Ben Russin from Title Fight was just hanging out in his hometown of Kingston, Pennsylvania when Tone Deaf’s Anaya Latter spoke to him.
Contrary to what it might infer, the name ‘Title Fight’ did not come about from the band fighting over what to call themselves. No, drummer Ben Russin explains, it came from a HBO guide that his twin brother Ned Russin liked when they formed the band at the fresh young age of 12 or 13.
Russin explains that a love of hardcore and making music runs in the family. “Ned and I have always played together, playing in more joke bands and stuff [initially] but a lot of the credit goes to our older brother he kind of got us into a lot of punk and hardcore music at an early age.”
“We basically played whenever we could, because we couldn’t drive for a few years, couldn’t go out really, so we were like this is fun, we love doing it,” he adds.
Title Fight have certainly carved themselves a reputation and a strong following despite their young age, having played South by Southwest two years in a row.
“We played last year as well, we played this showcase called Shirts for a Cure which is an organisation that gives all their profits towards breast cancer research. We played in this small venue called Red 7 and it was awesome, there were kids jumping everywhere. That was a lot of fun all of our friends were there. And then the next day we played a house show with a few people in a little tiny room and that was a lot of fun as well.”
He recommends the experience of SXSW, revealing that you might spot unexpected icons if you’re lucky: “The whole time you’re there the city is just packed with people everywhere you walk into a random bar and you’ll see an awesome band playing or last year we saw Bill Murray walking down the street, you know, just crazy stuff.”
Title Fight have been compared to acts like Hot Water Music and Gorilla Biscuits in particular, managing to get guitarist Walter Schreifels to produce their new album.
“It was awesome it was our first time recording an LP we spent a lot of time preparing for it and making sure everything was right. We didn’t have a label by the time we started recording but we chose a producer Walter Schreifels who played in Gorilla Biscuits and Rival Schools and he’s a huge inspiration for all of us so that was a lot of fun.”
Russin says they hammered out the songs over a two week period for their new album Shed, “we just went in there every day for two weeks straight and we’re pretty happy with the final product.
In terms of the scene in Pennsylvania, the hardcore scene used to be much stronger, but the broader music scene is still very strong. “Well I think it used to be when we were pretty young there was a pretty flourishing scene, they had a festival every summer and bands from all over the country and all the world would come to Pennsylvania and now it’s kind of slowed down a bit, but our friends’ bands have been going full time and touring a lot and getting a lot of recognition and it’s really cool to be part of this community and be so close to everybody. They all make really good music, and not even just hardcore music either, but bands who play more melodic stuff.
If Ben Russin could meet anyone alive or dead it would be Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters because he’s always doing something interesting.
The band is looking forward to their Australian tour. “We’re really excited to come over we’ve been talking about coming to Australia for a few years now and it’s awesome that it’s actually come about. We can’t wait to see your country and play some shows”
In terms of what the Australian crowds can expect from Title Fight, Russin says “A lot of energy, fun, no gimmicks. We just get up on stage, and play our music.” Title Fight are touring in September, and their debut album is our now on Shock. Tickets go on sale this Friday 27th May.
THURSDAY 8 BRISBANE, THE TIVOLI – All Ages
FRIDAY 9 SYDNEY, THE METRO – Licensed All Ages
SATURDAY 10 MELBOURNE, BILLBOARD – 18+
SUNDAY 11 ADELAIDE, FOWLERS – Licensed All Ages
TUESDAY 13 PERTH, THE CAPITOL – 18+