Title Fight takes hometown sound international with “Floral Green”

Manny Mares

Bill Thomas, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Out of the underground and into the limelight, the last few years have been a whirlwind for Kingston-based punk band Title Fight.

The band members have been on the cover of Alternative Press magazine. They’ve toured with the likes of Rise Against and New Found Glory. Just this summer, the they played alongside everyone from Every Time I Die and Lostprophets to Anti-Flag and The Used as part of the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. Now, the group’s highly anticipated second full-length album, “Floral Green,” is due to hit shelves on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

It’s safe to say the guys in Title Fight are counting their blessings. At the same time, they’re determined to keep sight of what’s important and not let success go to their heads.

“We’re trying to grow as a band while still hanging on to the things that keep us who we are,” guitarist Shane Moran said. “I think it’s just important to not get duped into the kinds of things environments (like Warped Tour) might tempt you with. You have to realize what makes your band special, what sets you apart, and you have to hang onto those things. We’re staying with what we’re comfortable with and not letting any of this stuff change us.”

That said, Title Fight – which also comprises bassist-vocalist Ned Russin, guitarist-vocalist Jamie Rhoden and drummer Ben Russin – isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of its comfort zone or explore new territory musically.

For “Floral Green,” Moran said it was important for the band members to maintain a balance between the stylistic progression that keeps things fresh for them and the familiar sound that fans have come to associate with Title Fight.

“There’s definitely been a growth,” he said. “We just really tried to push ourselves to write something that was exciting and challenging for us. We’re not really interested in re-writing the same music, although there are similarities. Everything we write has to be interesting and new to us.”

Evidence of that can be readily heard when comparing “Floral Green” to its predecessor, 2011’s “Shed.” The brighter, more agile style of that album has given way to something denser and darker, a change Moran said was deliberate. Still, not every aspect of the evolution exhibited on “Floral Green” was premeditated.

“It can be hard for us to even be aware of it, because we come from this weird frame of reference where we’re right in the middle of it,” Moran said. “We live with this stuff. We’ll be working on ideas a year before they show up on a record, so when you play the records back to back, I guess it’s more apparent. But, for us, it’s just where we are as a band.”

As Title Fight’s music continues to grow, so too does its audience. In support of “Floral Green,” the band’s upcoming tour will take the hometown punks all over the world, including dates in England, France, Italy and Germany among others.

Despite all that globe-trotting, Moran said the band makes sure to stay abreast of goings-on in the NEPA scene.

“When we’re in Japan or somewhere like that, I miss home a lot, but I never feel disconnected or out of the loop,” he said. “All of our friends are in local bands. That’s who we talk to: people who do art, photography, play music or deal with venues.

“That’s our world.”

For more information, visit title-fight.net.