Ian and Patrick asked me to join Titus Andronicus this past April. This somewhat abstract offer was solidified over the summer with a tour proposal. While I was wary of diverting energies away from my primary musical focus, Dinowalrus, playing guitar in Titus seemed like a quick way for me to experience and enjoy the next level of indie rock success. Also, it would be a chance to play fun, high-energy songs for hundreds of enthusiastic kids, travel abroad, and perhaps meet some interesting people.
The most mind-blowing detail of the whole scenario was when I found out that the first shows I would be playing with them would be the legendary Leeds and Reading Festivals. I quickly started to daydream about playing in front of stadium sized throngs of festival-goers on a massive stage—often flashing back to the Nirvana concert video “Live, Tonight, Sold Out”.
This was not quite the case—Titus got stuck playing the smaller Festival Republic stage at 1pm. This was not the ideal slot—apparently being a hot band in the American DIY indie scene doesn’t really count for much at the massive Leeds and Reading Festivals. Generally, the other bands playing were long-established commercial juggernauts like Radiohead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Bloc Party. This made me realize the astronomical insignificance of most of my favorite underground bands on this international scale.
Even though we didn’t end up playing for 40,000 people or even meeting Radiohead, it was still very much an honor and a thrill to be playing such a legendary event; and even the 1,000 kids who packed into the Festival Republic tent constituted a much larger audience then I had ever played for in Dinowalrus.
Given the once-in-a lifetime nature of this opportunity, I resolved early on to thoroughly document it for Impose to give readers a sense of the novelty I felt as a musician from the local DIY community who was suddenly thrust into show scenarios that were worlds apart from a typical local show.