This week, Titus Andronicus released their third album, Local Business, the follow-up to 2010's magnum opus The Monitor. Having thrown everything including the kitchen sink into their last one, frontman Patrick Stickles explains that for the new album, they wanted to try more of a barebones, live record.
"It was a conscious decision to move away from a big production," he tells Exclaim! "We wanted to make something that was true to real life. Something that was more about creating a real moment in time and capturing it for posterity instead of trying to build up a fantasy moment, which is what we've done a lot on the first two records. We wanted this one to sound like a band playing instead of some kind of fantastical super band with every bell and whistle you can imagine. Everything but the kitchen sink in the arrangements."
Unlike The Monitor, which featured a whole bevy of special guests that included members of the Hold Steady, Vivian Girls and Wye Oak, among others, Local Business cut down the number of collaborators. One name they managed to get, however, is Canadian string wizard Owen Pallett, who filled in on the violin for Amy Klein after she left Titus Andronicus last year.
"The violin is a very beautiful and evocative instrument," Stickles explains. "I think Owen is a very talented guy, and when we found out he was a fan of the band, we figured we could make a concession and put aside our policy of keeping it mostly in-house and allow for one very special guest. Just because we could. It's a little bit of a status symbol because he's quite a star in his field. He's down for whatever, that guy!"
Being the outspoken, sometime political guy that he is, Exclaim! couldn't resist asking Stickles just what his thoughts are on the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
"I guess the short version of it is that I support the president," he says, after pointing out that only Canadian journalists seem to ask about the election. "I don't care for this Mitt Romney guy very much. He doesn't strike me as having a ton of integrity and I'm generally pretty liberal, left-leaning in my politics.
"The president has my support in this one. I don't know how people are feeling about him right now, but I feel that it's generally pretty tough to unseat an incumbent in elections like this. Even though he hasn't done the greatest job, I'm not sure that he's done a bad enough job where people want to give him the boot. I hope anyway. Even Bush got two terms!"
Tour dates with Ceremony:
10/24 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
10/25 Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
10/28 Gainesville, FL - THE FEST 11
10/29 Tampa, FL - Crowbar
10/31 Atlanta, GA - 529
11/1 Nashville, TN - Stone Fox
11/2 Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
11/4 Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/6 Tempe, AZ - Sail Inn
11/8 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater
11/9 San Diego, CA - Irenic
11/10 Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room
11/11 Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Atrium
11/12 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
11/14 Seattle, WA - Neumo's
11/15 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
11/17 Boise, ID - Neurolux
11/19 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
11/20 Lawrence, KS - Jackpot
11/21 Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground
11/22 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
11/23 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
11/24 Madison, WI - The Frequency
11/25 Chicago, IL - The Metro
11/26 Detroit, MI - The Majestic
11/27 Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
11/28 Montreal, QC - Il Motore
11/29 Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Lounge
11/30 Boston, MA - The Sinclair
12/1 Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
12/2 New York, NY - Webster Hall