Home Music festival Chasing ‘Ultimate Rock,’ Titus Andronicus Performs at Columbia’s Jam Room Music Festival | News about concerts and music

Chasing ‘Ultimate Rock,’ Titus Andronicus Performs at Columbia’s Jam Room Music Festival | News about concerts and music

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When New Jersey indie rock band Titus Andronicus take the stage to perform at the Jam Room Festival on October 1, their new album will only be one day old.

This album, “The Will To Live”, is probably the biggest the band has yet to release. That’s saying a lot for a band that released a five-act rock opera (“The Most Lamentable Tragedy”) in 2015. The new 12-track version features no less than 14 musicians and the heaviest, beefiest sound in the world. group to date.

Bursting with layers of roaring guitars and a chorus of gruff vocals, the album, co-produced by singer, songwriter and guitarist Titus Andronicus Patrick Stickles, is an epic pursuit of what he calls “Ultimate Rock “.

“Ultimate rock is a concept and an ideal that an artist could eventually strive for,” Stickles said. “But I think that’s just an ideal, it’s not really a goal because the Ultimate Rock record, I believe, hasn’t been recorded yet. And many have tried and done a great job.

Stickles looked to these artists when creating “The Will To Live”. He referenced revered bands and their equally revered albums like Def Leppard’s “Hysteria”, Metallica’s “Black Album” and The Who’s “Who’s Next”.

“There are several records in that mold that have inspired us through this process,” he said, “(there are) all these different attempts by some of these big bands over time to make the biggest and most efficient version and makes it the ultimate version of their sound and sonic vision or mission.

So, how are we going after the “Ultimate Rock” sound? Well, you pull out all the stops.

Stickles, the band, their co-producer Howard Bilerman and engineer Shea Brossard subscribed to the theory that bigger is, in all cases, better. The band didn’t put any limits on themselves when it came to the density of this album, Stickles said.

“The sky was the limit and we put aside any pretense of modesty. And it was great to do that. It’s cool to be free in this way to build an elaborate fantasy world for the listener,” said said Stickles.

This fantasy world that Stickles is talking about is actually a concept album. “The Will To Live” is a remarkably ambitious tale of both a metaphorical and literal journey through hell – a linear tale different from what they’ve done in the past in that the album was designed around those themes, Stickles said.


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Now, whether or not the listener gleans the meaning of “The Will To Live” is another matter altogether.

Stickles concedes that some people might enjoy the album on the surface, absorbing the heavy rock and anthemic melodies but not understanding the overall concept.

“The listener will have a choice if they just want to stomp their feet or clench their fists, or go there with the windows down,” he said. “And that’s very good. It’s intended for that. But as with all of our records, I try to provide enough literary value that if the listener wants to dig a little deeper on subsequent listens, they will hopefully get something out of it beyond just rocking the music.

Fans can expect to hear about half of “The Will To Live” at the Jam Room Festival, time permitting, but Stickles is quick to add that Titus Andronicus will be digging deep into their seven-album catalog. He explained that for each tour, they play at least one song from each of their albums.

“We make sure you know we play the hits; we’re not one of those bands that hates playing the hits. We like to give people what they want at least a little, so everyone walks away hoping they’ve heard at least a few of their favorites,” Stickles said. “But the new material, it’s exciting (and) fresh for us – and I hope the public will agree.”


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Jam Room Music Festival

Sun Ra Arkestra, The Shaniqua Brown, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Titus Andonicus, plus more. October 1st. Main Street. free. jamroommusicfestival.com.