Small Town Titans is a rock band from Harrisburg, PA, with a unique sound an impressive do-it-yourself attitude when it comes to making music.
STT goes from managing themselves to recording in their basement, which leads listeners to believe that they have a great sense of freedom. Where it would seem to become difficult or take a toll on their creative mindset while trying to create new music, the band disagrees.
"It certainly is a little overwhelming at times on the business side of things, but creatively, it’s always been the same." Drummer, Jonny Ross said, "one of us has an idea for a song, we’ll work on it for a bit, and if we like it, then we’ll focus in on making it the best song it can possibly be, it’s always about the song."
"The setting and atmosphere is certainly more professional at Hybrid Studios. We loved working with Kevin and he’s a great friend to the band. The reason we started recording songs on our own was simply the convenience factor." Ross said, "Kevin’s a busy guy and his schedule is limited, like any other studio’s schedule would be honestly. It’s been very nice for us to record constantly and at a pace we are comfortable with."
While making music with Soffera at Hybrid and on their own, the band also uses other outlets such as YouTube to post their music and sees great benefits from uploading there.
"We see YouTube has an EXTREMELY underrated way for bands and artists to get heard and make money while they’re doing it. The greatest benefit we’ve had from focusing on our YouTube channel has been a growth in constant exposure." Ross said, "We release a new video every Wednesday, and when a new fan discovers us, there’s a ton of content for them to find thanks to our YouTube channel. The more content you have, the more your fans will dig it!"
STT is a band but they've made it clear that they also look at making music as a business and make sure that both aspects stay connected.
"They [business and music] have always been connected for us. We all went to school for business, so from day one, we took the business end of our career as seriously as the songwriting. I don’t think we’ve ever played a show without a merch table," Ross said, "we always have our mailing list signup sheet out, and we always head to our merch booth to meet new fans, take pictures, and sign autographs. From the moment we load in to a venue until the moment we leave, we are working and we know it."
Their work ethic is strong and important for them, making music consistently is ideal and they have a process that they stick to, making that happen.
"We get together usually at least twice a week to write, record and film new songs and/or YouTube videos. It takes time and energy for sure, but we love this “work.” We get to constantly create now, and that’s a dream come true for any artist," said Ross.
Throughout the music produced in their record, Reflection, it showcases so many different elements within the music and incredible vocal range. While having a distinct rock sound there's no limit to what inspires them artistically.
"These days, as funny as it may sound, we really do just love bands and artists that have substance to us." Ross said "We’re old school. We love big guitars, big drums, and awesome vocals. We love classic rock. We love grunge. We love artists outside of our genre like Eminem, or the Zac Brown band. We love artists that can really play. Nothing beats a great live band!"
From their album, Reflection, to their recent releases, there's a clear progression in maturity. Nothing seems intimidating or out of reach for them tryout.
"I believe the maturation of our songwriting comes from natural growth as musicians, and also from being in a band together for nearly 8 years. We can sort of finish each other’s sentences musically now, so to speak," Ross said, "we’ve also become much more open with each other’s ideas. No one is afraid to try anything once, and I think that’s really important for bands and artists. We can write an acoustic ballad, and we can also write a heavy, ambitious 8 minute rocker. We’re not afraid to try new things musically as long as it has some authenticity to it."
A noticeable quality about STT is that their songs are mostly upbeat with impressive technicalities that makes them rare among other bands. Listening through their tracks you'll find "Dragonfly," a touching gem that stands out.
""Dragonfly” is indeed a special song. While just about every song we write is a collaboration from jamming in a room together, this one is a rare exception. This one is all Phil, our lead singer and bass player. Unfortunately, his mother was diagnosed with cancer several years ago and “Dragonfly” was written the week before she passed. We heard the demo he recorded and we tried to add some things to it, but it just didn’t improve the song," Ross said, "it was agreed pretty quickly that this one should just be Phil, his voice, and one acoustic guitar recorded in one complete take. And that’s exactly what we did. The song is for anyone who has lost someone near and dear to them. It’s very touching, yet optimistic. It reaffirms that whoever you may have lost, you’re going to seem them again some day."
Re-focusing in on the band's upbeat tracks, their cover of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” will entertain any listeners ears with theatrics in the music to the animated vocals. This song is fun cover of a Christmas classic, resulting in going viral.
"We obviously were not prepared for what happened. They don’t write a book about what to do once your band goes viral. What we did notice right away was that this song really did convert many, many new fans for us. People weren’t just checking out the Grinch and moving on," Ross said, "they were checking out the band in general, and finding lots and lots of new songs, videos, and other content thanks to our new YouTube strategy. It’s been an absolute joy to see what’s been happening. Our band is now getting noticed by many thanks to the old school method of word of mouth, much like our old school approach to writing songs. We couldn’t be happier!"
With being at the end of the first month of 2019, STT already has things cooking for the year to come.
"New videos and songs will drop every Wednesday. Our booking agent is putting together tours as we speak. Our hope is to get on some major festivals and really show people what we are made of as a live band," Ross said, "we pride ourselves on the energy and intensity we bring live and are ready to play in front of as many people as possible!"