We here at TV EYE revel in the business of doing pleasure. Therefore, we've decided to provide you with weekly (or bi-weekly depending on how much coffee we can suck down) interviews and 'stuff' to gawk at.
This week it's an interview with New York's purveyors of grooved out, neo-prog metal TITAN. They're new record "A Raining Sun Of Light And Love, For You And You And You..." on Tee Pee Records conjures up Deep Purple at their most expansive and Hawkwind at their heaviest. Check out what guitarist Josh Anzano had to say as we put em to the TV EYE guillotine of questions>>>
JOSH ANZANO/TITAN vs. SAM VELDE/TV EYE MAGAZINE
1. Name, age, sign & instrument?
Joshua Jade Anzano, 28, Leo w/ Scorpio rising. my weapon of choice is an early mid 70's Fender Mustang with Gibson mini-humbuckers.
2. Favorite band/album of all time?
Slayer - reign in blood
3. Favorite current band/album?
Growing - Color Wheel
4. Favorite film/TV show? Film:
right now it's 'Children of Men'. TV show: COPS.
5. What do you like more, playing live or recording?
Recording. while i do enjoy playing out and getting the chance to go all nuts and play at obscene volumes, i really love the recording process. from the preparation and conceptualizing, to getting to try out different tones, sounds, gear, instruments, ideas, etc. it's when you finally get to excercise any creative ideas you might have had and really get to shape the music you've been practicing and playing for god knows how long. when we were recording "Obelisk Orbit Overdrive" on "A raining sun..." i had this idea i had wanted to try for a while which entailed running an oscillator through an auto-tuner. luckily the studio we were in had both, and while it took some time to set up and ultimately didn't work exactly the way we had hoped, it was a fun experiment and was satisfying to at least try it. if i hadn't i would still be obsessing about it right now.
6. Is the band a linear identity or a multi-dimensional entity?
I would say more multi-dimensional. while lately we are focusing more on the heavier more metal sounding progrock aspects in our songwriting, we still reserve moments to work on long repetetive trance inducing jams. it's a very different aesthetic where with one the players are very aware and focused on being at the right place at the right time and really nailing the parts and changes. while the other is just making sure we're locked in tight and from there all we have to do is just just trip out, with anything else being introduced in the mix being more textural than riff based. Though similarly both styles are very focused on being a driving force that plows through.
7. Favorite song on your new record and why?
Track number four "Afruf Der Pilz". i think the origin of the song and the decision for placement make this one a bit more special and purposeful. it's our only track on any of our recordings that we originally improvised and then re-learned from the recording. The three tracks before that are somewhat of a heady affair until you get dropped off at this one which is drastically different but works with the others. Then it continues to ride out without really slowing down. Letting the listener know we have nothing really to prove other than wanting you to have a good time.
8. Ozzy or Dio?
Well, heavy metal legend has it that a cult of tripped out stonehenge ritual satanists placed a hex on the Sabs for not playing their lame show. So Ozzy flipped and had his old man fashion the whole band crosses which they wore around their necks for protection. Years later Dio was throwing a hex in the form of the horns to a new legion of dirtheads. That little thing that heshers everywhere used and still use religiously he took from his fucking GRANDMA. Why Ozzy believed in a threat by a group of satanists is beyond me. but if faries wear boots i suppose it isn't that weird. i think the answer here is obvious.
9. Summer or Winter?
Summer all the way
10. Are you involved in any other bands, projects, recordings?
I do a fair amount of home recording of synth music and have been filling in on bass once a week for my friends Kristy and Ronnies band. i've also been in cahoots with some buddies of mine about starting a fast hardcore band along the lines of Dropdead, 7 Seconds, Discharge, etc after talking about how much fun it was playing in a punk rock band. I'm also in a bicoastal band with guys from Saviours and look back and laugh called "Stormtripper". But the burly practice schedule of Titan makes it kind of hard to be really productive with other projects though it's still fun to entertain those ideas. We do have plans for a Titan / Cloudland Canyon collaboration when we head down to Memphis in March. Oh yea, Dave our drummer plays in a Misfits tribute band called Psycho 78. they only play about once a year, but that one show is always a great time and usually ends with lots of sweat and a few bloody noses.
11. Are you opposed to the industrial shift from the physical CD/LP to digital music?
Will effect Titan? No. It's the natural progression/extension of technology and music that we all saw coming a million miles away. it's also sort of difficult to really be opposed to nature. The inception of Titan was already pretty far beyond the transition of the physical and purely digital mediums. so i think any effects there may have been were already a default when we started. however i think since we are all aware of this, there are different creative aspects we are more conscious of in regards to releases. for instance putting a lot more TLC into the packaging and artwork for our physical releases enough to where we hope that listeners would feel just as drawn into the visual aesthetic as much as the music to want to own a copy. On the other hand the less tangible medium lends itself to exposing any ideas, experiments, home recordings, etc. when to anyone who wants to listen without any of the compromise that exists when commiting to a physical medium.
12. How do you feel about playing live in the daytime?
totally into it, man. though i don't think we have had the opportunity to do so yet. but the daytime is usually when we're more alert and lively. plus when i think of playing in the daytime i automatically associate it with the outdoors, and i'm way into the idea of playing in the open with the sun beaming down all over. i mean, 99.9% of the time it sounds like shit to anybody listening. but who gives a fuck if you get to be outside.
13. Does music have to have reference points, is it possible to create it without?
NO? YES? who knows. i mean what about those elephants in thailand that made that nutso elephant music with instruments that had been left out for them. who knows where that came from. Ok. while maybe music doesn't have to have reference points, inevitably it will. even if somebody makes a totally new style of music that doesn't sound like anything before it, i'm sure they would have tried to avoid those other styles. which in itself is referencing something for what not to do whether it was a conscious or subconscious effort.
14. What are Titan's reference points?
the most obvious being the most killer of 70's prog, proto-metal & german psychedelic music. bands we actively rip/ripped off being Hawkwind, Lucifer's Friend, Ashra, Yes, Black Flag, ELP, Parson Sound, FTB, some other shit. people have also compared us to music we weren't aware we we're copping. After we opened up for Blue Cheer, Duck the guitar player told Kris that his synth playing was very "jan hammer-esqe" to which he replied "oh yea man! definitely. thanks man!". two minutes later when Duck leaves the room Kris turns me to and says "who the fuck is jan hammer?". i've also gotten a couple comments that certain parts of our songs sound like Genesis even though i'm pretty sure not one of us could name a single Genesis song.
15. Next on the schedule for Titan (touring, records, etc.)?
Well in March we're doing a few things in Austin for SXSW while playing a few shows on the way down and we have plans to hit the west coast pretty hard in july. First heading to the northwest of the US and going south through CA and at some point (hopefully never) coming back to NYC. I'm sure our sweet myspace profile will have all that shit listed for anybody who cares.