It’s been a busy weekend for me.
The print version of Droid Rage went on sale on RevHQ and I also went up to London for two shows.
Got to see and hang out with some friends and see Soul Search, Forsaken, Blind Authority and Hounds Of Hate, plus some others all for the first time on Friday and Saturday.
So I really wanted to post this interview I did very recently with Ned Russin today.
I had wanted to to do an interview with Ned for a long time but did not know how to get hold of him.
I had tried a couple of times via the Facebook and Instagram account but got nothing.
But Nathan Simpson from Ancient Heads eventually hooked me up which was super awesome of him and Ned was really up for doing it.
DR: Yo What’s up Ned? What are you up to at the moment?
Nothing really. Enjoying some time off. Reading a lot, watching movies, hanging out with my cat.
DR: How did TF start? I know your brother is in the band but are you all from the same place?
Yeah we are all from Kingston, PA and surrounding towns. We started when we were 12 or 13 and the idea of the band changed a lot, but we just wanted to play music that we liked I guess. Cliche answer, but I don’t really know what to say other than that.
DR: What made you decide to start a band with TF’s sound?
We wanted to start a band that sounded like some bands we liked. I’d like to think that our sound has changed since we first started, but it’s just always trying to hunt down different bands, old and new, and bringing in those new influences whenever we write.
DR: How does the writing side of things go down in TF?
It’s pretty slow. One person brings in a riff, then we elaborate on that. Whenever we feel it’s ready we usually add vocals, maybe sooner if something strikes us, and then we elaborate on that. There’s a lot of editing and revising from the original product.
DR: What was it like recording with Walter Schreifels? Did you only work with him once?
Yeah we only worked with Walter on Shed, but it was really cool. Walter’s producing style was very laid back. He offered advice when needed, but mostly was a good coach in the studio and was able to keep a good energy throughout. He is a very skilled songwriter and arranger and also has a great pedigree of music spanning a lot of different sounds so it was easy to trust his opinion, but honestly the majority of the record was set in place and he was able to just bring the total package together.
DR: TF is a very popular band in HC and even out of the HC scene. Did you guys expect to be known world wide with people going off for you?
Also do you put yourselves in a certain bracket?
Thanks. Again, this sounds trite and cliched but, no I never expected anyone to care about Title Fight. We started touring and people seemed to be into it and then just kept touring and touring. We were very fortunate that people continued to be excited about our band. As far as putting ourselves in a certain bracket, I personally don’t try and do anything. People like to put us in a lot of different categories and I don’t care either way.
DR: Being a world touring band, how does that effect your normal life? Hangin out, girlfriends etc?
It’s rough at times, and it’s hard to say it’s rough. I am very fortunate to get to see the world and play music, but living a transient life isn’t very easy. My normal life is really either being away for a month or being home with nothing to do, so I don’t think I have a very good grasp on that especially in a traditional sense of the word. Even when we are away it’s not 9-5, it’s basically working split by either sleeping or sight seeing. When I am home, I enjoy very leisurely down time and spend a lot of time with my girlfriend.
DR: Where have been some really memorable places you guys have played? What’s your favourite venue to play?
We have played a lot of cool places, but probably the most memorable and favorites are The Church in Philly, 924 Gilman in Berkeley, CA, and the now defunct Cafe Metropolis in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
DR: You were in Japan not to long ago but you didn’t play that many shows, is that correct? I’ve just recently been- fucking loved it. Hung out with some good dudes in bands and stuff, what did you think about it? What did you get up too?
I love Japan. Definitely my favorite country to visit. The stuff you can see there is insane because you go from the most new, urban city center to a buddhist temple that is centuries old within like an hour or something. I’ve never experience anything like that in all of my travels. Other than that, the stores over there are insane. Records stores are all sick, and they just have something for everyone. Polo, sneakers, soda, candy, whatever you want.
DR: You have recently released Spring Songs on Rev, are you happy with how it turned out? Have you been touring it?
Yeah I’m happy with it. Doing the record with Rev was cool enough, but we recorded the record all to tape and got the lacquers cut from that which for me was a huge thing. I was really into that. That came out last November and we honestly have had a slow year so far this year, but we are going out again next month and have some stuff planned.
DR: Which is your favourite TF record and why?
I guess if forced to pick I would say “Floral Green” right now just because it was probably the hardest we worked on a record because of limited time to record from touring but the pressure turned into a great energy and we put together a good batch of songs in my opinion.
DR: What are some of the bands you really like playing with?
Too many to name. I enjoy playing with bands that share a similar mindset regardless of style.
DR: You also part run Back To Back records right? How did you end up doing that?
I actually don’t run Back To Back anymore.
DR: You also play in some other bands, I know you’re in Stick Together and Disengage, but what other bands do you do? Are you full time in all your other bands?
I do Big Contest, Independence, Noise Pet, and 3D right now. I am in all of those bands but none of the bands are “full time” really so I just play as much as I can with them.
DR: What bands are some of the other TF guys in?
Haze and Feral Man.
DR: I know you’re really into early Rev bands. Who are some of your favourite bands and records?
Youth of Today “Break Down The Walls” is my favorite record. I just enjoy basically everything from that time period.
DR: You’re also a record collector. When did you start collecting seriously and what were some of your first records?
I started buying records when I was like 15 but didn’t start to seriously try and have any sort of collection until I was about 19. The first record I remember buying that wasn’t a new record was Mental “Get An Oxygen Tank” on blue. I skateboarded to the local Dairy Queen to buy it off this local guy. I paid $30. My brother Alex yelled at me and said he didn’t want me to start spending money on records because it gets too crazy. He said something like, “I literally have that record on my floor. I probably threw it out. You could have had it.”
DR: Who do you collect record wise? Do you focus collect any bands?
What is some of your collection gold?
Right now the economy of hardcore merch prices is insane. I was buying basically any older hardcore record that I liked, but have really slowed down considerably just because of not wanting to spend $1,000’s of dollars on records. My biggest collections right now are Youth of Today, Floorpunch, Mental, with some nice scattered gems from Judge, GB, NY Wolfpack, Pressure Release, whatever.
DR: What non HC records do you also collect?
I don’t really “collect” non hardcore records per se. I buy them, but I’m not out looking to get every color. I just bought two Randy Newman records in the last month. Does that count?
DR: What other hobbies and stuff are your jam?
I’m a pretty basic individual. I like reading and watching movies and going to see shows when I can.
DR: What does being Straight Edge mean to you? And do you think the scene is strong in 2014 State side?
Straight Edge to me is pretty simple. It means taking care of myself and not letting things cloud my judgment regardless of a promised pleasure. I want to make decisions I am proud of and act responsibly and take my life seriously. I don’t know if the scene is strong or not because I am not looking around to see how other people feel. The most important aspect to me is doing for yourself, for the right reasons. Whether there is one million kids that are straight or ten, it doesn’t change the way I feel. I think what needs to be said to younger kids who feel pressured into being a certain way because it is what’s expected of you or what your friends are doing.
Is any one else in TF Edge?
Yeah some of them are.
DR: Who do you really like in HC right now?
No Tolerance, Step Forward, Mosher’s Delight bands like Fury, Intent, and Unified Right, Zoom, Ancient Heads, Protester, S.H.I.T., Impalers, Freedom, people doing cool things.
DR: Thanks for your time dude- anything else you would like to say?
Thanks for the interview, I really appreciate it.