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Titus Andronicus Summons ‘Will to Live’ on New Album

New Jersey band's seventh album was inspired by classics from The Who, Def Leppard and The Boss
Photo: Ray Concepcion

Epic rock albums such as The Who’s Who’s Next and Def Leppard’s Hysteria served as key inspiration for Titus Andronicus’ new project The Will to Live, which will arrive Sept. 30 from Merge Records. The veteran Glen Rock, N.J.-reared indie rock act recorded the album with producer Howard Bilerman in Montreal; rousing first single “(I’m) Screwed)” is out today (July 19), accompanied by a video featuring Titus Andronicus performing on a flatbed truck during the Glen Rock Independence Day parade.

“It may strike some as ironic we had to go to Canada to record our equivalent to Born in the U.S.A.,” says frontman Patrick Stickles, “but the pursuit of Ultimate Rock knows no borders.”


No stranger to conceptual-leaning albums such as 2010’s Civil War-themed The Monitor, Titus Andronicus here conjures a narrator struggling with his “faith and fortitude,” according to Stickles. “The narrative of the album will reveal whether that pressure crushes him or produces a diamond.”

The Will to Live also ruminates on the 2021 death of founding Titus Andronicus member Matt “Money” Miller, who was also Stickles’ cousin. “Certain recent challenges, some unique to myself and some we have all shared, but particularly the passing of my dearest friend, have forced me to recognize not only the precious and fragile nature of life, but also the interconnectivity of all life,” Stickles says.

“Our long-suffering narrator can only arrive at this conclusion through a painful and arduous odyssey through hell itself,” he continues. “This is a Titus Andronicus record, after all.”

The group will launch a fall tour on release date at Cat’s Cradle near the Merge homebase of Carrboro, N.C. Visit Titus Andronicus’ Web site for more details.