Interview - Titan

3/25/07

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Sam: How did you guys find each other and decide to make such wonderfully crazy music?
Kris: "The band I had been playing in broke up and I was looking to find new people to make music with. I actually put up a craigslist ad that said I wanted to make 'scream-o hardcore punk noise art music', whatever that means. I listed Swingkids, Holy Molar, Gravity Records, stuff like that as influences. One of the only responses I got was from Josh and he basically wrote: 'I’m not into that kind of music anymore but if you do like Yes, Neu! or the Boredoms, cause I’m trying to start up something along those lines and need a keyboard player. I’m big into all those bands. So, I met up with him for coffee. That was how the two of us got together, then Dan joined up shortly afterwards and we started playing as La Otracina with Adam Kriney on drums. After we parted ways with Adam, Dave stepped in on drums. I’ve known Dave since college. I should mention that La Otracina is still out there helmed by Adam making some really great music.
Dan: "What Kris said. I’d just moved to Brooklyn and Adam (La Otracina) found me at an ‘improv’ session he used to host and asked me to join Otracina. A year later Titan was put together".
Dave: "I played in a band with kris and josh (Jose Plaza) and a little while after that band stopped, they asked me to come practice with them".
Sam: Why did you guys decide to go with Tee Pee Records?
Josh: "My buddy Kip who used to be in Panthers who now does Cloudland Canyon is bros with Tony Presedo and sort of gave him the heads up about us. We kinda figured it would make sense since we're into a lot of the bands he releases and we seemed to fit right in the roster of bands without actually sounding like any of them. Plus Tony, David and everybody else at Teepee were all great dudes and supportive of our ridiculous requests through the whole process".
Kris: "Teepee definitely seemed like a good fit. We’d been listening to the Sleep’s Dopesmoker and High on Fire before any of this happened and we were into the label before being on it, so we were psyched".
Sam: I'm hearing a variety of styles on this album, far beyond what normally counts as "stoner rock", what would you say your main musical influences are?
Josh: "It's funny because I don't think any of us are really into 'stoner rock'. I can only speak for myself here but I think 99% of "stoner rock" is a total snooze fest, and I think Sleep takes up most of that 1%. It's like there is a stoner rock rulebook that exists somewhere that says  "take 'the Sabbath part' and run with it". So I guess that statement makes sense. Personally I just get bored unless I constantly have to pay attention to what I and everybody else is doing at any given moment. Going as far as my own influences though, just to name a fraction. Steve Hillage, Manual Gottsching, John Mclaughlin, Greg Ginn, Leigh Stephens. all the major dudes".
Kris: "Yeah, I feel the same way, I’m never conscious of calling something I’m into 'stoner rock' it’s kind of a useless tag to me. Like I mentioned early, we are all big into bands like Yes, Uriah Heep, Klaus Schulze. I love Growing out here in Brooklyn, I think they are doing amazing stuff and there are elements of drone in some of songs too. I know personally also I think there still is an element of our sort of collective punk backgrounds in the music too. Josh comes from the west coast, was around for a lot of the 90’s hardcore stuff that was going on there. I was big into San Diego/GSL/Gravity stuff and I think a little of that is still there too.
Dan: "I’m the only one in the band that doesn’t have much of a punk background, but I am stoned".
Dave: "I grew up playing in and listen to punk rock bands. As time went on I started to get into other types of music as well, which influenced the way I played. Instead of just playing super fast, there were other things I could do that made it more interesting for me. Now, I feel, we all push each other to play passed our 'comfort zones' which helps us progress individually and collectively as a band."
Sam: Who came up with the idea for the artwork inside the album?
Kris: "The cool thing about the album artwork is that I feel like it was really a collaborative thing between all of us in the band and Jerry Fuchs. We all had little ideas about the tone of the artwork, how we wanted it to feel, the colors we wanted, the colors we didn’t want. There were certain things all of us wanted to get across in the artwork. So, we sat down with Jerry and just poured out everything we could think of onto the table, as far as concepts, thoughts, feelings we had. Josh also had these really beautiful old sketches that he had done a while back. Jerry took all of that stuff and put it together into something cohesive".
Sam: You guys have some earlier material that you released yourselves, is there any way to get ahold of that stuff now?
Kris: "Uh, I think maybe. It’s kind of all over the place at this point. We did a CDR called 'Pilzmarmelade' and burned like 50 copies with a silk-screened digipack, but they sold out so we made 50 more and I think we still have some left that we sell at shows. The first CDR we did 'Terry Riley is Playing at My House' is completely gone, but if you write us, which people have been doing, I’ve made up extras and sent them out. So I guess just write to us and I’ll dig a copy up for you".
Sam: Any touring plans outside of the dates you've got lined up in the south in March?
Kris: "Yeah, we’re in the process of lining up a west coast oriented tour for July. We’ll start cracking on the booking when we get back from Texas."
Josh: "Prepare to get slayed, meeklings!"