Titus Andronicus is in the midst of a 63-date North American tour that has brought the band to cities that don’t often fall in the path of traveling rock acts. Besides the usual stops such as Chicago, Austin, and Detroit, they are hitting locales such as Hot Springs, Arizona and Missoula, Montana. California is getting seven different shows, including gigs in Davis, Felton, and San Luis Obispo.
- Friday, September 27, 2019, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
“There’s a certain element of it being the Lord’s work,” Titus Andronicus mastermind Patrick Stickles explained. “Not to overly self-aggrandize or nothing, but there’s a lot of markets and communities out there that need to be serviced with rock music. They don’t all get the attention that they deserve. The people that live in the more obscure towns that love to rock, it’s not exactly their fault that their city doesn’t have a large enough scene to draw the attention of some of the more prominent acts.”
The band is on the road promoting their latest album, An Obelisk. The disc is a ten-song banger clocking in at just under 40 minutes. It’s not too far removed from the old Hüsker Dü albums, which may explain why the band enlisted the front man of that group, Bob Mould, as producer.
“He’s known for his work ethic, his discipline, and especially his decisiveness. Titus Andronicus, at times, has been quite aimless and we don’t know how to make records exactly, but he does. He’s done it dozens of times and they’re all great. It was basically like maybe what we could do is get this dude, put him at the steering wheel and we could just be plugged into his, basically, foolproof and time-tested system,” Stickles said.
The raging bar band sound that Titus Andronicus harnesses isn’t as common to the masses as it once was. Stickles realizes that his group is now part of a movement that is fading from the spotlight as a younger generation “want a thing that’s their own” and “don’t want to listen to their parents’ music.” He theorized that “there were probably a bunch of jazz musicians in the 30s or 40s that thought they were going to be running the game forever, and of course they weren’t.”
So the rock community may be shrinking, but shrinkage isn’t always a bad thing.
“Even if we get hit in the wallet a little bit, it could be a very good thing for the continued vitality and viability of rock music,” he explained. “I’ve often said now that it’s no longer the dominant culture it now has the opportunity to once again become a legitimate counter-culture and support a more genuinely subversive agenda. Now that there aren’t so many vultures circling overhead — these capitalists trying to get their hooks in it and commodify it — that carrot is no longer dangling in front of the nose of the common rock musicians — so why would they make those sorts of compromises? If anything, their integrity is worth more than ever now.”
Titus Andronicus plays the Soda Bar on September 27.