There’s a couple firsts in store for Boston rock band Transit this summer, most notably being their entry into the list of Warped Tour alum. It’s a bit surprising to hear that their style of pop punk now indie rock infused hadn’t made the Warped Tour circuit until now. Making up for lost time, Transit will be giving fans the chance to catch them twice on the tour, something guitarist Tim Landers is excited about. Though heading out into new territory, Transit must feel right at home having toured with several of the bands on this year’s roster.
Formed a little over five years ago, guitarists Landers and Torre Cioffi, vocalist Joe Boynton, bassist PJ Jefferson and drummer Daniel Frazier are planning to work on their fourth album sometime this year. Having signed to Rise Records in 2010, their first album off of their new label, Listen And Forgive, came out last year and one song was revisited before heading out for the summer.
Knowing how to start the day off right, Landers had just finished making his breakfast order on one of the few days he and bandmates have off. Below, Landers took time to talk about touring and something missing from his suitcase
You had yesterday and today off. What were you guys doing to fill the time?
Yesterday we had to wait around in-between L.A. and San Diego because our guitarist Torre had to fly home for his brother’s wedding, he was the best man. But he was in Philadelphia, like, waiting to figure out when he was going to either fly to L.A. or San Diego and he got to San Diego last night. So we hung out here. Now today, I think we’re about to go to Mission Beach in San Diego. There’s a bowling tournament for Warped Tour tonight that we’re going to go down to.
Is this your first full run on Warped Tour?
Yeah, it’s our first time on Warped Tour at all. We haven’t played a show on Warped Tour until this year, so we’re excited to be a part of the whole thing.
How did you prepare for being out on Warped Tour for the whole summer?
We tour during the summer normally, so we’re used to being gone for most of the summer. But we’ve heard horror stories about being on Warped Tour, so we talked to a lot of friends about how to prepare for it in terms of we haven’t done it. I mean, people definitely made it out to be a little more difficult than it actually is, but we may be a little more blessed because we have so many friends on the tour this year. So it’s just like pulling through, learning from everyone, and just taking your time. It’s different from a regular tour because it’s an all-day thing. It’s cool, it’s a very fun day though—it’s a good time.
I think it was you who posted a photo of all your suitcases packed for Warped Tour. Have you realized you’ve forgotten anything?
The first day of tour, I showed up and realized I didn’t bring any sunblock, which should have been the first thing I packed. It’s like I got sunburn in like 50 minutes. I ended up grabbing some, but for future reference, I need a plethora of sunblock.
Does anything stand out to you as different from a regular tour that you had to change up?
We try to do the tour more so we try to get the crowd interacted because it’s an outdoor festival vibe. We change up songs a little bit, like we do things to get the crowd to sing along and interact with us and just create a great experience for everyone overall.
Any surprises in your set?
Every day is another thing. So, there’s always room for surprises.
Are you doing acoustics sets in addition to your regular one?
Actually, every day on the Warped Tour we have our full band set on the Ernie Ball Stage and then we have an acoustic set at the acoustic stage, which is called the Acoustic Basement. We’re one of the only bands that [are] doing that every day. It’s fun to give two sets a day especially to showcase both sides of our band because we’ve always done a lot of acoustic stuff. It’s a cool thing.
Do you feel the acoustic versions bring out something different and more in your music than with the full band versions?
I mean, it’s two different monsters because a lot of our songs start as just an acoustic start, with acoustic guitars and vocal tracks. It’s cool to get the opportunity to revisit that stage of the song and even play off that. It’s nice to be able to bring both sides of that out.
Do you prefer one over the other?
Honestly, it depends on the day with me. Sometimes I have more fun acoustic, sometimes I have more fun with the full band. In the end, it’s more fun to be a band just because you got everyone with you and you have more energy just playing rock songs.
You guys have a new version of “Skipping Stone” posted. Can you revisit that and give the meaning behind this song?
That’s a funny one, because that one was originally acoustic on our record and then we wound up doing a full band version of, which is kind of the opposite of what we’ve just discussed. It’s a song that we all just really love. It just felt right to keep it on the album at first, but afterwards we would be practicing it or getting a live version of it ready and our producer Gary Cioffi was like, “We have to do a full band version of this” and our label Rise Records wanted us to do it. It was just a fun thing to put together. It’s a song about taking sad moments in your life and turning them into something productive—like songs or art or anything like that—and just channeling that in a positive way.
Will this be coming out soon on a 7”?
We’re putting it out on a 7” with another new song and a B-side from Listen And Forgive. It should be out very soon, but I’m not sure.
Are you guys into collecting vinyl yourselves?
Yeah, we’re all big fans of vinyl records. Like at the end of tour, you just grab vinyl from each of the bands and it’s nice to have that collection at home and it’s such a beautiful thing.
Do you see a bigger response towards the release of your music on vinyl than a normal digital format?
I think in today’s day and age it’s really good to have vinyl at least for a band like us because it’s tough to get people to buy CDs. I think vinyls are a more welcoming thing to buy because there’s more art in it, it’s a bigger thing. You can take your time and sit down and play it on the record player. It’s an intriguing situation, so I’m a big fan of them.
Next stop for you guys is Australia after Warped Tour.
Yeah, after Warped Tour we’re going over to Australia to do our first headlining tour there and then we’ll be going back to the UK to support a band called Lower Than Atlantis and hopefully we’ll throw some other things in-between there too.
Have you been to Australia before?
It will be our first time there and we’ve been trying to get there for a long time. We have a lot of fans out there that have been asking us to come out and we’re really excited to play there for the first time.
Transit will play at PNC Bank Arts Center on July 13, the Susquehanna Bank Center on July 20, and Nassau Coliseum on July 21. For more information, go to transitband.com.