I did this interview with Shane Moran(Title Fight/Bad Seed) for a zine I was working on a few months ago and never ended up printing. I didn’t want it to go to waste so I figured I’d post it here. Maybe I will try post more.
1. What is your favorite song you’ve written and what is it about?
Not sure about my favorite but one of the most meaningful is Crescent-Shaped Depression. I usually have a hard time explaining what songs are about because I feel like the lyrics and the song itself are exactly the way that I wanted to put it. To me, putting something into a song is the most fulfilling way to get across what I’m trying to express. You can spend a lot of time and really think things through and get it to a point where it makes perfect sense to you but may be indecipherable to someone else and I think that is really cool.
But I will try to explain what this song is about for you guys..
I remember getting a call from
my mom while we were on tour a while back. She told me that a kid that I went to high-school with (my mom worked with his mom) had committed suicide. I wasn’t close with him but it made me sad. It also made me think about how I’ve been hearing the same
kind of story a lot in a pretty short amount of time. I felt really lucky to have found something like Title Fight that kind of takes me away from the “valley” standard of getting some job that I hate straight out of high-school or going to LCCC for a few years only to then get some job that I hate. I’m not sure if that kind of stress is what drove these people to the edge but that’s what I sympathize with. Obviously life isn’t that bleak for everyone, but for me personally - who knows how I would feel or what I would be doing if I didn’t have music and this network of friends across the world to keep me happy.
So that was the inspiration. The song is about having an affinity for where you are from but finding happiness and your identity outside of that world that (like it or not) may have you trapped.
2. What are some things that influence your music/lyrics?
Lyrics just come from every day stuff. Aside from traveling a lot, I don’t think my life is that different than anyone else’s. Good stuff happens and bad stuff happens. I’m mostly interested in documenting what I find the most compelling out of that. A lot of times I just really want to write something that is unique and accurate to my situation that myself and my friends are going to be able to reflect on when this little world that has been created within Wilkes-Barre is passed on to the next kids in line.
Music is inspired by listening to bands that I love, our friend’s bands, and listening to each other. I think that the randomness that occurs when I play guitar and stumble on a part is due to the culmination of all of those things.
3. What do you think it is about our area that makes our scene so special?
I think it starts with the area’s history. There has always been cool bands, shows, skaters, graffiti, photographers, artists, etc to come out of this small area for as long as I can remember. We’ve had good examples set for us and I think that precedent is really important for anyone growing up in the scene. We get to see what possibilities are out there for a young kid from a small town. And since it is such a small town, it’s easy to find yourself surrounded by the people you look up to which is even more inspiring. Cold World is to Title Fight as NESC is to the ill young skaters. And the best part is that everyone, young or old, usually become friends with each other. That just facilitates the growth of our scene and keeps the real heartbeat of our area pumping.
Fuck some celebrity athlete or butt-rockstar. We look up to each other and that’s what makes us special.
4. What’s your favorite band from this area?
Probably Bedford. But also Frostbite, Cold World, War Hungry, Kill the Lights, Tigers Jaw, Strand of Oaks, and The Menzingers are competitors for favorites. Maybe even more. Favorite is different than best which is different than most meaningful but all of that would take too long.
5. What are some of your favorite bands right now?
I’ve been listening to The Smashing Pumpkins a lot. For newer stuff I like King Krule, Single Mothers, Kimbra, Drake - “Take Care”
6. What’s the best local show you’ve seen?
Bedford’s last show with True Identity was my first and I remember being really overwhelmed and excited about every band even though I had only heard Bedford prior to the show. It could have sucked but I was really happy during that one so it didn’t matter. I forget who else played - maybe Grey AM and The FCC? One of the bands lit their cymbals on fire.
Slambfest was always fun along with all the shows at The Future. Pre-Posi party 2005, Posi Numbers 2005, Menzingers or IATA at Metro for stage dives, Men Women and Children at Metro haha,
I remember Set your goals at Backstage being crazy, Floorpunch at Eleanor Rigby’s, Kingston record release at The Italian’s club, Every Time I Die at Club Blood or whatever it was called, The show at Rashi’s house, Paul D benefit, the spoken word guy at the Black Lodge, SFAR and Frostbite at metro - I remember standing on a chair against the wall being scared to death. The first Redwood show was really great and most of the shows there become instant classics. Again, I’m not sure which was the the best but these are all really memorable. I’m sure there are lots more.
7. What’s one thing you would change about this area?
To be honest, not a lot. The only thing is when small beefs or cliquey-ness happens. It’s annoying. I know nothing will ever be perfect but our scene is so small that we can’t afford to be against each other.
That and I wish Redwood was in downtown WB and there was a skatepark next to it.
8. Favorite Ben Russin moment?
There are so many. Once at the Canadian border… We had an overnight drive and we got stuck there for a really long time. We were in a small room waiting to figure out what we were doing when of course Ben had to use the bathroom.
I’m not sure if Ben was aware, but there was a vent on the bottom of the door. Within seconds of Ben closing the door, we heard one on the loudest shits/farts plop into the toilet. It blared out of the vent and echoed into the room we were sitting in. The noise was immediately followed by Ben saying something to the effect of “Ooo Boy” in one of his weird voices. Not sure If Ben knew we could all hear him, we all started screaming with laughter. The kind on laughter you only experience when it’s 6AM and you are delirious from a lack of sleep. There was an old trucker with gray hair waiting in the room with us that wanted nothing to do with it and there we were, practically laughing in his face for a solid 5 minutes.
Stuff like that happens a lot and you definitely just have to experience it first hand to understand it. I love Ben.
9. Any last words?
Start a band. Throw a brick.
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