There’s currently a lot of buzz around Title Fight, and they’re back in the UK for a second stint here, following a trip to mainland Europe with Polar Bear Club and Shook Ones. So, Faye sat down with the youngsters from Kingston, PA, ahead of their Leeds show, as they talked about the band’s ‘hype’, how other bands have took them under their wing, plans for their next record, whether you should mosh to Title Fight, hating photoshoots and loving Miley Cyrus.
Faye: Can you say your name and what you do in Title Fight?
Jamie: My name’s Shane and I play guitar in Title Fight. [laughs] No, my name is Jamie, and I play guitar and sing in Title Fight.
Shane: I’m Shane and I play guitar.
Ben: Ben, and I play drums.
Ned: My name’s Ned and I play bass, and the guest sitting here is…
Jamie: Trevor! [Polar Bear Club’s tour manager] And he blogs.
Faye: How are you today?
Jamie: Today, I’m great, apart from my chest, but, overall, I’m good. I haven’t got to see much of the town yet, there’s some cute girls, that was pretty cool. It’s a cool venue, it’s kind of cold, but it’s good, it reminds me of home weather. I’m just making this up.
Shane: I think everyone’s getting sick, because everyone in Polar Bear Club is puking.
Faye: Can you tell me a bit about Title Fight? Did you all grow up together?
Ned: Ben and I are twins, so we’ve known each other for 19-years now, and Shane and Jamie, we just met at school through just a general interest in music. We’ve been a band since we were 12, and Shane joined when we were 14/15 and that’s really it, we’ve just played since 2003.
Faye: You’ve already had a little stint in the UK in mid-February, how was that for you?
Ned: It was awesome, it was our first time in Europe, so we really weren’t sure how it would go, especially playing with Polar Bear Club and Shook Ones, because they’ve both been here and both established over here, so we were worried that we’d fall under the radar, but the first show was awesome and then the rest of the UK’s been really good too. No complaints so far. Every show’s been awesome and kids have been really receptive, and excited that we’re over here, so it’s fun.
Faye: Have you been surprised by people’s reactions to you?
Ned: The thing is, there’s been like 150 kids at each show, so it’s been awesome, especially hearing stories of friends bands coming over and playing to 20 kids, and, so far, there hasn’t been a show with less than 100 kids or so, it’s been awesome. So even if kids aren’t going off for us, kids are there and they’re watching it, and that’s all you can really ask for.
Shane: We got pretty lucky, getting put on a tour like this, coming over for the first time.
Faye: There’s quite a lot of hype around Title Fight, how do you feel about that?
Ned: Er… [laughs] That’s a cool shout, but I don’t know… For me, personally, like the whole ‘hype’ thing is weird, just because it’s kind of like a hyped band is a band that people like for a year or something, they put out a record, and everyone likes it for a year, and they play a couple of shows and people go crazy, then they’re onto the next band – there’s no longevity to them. I mean, it’s cool that people like us right now and people come out to see us and people enjoy our music, but I don’t want to be a band that people like us for a year because everybody else likes us. I want to be a band that people like for a long time because we write music people like. So, it’s cool that people like us right now, but I don’t want it to be a short-lived thing.
Faye: Do you feel that you’ve blown up within the past year?
Jamie: I’d say since United Blood Fest.
Ned: Yeah, we did our first tour in June 2008 with our friend’s band Tigers Jaw, and we were playing to 20-30 kids a night, maybe 50 on a really good show. Then, for both them and us, we’ve done a bunch of tours since then, we’ve been all over the country and now we’re in Europe. Now it’s like kids are coming out to see us, kids are into us and it’s just weird, one minute we’re playing shows to 20 kids and now we’re playing shows to 100 kids, it’s a big difference, but it’s awesome.
Faye: As Ned and Ben are brothers with Alex from Cold World, do you think that’s helped you gain recognition in the hardcore world?
Ned: Yeah, for sure. When we first started out, we got on our first show because before Cold World, there was a band called Frostbite and they were playing a show, and we asked if we could play it. It was pretty much because of my brother that we played our first couple of shows, they were the cool band in Wilkes-Barre. We were definitely, at a point, getting hooked up with shows because I’d tell my brother we’re trying to tour and need help finding a place to play, and I’d ask if he had a friend to hook us up, which is cool, but I think we got past that point and started to make a name for ourselves. I like my brother and I love Cold World, they’re one of my favourite bands, but it’s like, I don’t want to be ‘the guy from Cold World’s little brother’ for my whole life. It’s cool, and I like it, and it’s not like he’s ever not going to be my brother [laughs], but I’d rather people know us because we’re a band and not somebody’s little brother.
Faye: It seems that a lot of bigger bands have took you under their wing, like New Found Glory taking you on tour, how does that make you feel?
Shane: It’s crazy.
Jamie: New Found Glory tour was cool, they were nice dudes, they definitely taught us things we didn’t really know about, like touring, management, and stuff that still don’t have a part of anyway [laughs], but maybe in the future, some of that stuff will be helpful.
Ben: It was pretty unexpected that we got that offer, and, right now, we’re planning on touring full-time. Three of us were in college at the time, and we got that offer, so we took three weeks off and then we got that Four Year Strong offer, then we got this offer to tour Europe, which we’re obviously going to do, so we decided to take off and go full-time. We’re pretty grateful for the opportunities that’ve come out way.
Faye: Did you drop out of college?
Shane: We took time off.
Ben: Yeah, we can go back whenever.
Ned: I think I’m like the only one that’s on a technical leave of absence from school [laughs], because I filled out this form and stuff, so I can go back whenever I want.
Faye: Touring with New Found Glory, was it intimidating playing large venues?
Ned: That New Found Glory tour was our first time playing bigger stages, so it was really weird. It was kind of an icebreaker, because on the Four Year Strong tour, we played venues of similar sizes, it was more familiar for us at that point, because we were more used to it, but it’s weird, you definitely connect more with the crowd when we have a smaller show, it’s just a cooler vibe. You can have a personal connection with the kids in your face.
Shane: At the same time, it’s cool to experience that big stage, especially with a band like New Found Glory, that was just like really cool. I always would prefer to play smaller shows, but that whole experience was pretty awesome.
Faye: How do you feel about people moshing to your music? I’ve heard some say it’s pretty silly considering the type of music you play.
Ned: I can completely understand it, because we’re all hardcore kids and we grew up playing hardcore shows, so that’s the way it’s been our whole lives, but now it’s weird because we’re not playing hardcore shows anymore and kids are still moshing. It doesn’t bother me at all, I’m definitely used to it, but it sucks when I get microphone smashed into my lip or somebody knocks into my bass, and the cable gets pulled out, but whatever, I’ve done that to so many people in my life, so I can’t complain. It’s payback now if kids do that to me [laughs], so it’s whatever. I’m happy that people like us and that they go off.
Shane: It’s just dumb when kids take it too far, like for a band like us, because I prefer stage-diving and kids singing along than hitting the kid next to you, because that’s not what our music should invoke.
Ben: There’s a time and place for that kind of stuff, I think, I don’t have a problem with it, but for Title Fight…
Shane: You can have fun and whatever, just don’t try to do anything stupid, but we’re all fans of that shit.
Ned: [laughs] ‘Fans of that shit’…
Ben: For Title Fight, I don’t care what happens, but I definitely think it’s cool seeing kids singing along to it, it’s more about the lyrics and the music, but moshing…
Jamie: It’s not really for Title Fight.
Faye: Aren’t you featured in AP Magazine’s ‘Top 100 bands to look out for’?
Shane: Yeah, that just came out, I guess on March 1st, because it’s the April issue and it comes out early, and we’re pretty psyched on that. We found out about that in December, I guess? Because we were in California and we did a photoshoot for it, and we did a few shows out there. It’s the first time we’ve ever got any exposure in print like that, and a magazine like AP is one of the bigger magazines for ‘underground’ music in the States, so I guess it’s pretty cool.
Ned: Yeah, I mean, that’s like something to show our parents, it’s like, “Hey Mom, you can buy that magazine in Barnes & Noble.”
Shane: It’s crazy.
Ned: It’s really cool too, the interview was cool too and I think it turned out how we wanted it. It’s definitely good exposure too, which is awesome.
Faye: Do you like photoshoots?
Jamie: Not at all.
Ned: I don’t care if it’s a photoshoot where we just stand there, but we’re not the guys that are going to put on make-up and go in a boxing ring because our name is Title Fight. [laughs] That’s not what we’re about.
Jamie: I hate photoshoots, they’re stupid. I mean, if the photographer is a nice friend then that’s totally different, but I hate them for the most part. Sometimes they’re ok, but it’s not really what we’re about, I’d rather magazines or whatever just use the same one picture.
Shane: Yeah, I don’t like them.
Faye: How was the AP shoot? Isn’t the photo of you in Del Taco?
Ned: The photographer showed up and he said, “Do you have anything you want to do?” and I said, “Let’s go get food.” and that was the first food place we saw, so we just went and ate there.
Shane: He took a bunch of pictures and we submitted four, they’re all black and white, simple pictures of us just standing around, and AP chose that one.
Ned: What we told him was that we wanted a casual vibe, we didn’t want it to see that we were doing some zany birthday cake setting.
Shane: AP’s a cool magazine, but I think there’s definitely a lot of stuff that we don’t fit in with in that magazine, especially the promo shots for some of the more animated bands, that’s not really us, but Ruiner, our friends The Menzingers and A Loss For Words are in it too.
Faye: You released The Last Thing You Forget last year, what made you put on a bunch of old songs from splits and EPs, instead of completely new material?
Ned: That was actually an idea from the guy who put out the record, Jeff at Run For Cover Records, because it was just going to be a 7-inch, the three new songs, and then he said, “I think it would be a good idea if we put on all your old stuff.” because it was out-of-print at the time, nobody could get it, so we were just like, “Yeah, whatever!” and it gives people more material to listen to, which is always good.
Shane: We put on one extra song on there too, that we recorded. It’s cool, but we don’t really like it when people consider it a full-length, because it’s obviously not, it’s three completely different recorded sessions from three different times.
Ned: We re-mastered it, that’s the only thing.
Shane: They’re from three separate years, 2007, 2008 and 2009, so we want people to understand that it’s not a full-length, it’s just a compilation of our past three releases.
Ned: The Run For Cover release was our first… It wasn’t a big release, but more people were definitely more in the know about it than our previous releases, so we figured there’d be people who hadn’t heard our previous releases and since you couldn’t get them anymore, the easiest thing was to put those songs on the CD.
Faye: So, that was more of a collection of songs, have you been writing for an album and have you gone about it differently this time?
Ned: We’ve been writing recently, we’re trying to get a record out before the end of 2010, hopefully. Our schedule right now is booked up until the beginning of the summer, so it’ll be rough, figuring out when we can, but if we get some tour offers for the summer it’ll be hard to turn that down and trying to finish writing and recording. We are hoping to get it out for the end of the year, which would be cool. As far as the writing goes, it’s definitely a different writing process, because you have so much to consider when you’re writing 10 or 12 songs verses just writing 3 songs. I don’t think there’s a lot more thought put into it, but you know you have to have a lot more depth for a full-length than just an EP. You don’t want the same 10 songs over and over again, so it’s been a little different, but we haven’t got too into the writing process so far.
Faye: Who writes the lyrics in Title Fight?
Ned: Jamie writes a lot of it, but we all work on it together.
Faye: They’re quite emotional, have you had a lot of relationship turmoil?
Ned: [laughs] I guess you could say that, but it’s like I don’t want to write lyrics that aren’t real, but when I’m feeling upset or something, I don’t know, when I’m writing lyrics, the stuff that moves me the most is that and that’s what comes out when I write.
Jamie: There’s some songs that some people seem to think are about relationships, that aren’t, there’s actually a few – Loud and Clear, Youreyeah…
Ned: But at the same time, that’s cool, because you can have your own interpretation of a song and if that means something to you, then that’s cool, because I do the same thing when I listen to music as well. I’m not going to yell at anybody for taking something the wrong way, because that’s totally up to that person.
Faye: So, what do you have planned after this tour?
Ned: Go home, we go to South by Southwest the week after we get back in Texas.
Ben: With Sum 41. [laughs]
Ned: Yeah, cool. Then there’s United Blood Fest, which our friend Foster puts on, it’s always fun, so that’ll be cool. In April, we’re free most of the time and then at the end of April, we go out for little less than a month with Set Your Goals and Comeback Kid, and the opening slot rotates, Make Do and Mend do some of it, this band called Murdock does some of it and there’s some other bands too. That’ll be cool, we do the second-half of that tour, starting on the east coast back to California. Oh, and Rain Fest at the end of May, which is cool, we’ll be going to Seattle for that weekend, that’s our first time playing that too. Then, as I said, the summer is open right now.
Faye: Do you not know when you’ll be coming back here?
Ned: Ah, I’m not sure yet.
Jamie: Yeah, no clue, maybe a year.
Shane: I don’t know, maybe summer/fall? Our schedule’s pretty tentative right now.
Ned: Yeah, really, our main focus is the record right now and if we have to take more time than we thought to record it and stuff, then that’ll just have to be it, but if we can get the record out quick, like we want to, we’ll definitely be back over in the UK to support that, but we can’t make any promises right now.
Shane: We’ll be back, though. That’s a promise.
Faye: Since you’ve had such a good reaction here, would you consider doing a headline tour?
Ned: I don’t know, that’s a big jump.
Jamie: Eventually, like after more songs are released, after a full-length or something, but right now, we’re not in a position, but, eventually, we’d like to, for sure.
Faye: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
Ned: Make Do and Mend, Tigers Jaw.
Shane: Tegan and Sara.
Jamie: Tegan and Sara, yeah!
Shane: Balance and Composure and Tigers Jaw are coming out with a split on Run For Cover, that’s going to be awesome.
Ned: Shook Ones and Polar Bear Club.
Ben: The new Four Year Strong record.
Shane: Yeah, if you didn’t like that band before, then you should give them a second chance.
Faye: I think that’s about it, is there anything else you want to say?
Shane: The UK is cool. Party in the U dot K, is that what you guys say over here, because of that song?
Jamie: I heard that song just recently came out in the UK, the Miley Cyrus jam.
Shane: It’s a great song, actually.
– Faye Turnbull.
Many thanks to Title Fight for the interview, for more information on the band, visit: www.myspace.com/titlefight.