we can do in those kinds of situations. So we try to be involved [with our fans], but not too hands on because keeping some sort of mystery is good [laughs].
It’s been a year since we filmed you at the Metro Theatre when you were touring with Touche Amore. Did you enjoy touring Down Under?
Australia was amazing! It was definitely the nicest we’ve been treated on tour. Everyone was very accommodating. We’ve never just rolled up to a country and had hundreds of kids at our show, so that was a pretty weird moment, but we loved it. I think we’re trying to come back and do a little more touring on our terms. We would like to do some small-scale shows with less security and barriers so we can get a different perspective on the punk and hardcore scene there. I think huge venues are a little out of our element, so we owe the Australian kids a chance to see us in the right environment.
But I liked that [Metro Theatre] venue a lot. It was really cool and they gave us Reese’s Cups backstage I remember [laughs]. I was surprised that so many kids showed up to that show and how excited they seemed. Everyone was nice so it was cool to be so far from home and still feel comforted. It was like a very nice vacation, but I’m hoping we come back during summer when its warmer this time.
Watch Title Fight perform ‘No One Stays At The Top Forever’
The new album, ‘Floral Green’ is out soon. Did the band feel a lot of pressure to live up to your monstrous album, ‘Shed’?
Yes and no. I think at the end of the day we try to push pressure aside and just focus on making music because that’s all we want to do. But at same time there are record labels and management rooting for you to do well, so it’s hard to balance the two. At the end of the day, I think we do things on our own terms. That’s what makes us happy. We just try to focus on why we started a band in the first place – that is, to make music and have fun. Writing songs is what’s important, touring and press is just an added bonus. If that stuff goes bad we’ve had our fun and we are proud of what we have accomplished thus far, so we try not to think about the pressure.
How did the band decide on the name ‘Floral Green’?
It was taken from a lyric of a song called’ Make You Cry’. We think it paints the mood of a very strong emotion, so that’s sort of what we were referencing and what we were thinking about when deciding on the art work for it. It all just ended up making sense.
Yeah, I saw the green LP, it looks great!
Thanks! I think it looks really good too. I think our bass player [Russin] is even more excited, because he is a record nerd!
Watch the video to ‘Secret Society’ below
Have your influences changed since the last album?
A lot of things have changed since ‘Shed’. I’ve been listening to a lot of new music and I’ve had a lot of new life experiences that are reflected in the new lyrics. We’ve toured a lot, our relationships have changed and were growing up. All those things combined means that no matter what, we are going to be different to our previous efforts in music.
Tell me about the writing process for your songs. Is there much collaboration between the band members?
It’s very much a collaborative process across the board. A handful of songs were written by just one person – everything from the lyrics to the guitars – then everybody gets their hands on it and make it what it is today. Then on other songs, one person writes one riff then another person adds their part and then another. So each song has a different approach, but it’s never just one person steering the ship. Everybody’s fingerprints are on each of the songs. It’s definitely a group effort.
Any particular songs on the album that mean a lot to you?
Yeah, I’m a fan of a lot of the songs that I didn’t have much of an input in. But the one song that I’m proud of that I wrote is ‘Head In The Ceiling Fan’, because I pushed myself. I set out with a plan to write certain kinds of lyrics and I’m happy with how it turned out. I don’t think it’s the best song on the record by any means, but it’s the one I’m most proud of.
If you had to pick one song to stream on Mars, what would it be?
Definitely ‘In-between’. I really like it, and since the record leaked I don’t think people have been really talking about that one. I think it’s one that fans should revisit.
To finish up, can you tell me about the video to ‘Secret Society’? It’s pretty intense!
[Laughs] Yeah, we wanted to make a video, and we came up with this particular idea. Then, within four days it became a real thing! Everybody [in the band] had little ideas here and there. Ned’s [Russin] girlfriend Hannah helped us steer the ship so-to-speak, and the visual aspect. I thought people would find it weird, but then it’s also kind of lighthearted in a way. It’s kind of creepy, but it makes people think and talk about it!
The new album from Title Fight ‘Floral Green’ is out on September 21st through SideOneDummy/Shock.
Watch the full Title Fight concert from the Metro Theatre below
Artists in this post
Title Fight is an American pop-punk/hardcore band from Kingston, Pennsylvania, United States, formed in 2003. Title Fight plays music in the vein of Jawbreaker, Kid Dynamite and Lifetime, taking influence from such pop punk acts as Saves the Day and emo bands Knapsack and Seaweed. They are signed to SideOneDummy Records and have toured the