Title Fight drummer, Ben Russin talks with SeagateCreative about the executing a great music idea, collaboration and the soothing sound of the drum in this Q&A.
SeagateCreative: Title Fight spends a lot of time on the road and is prepping to go to South America; how do you guys manage the tech side of being on tour? Do you bring everything or pare down stuff?
Title Fight: It really depends how long the trip is and where we’re going. I usually always travel with my laptop, hard drive, iPod, and video camera unless it’s just a one-off or short weekend. This trip is only one show in Brazil, but I’ll be there for a week so I’m going to be bringing all of that.
It helps me keep our documents and media content organized, and obviously helps keeping in touch from long distances. You have to be careful traveling with this equipment though and make sure it’s always safe.
SeagateCreative: Which piece of gear is your favorite for sparking creativity? What do you love about it? How does it affect your process?
Title Fight: This isn’t a tech answer, but I’d have to say my drums. Drums are different than all the other instruments in a rock band because you don’t need any electricity to play them. You can set up and jam whenever and wherever (as long as you aren’t annoying someone). Playing the drums and figuring out new rhythms and techniques is always very fun for me. It’s also a stress reliever and just a fun hobby. It could be a very soothing activity.
SeagateCreative: When you look for a collaborator to help on a project (a producer, engineer, co-songwriter, studio musician, etc.) what kind of person do you look for, and how do you hope they help in the creative process?
Title Fight: Since 2010, we have been using our good friend, Will Yip, out of Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA as our engineer and producer for all of our recordings. He understands us as people and musicians, and is always down to experiment and grow with us. He knows what’s best from a recording aspect and always has great ideas that we bounce off of each other. Most importantly, he’s a good friend and we’re super comfortable working with him. We’re not the type of band who uses co-writers or studio musicians.
SeagateCreative: How does Title Fight handle the collaborative process in the studio? Walk us through the experience.
Title Fight: The recording process usually begins with writing in our practice space. Someone comes up with a riff or musical idea and we just jam on it. We bring some form of a song skeleton or a collection of ideas to Will and we all help piece it together. It’s important to make sure the music creates what we set out to achieve in the first place.
We all are very involved in the studio process; everyone throws in ideas and brings up points of discussion. Sometimes the process can take longer than we initially hoped for it to, but it’s worth it because we all know that the end result is music that we all helped collaborate on.
SeagateCreative: During the recording process, what’s a telltale sign that you’ve created something special?
Title Fight: This could vary from different projects and from person to person. For me, it’s usually once the initial vocals are laid down over a rough demo and we can hear how the song is going to feel as a complete thought.
A vocal melody can completely change your outlook on a song, and an interesting one definitely is the sign of memorable piece.
Also, it’s a great feeling when after months and months of work, you finally get to hold a physical copy of your band’s vinyl record. Once you take the time to listen to it from beginning to end while holding it in your hands, you really appreciate that you have created something special with your friends.