The recent release of Transit’s album Joyride puts their uplifting indie style in a forward motion, giving their constant touring powerful stamina. After parting ways with band member Tim Landers in August, Transit take on a stronger and more developed form of themselves as they present Joyride. MEB editor Emma had the chance to ask lead singer Joe Boynton a few questions about this successful album, as well as the up and downs of touring and what’s in store for the band’s future.
MEB: Congratulations on the release of your new album Joyride! You have been making music as a band for quite a while now; How have the dynamics and process of songwriting and recording changed as you grow as musicians?
Joe: Besides now being a four piece, nothing’s really changed. We’re just a lot pickier about what we’re looking for. Half of the basic demos (acoustic and vocals) for Joyride were written inside music venues and hotel rooms around the United States while on tour. The other half of the demos were written in the studio we recorded at (Maximum Sound) in Danvers Massachusetts. We finished writing the final tracks for Joyride all together in the same room they were recorded in.
What was your original game plan going into the studio for Joyride and how did it change?
Our plan was to write as many songs as possible, pick our favorites, then aim for a balance between uplifting and sad subject matter. We feel like we hit that goal pretty accurately on this one.
Did any specific styles come easier than others when creating music? If so, which ones and why?
There’s something really cool about loving what you do. All the “work” doesn’t feel like work; it feels like learning a new trick, beating a high score, or cooking something you’ve never tried before. You find what inspires you and then chase after it with everything you have. “Follow Me”, “Nothing Left To Lose”, and “Sweet Resistance”, took a little more time and effort to create, but no nothing came easier or harder to us; it all felt very natural.
Which song on the record took the longest to make it sound the way you wanted it to? What were the major issues you had with creating that vision you had?
“Sweet Resistance” – The first vocal takes we recorded were very hard to top because they were recorded in the room while the band was tracking drums. It was hard to emulate the vibe we wanted when it came time to go for the final takes in the vocal booth. After many tries, we got it. Our goal was to make “Sweet Resistance” as fun and as energetic as possible.
What were some of your biggest inspirations while creating the record?
Things that inspire me are all pretty random. I watch skate videos and documentaries, read, listen to podcasts, play video games, and have a lot of crazy friends at home with plenty to talk about. In the end, what I write for lyrics comes out pretty randomly. I get a tiny picture in my head, I write it down, I explore what it’s trying to tell me, and I ask it questions. When making any big lyrical decisions, I just go with my gut instinct. Lyrics and melodies are there for me to explore; it’s my subconscious mind trying to tell me something new about who I am as a person.
What kinds of music were you listening to while making the album? Do you think it influenced the result of the record in any way?
I don’t know. I just listen to what I like. During the writing of Joyride I was really into The Replacements, The Weakerthans, Smoking Popes, Jet’s To Brazil, Maritime, and Rilo Kiley.
Most of Joyride has very uplifting themes. What is one thing you want listeners to take away from the album after they hear it?
Make sure you’re genuinely enjoying and navigating your own life. Your life is yours to ruin and it’s yours to dream up.
Joyride also has a lot of different musical elements worked into it that makes it a cohesive and unique record. Where and when did these skills and musical tastes form in your career and how did they impact your writing and recording style?
We just write a lot and perform live a lot. I’d say our skills form slowly more and more with every show on tour and with every day we spend in the studio. We really respect bands that alter and change their sound and style with every release. Music should be about reinventing yourself and taking risks, as much a people these days talk about it the opposite way; it’s not a catering service. We’re going to do exactly what we want to do with our band.
You guys are now on your headliner tour and then hopping on the Go Down in History Tour immediately after it ends. How do you manage to maintain healthy habits and relationships while constantly being on the road?
It’s different for everyone. You either have friends and family who are understanding or you don’t. We are very lucky to have people in our lives who are understanding.
What has been the best memory of your headlining tour so far?
Our new merch-guy Andrew “royal, the rock” Johnson made stains all over his new shirt at noodles and company, crowning him the king of Funk Mountain. The end.
Now with a new album out and plenty of touring ahead, what are you most excited for in the near future?
Just to play the new songs live. A new song feels like a first kiss or skydiving. Music makes me feel like I’m high, alive, and at peace all at the same time. It’s the greatest drug on earth.
Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans and supporters?
We love you guys! You help fuel our fire. I’m really looking forward to talking with everyone of you at upcoming shows; it’s the best part of this whole “music” thing. It’s the connection you get to have with yourself as well as other people. Music is a bridge between strangers