Kingston, Pennsylvania’s Title Fight is doing things a little bit different than everyone else. From bringing a ‘90s alternative sound back to popularity to recording all of their music videos to VHS, they’ve chosen a different path than their counterparts. They bring their energetic live show to Walter’s on November 15 with Pianos Become The Teeth, Single Mothers and Power Trip. Shane Moran, one of two guitar players for the band, was nice enough to take some time to talk to FPH about being compared to Sonic Youth, what their writing and recording process is like and leaving school behind to pursue music full time.
What do you think about the recent comparisons of your band to ‘90s alternative rock bands like Sonic Youth?
It’s cool. I would prefer that than a lot of other bands. Sonic Youth definitely pushed the bar creatively, so to be in the same breath as them is flattering. Ned really likes Sonic Youth. I’m sure he’s happy about it.
You’re currently at #69 on the Billboard Top 200. How does it feel to be in the company of such well known artists?
It’s pretty funny. We are proud of it. It’s really just something to show your parents more than anything. It doesn’t feel like we are selling a lot of records but on paper that’s what it appears to be, I guess. We appreciate it for sure.
You’ve had hardcore roots since the band’s inception. How has your rise in popularity and your ever-evolving sound changed that, if at all?
I don’t think much has changed really. Being into hardcore as a kid is something that gets embedded into you. It’s always there. We still listen to and love hardcore bands. I think if anything it helps in keeping our values as a band in check.
How does having a hardcore background affect the way you run the band?
We are very hands-on. I think that’s something a lot of bands lose when they try to be a “full time” band or whatever. They get really into the idea of having all of these outside influences taking care of business. I think in ways you can’t avoid that but for us we don’t feel right unless we are involved 100%. A band’s charm lies in the little details and I like to believe that we are still in touch with all of those things because of the world we come from.
What’s the story behind choosing to film your most recent music videos on VHS?
At first, it was just something different to explore. I’m not really into super HD looking videos. We prefer the way VHS or older camera formats look. The quality that is lost adds something special. We just ran with it. I think we spent $30 on the camera we bought. For the latest video, we needed to finish it in four days so we chose VHS out of necessity. It wasn’t going to cost us anything and it was just sitting in Ned and Ben’s basement. We knew it would get the job done. It made the most sense at the time.
What is the status and progression of the venue you’re opening in your hometown?
Redwood Art Space was open for about one year and saw a lot of cool shows from bands across the board. It was exactly what our area needed. For the past few months, it has been closed but it is supposed to be opening in the near future in a new location in “downtown” Wilkes-Barre.
What was the inspiration behind the new album and how is it different from your previous album, Shed?
Lyrics are written by multiple members, so inspiration is coming from a lot of different perspectives. If I had to summarize, I think it’s a lot more introspective than ever. It’s mostly about the person writing and the issues they are facing. Shed was a little bit more of a wider scope.
What are you listening to currently?
Clams Casino, Beautiful Lou, James Blake, King Krule, and A$AP Rocky.
What’s the band’s writing and recording process like?
Writing is very collaborative. The process varies though. We don’t have some sort of go-to formula or anything. Recording is the same. We like to try different things and not be too pinned down to one idea. We entrust Will Yip (producer/engineer) to guide us in the right direction and make sure we finish our project, but the studio is the perfect place to experiment and try out new shit.
Are there any plans for any of you to go back to school after putting it on hold to do the band full-time? What were you studying?
I’m sure some of us will find our way back eventually. I was going for art. I’m not sure if I’d choose the same major upon re-applying though. Ben was doing film stuff. Ned was going into teaching. Jamie didn’t go to college.