POZ Interview: Transit

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 14, 2012

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PropertyOfZack caught up with Joe B of Transit a few weeks ago towards the end of Taking Back Sunday's Tell All Your Friends Tour. Joe and I discussed their steady climb in touring, writing differences from Listen & Forgive to their new record, continuous change for the band, and much more. Check it all out below!

Transit hopped on the final two or so weeks of Taking Back Sunday’s tour. 
It’s just a really eye-opening experience. We started very small at the beginning. We went from playing VFW shows and basement shows and driving to shows in PJ’s SVU with merch boxes on our laps to making friends with bands of a similar size and sharing vans. We used to split vans with other bands on the road. Then we finally were able to afford our own. We got to do Warped Tour, and now we’re almost at our 100th show with Bayside. And we’re at the Tell All Your Friends Tour now. It’s like climbing a mountain. We’re very lucky and fortunate.

Before the tour started, you did the five year shows. Have the two back to back just been a surreal experience?
It doesn’t seem real at all. You have to stop and say that it’s real. I think music and music entertainment is so random. It’s like that website Stumbleupon. You click that website and you don’t know what fucking site you’re ending up on. You don’t know where you’re going to be, who you’re going to be with, how long the tours are going to be, or anything. It’s all randomness and you enjoy it for what it is. You take in and document as much of it as possible. 

It’s an honor to be doing this tour, but have fans been cool too?
We played a few small venue shows and it was awesome headlining them. But to go from that to this is a big contrast. A lot don’t know who we are, but that’s the case with all bands. Every band has to start somewhere. The more you stick it out, the more you prove to yourself and your fans that this is what you want to do with your life. What comes from the heart speaks to the heart. If you put as much as yourselves into your songs as possible, there will be someone that relates. That’s what we’ll continue to do.

Listen & Forgive has been out a year now, and it’s certainly opened Transit to new fans. Are you happy with the amount of ground you’ve covered?
Absolutely. It’s been very surprising. The only noticeable jump from a record we had before that was Stay Home. Before that, we were just a band that would be on shows. After Stay Home, we noticed that there were a lot more kids into it, and we decided to do this full time. We did horrific touring. We’d tour months on end to where we were delirious. It takes a toll on you. We took a break for a while and did Keep This To Yourself. That got a good response, but not as much as we wanted to. Something Left Behind was put out to give fans everything we’ve done. That was good for us. Listen & Forgive was the same jump as Stay Home

The band has been writing a lot. How are the songs coming along?
It’s a really natural writing process. It’s like we’re writing the way we used to with Stay Home and This Will Not Define Us. The songs don’t sound the same, but it’s the method and sequence of how we’re writing the songs. It’s a similar recipe, but it’s not coming to come out the same. Listen & Forgive was completely different. It could sound similar, but songs like “Over Your Head” and “Skipping Stone” grow as they move along. That’s what we’re trying to hone in. We want that growing build up. You have a climax in a song and there’s momentum. It just rolls and rolls until it peaks. That’s where we’re out right now. 

Tim had Misser and you have Long Lost. Do you think that’s helping too, in terms of writing shifts?
I just recorded eleven songs for Long Lost. That’s still up in the air, in terms of a release. Those songs were just backbone. Me, an acoustic guitar, and my friend.
POZ: Do you think that’s helped with Transit?
Joe: All the little insights I found from Long Lost can go into the writing of Transit. We worked on Long Lost until there was nothing else we could add. It was exactly what I wanted to sound like.The songs are confident inside themselves. That, I learned throughout the writing. I’m going to bring that over to Transit and my main focus. That’s always going to be my main focus. It’s just basically a really good warm-up exercise. As soon as this record is done, I’ll write more for Long Lost, or I’ve been ghost writing for musicians in Massachusetts as well. I know a lot of good singers who don’t know how to write. There are some incredible female vocalists, and I can’t hit their notes, but if I can write for someone like that I will. I’ll always try to have a place in music, whether it’s through me, a side-project, or someone with a voice. 

When do you hope to finish demoing?
We have more than enough for a record. We’re just chipping away from them until it’s maxed out. We’ll leave it alone when we get to that point. A design is never finished, it’s just abandoned. You just need to choose where it needs to be and you stop. The Transit stuff is just about at that point. We can’t wait to be in the recording process. It’s going to be a completely different animal when it comes to tape. It’s all that’s on my mind. Until it’s done it’s just going to eat away at me.

Are you hoping for a spring or summer release?
Hopefully. The Long Lost stuff is coming out in early-2013. The Transit stuff is tentative. We don’t know yet. 

Is Long Lost going to tour?
Yeah. We don’t have management or things set in stone. I have to find a way to safely book it around Transit. Similarly how Tim has to do it with Misser. I’m going to have more of a means to do what I love to do. 

Will Transit be off the road for a while?
Once we have the record out, we’ll hit the road hard. 

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