Photo: Michael Glockner
To record their Rise Records full-length debut, which is due October 3, TRANSIT hunkered down at Maximum Sound Studio in Danvers, Massachusetts, with producer Gary Cioffi (who just happens to be the older brother of new guitarist Torre Cioffi). Guitarist/vocalist Tim Landers brought AP up to speed with their recording process.
How long have you guys been in the studio?
We weren’t going to do the record here [in this studio], but that’s how things panned out. When we got home from tour, we were going to be writing a record and we rented a room at [Maximum Sound Studio] for practice. We were coming up here every day, just working on songs and stuff for the record. Then Gary [Torre’s older brother], he was really liking the songs, and so he was like, “Yo, if you guys want to demo any of them, just come in to the other room and we’ll do that.” We started doing that, and then we started just doing more and more pre-production here, and things just kind of fell out of place with our original recording plan. It was just like “Well, we love being here. Everybody here knows the record that we want to make and the record was born in this building. So why not just do it here?” And it’s actually turning out to be the coolest thing.
That’s exactly what happens when things turn out the way they’re meant to be.
Now, I just feel like it couldn’t have worked out any better. There was a lot of stressful points; things fell apart and rebuilt themselves over and over again. Now it’s just moving in such a strong direction. So it’s cool.
What we ended up doing—which we’ve never done before—is [try to do] everything live. Like, when we were doing drum tracks, we were all in the room playing, and so we had all of those tapes just in case they were good. And it gave everything a cool, really nice vibe. It has such a good feel to it, and the songs, they have more life than anything we’ve ever done before. So once we finished up that in a couple of days, we probably spent two or three days on drums, tracking all of that live, getting some groundwork in with the bass and the guitars and we’ve just been doing some layers and re-doing parts that were insufficient. I believe in, like, fifteen minutes we’re about to start vocals. [Laughs.]
How many songs have you been working on total?
Well when we were writing, we wrote…[I think total it] was, like, 23. We’re probably going to do the b-sides on a later date because we have that short little tour coming up with Bayside, so I think we’re going to do a b-sides for that. But right now we’re tracking thirteen.
What is your take on how the entire album is coming together?
From my perspective, I think it sound awesome. It’s definitely leaps and bounds my favorite thing we’ve ever done. It’s the best-written songs we’ve ever made, I think it’s the coolest sound. We’ve really found a niche. I don’t know; I think it’s awesome. That’s pretty much all I have to say about it. [Laughs.] I’m excited about it.
What’s your favorite song so far?
It’s this song that, right now, is called “Over Your Head.” It’s a little bit mellower, but it’s got a real cool vibe to it. It’s kind of laid-back; I don’t know how to describe it. When it was just drums and bass, it sounded like a ‘50’s song.
Lyrically, are there any themes or anything coming out?
Joe [Boynton, vocalist] is the one who writes all the lyrics, but I know that he’s got some underlying messages in a lot of it. And I don’t think it’s anything that he would want me to talk about, because he could explain it way better than I could. But I know there’s definitely an underlying theme behind everything. I’ll let him take care of that when he wants to.
Is there anything in particular that’s happened to lead you to the music on the album?
I can’t really think of anything other than maturity, really. We’ve been a band for like five or six years now; we’ve spent the last couple of years of our lives touring pretty consistently and making music every day. I finally feel like we have found what we want to sound like and really have a grasp on it. And this is our first record with our new guitarist [Torre Cioffi]. Once [he and I] started writing together, it really just clicked. Things just started to flowing really well, and all the songs just came naturally.
Band chemistry is like baseball. You subtract one player and things are out of whack—and then you add someone and things are better than ever.
Exactly, and our drummer and myself have been playing together since he was, like, 11 and I was, like, 13. So writing songs for us [is] so easy, we can tell what each other are going to do. And Torre just fell into place really quickly and PJ [Jefferson], our bass player, has always just known what to do. It comes really naturally for us.
In The Studio: Transit
Photo: Michael Glockner