Some rock bands form to get girls.
Some rock bands exist solely for the free booze.
And some rock bands, like Fort Worth's Titanmoon, aspire to do something more, something bigger than headlining a local club.
Meshing music and social activism, Tyler Casey and his bandmates -- bassist Zack Felton, lead guitarist Rene Floyd and drummer Trey Ware -- are goodwill ambassadors disguised as indie rockers. In the past year, Titanmoon has journeyed to Pakistan and Japan, taking with it a desire to make the world a better place. The group has met with dignitaries, aligned with orphanages and helped Texan and Japanese sister cities stay in touch.
"It encouraged us to keep doing what we're doing," Casey says.
The extensive travel, meetings with officials in Pakistan and working with an orphanage there (known as Inshallah House) filtered into Titanmoon's music, although not necessarily in ways you'd expect. The title of its latest album, We All See Stars, is perhaps the most obvious indicator; Casey says it's meant to illustrate that, at everyone's core, we're all just human.
We All See Stars follows 2008's stark, ambitious concept album Film Black. With its glittering, synth-laden choruses and arena-ready bombast (lead-off track Let Go all but begs to bounce off the giant HDTV at Cowboys Stadium), this new record sounds like one from an entirely different band.
But this, according to Casey, is deliberate. Titanmoon was founded on a principle of constant evolution.
"Music is always changing, and people are always changing," Casey says. "I didn't want to be in a band that was a kitschy, you-only-fit-in-a-certain-space kind of band."
We All See Stars also underscores Titanmoon's comfort with dramatic shifts in style. The album swings from the epic (Let Go) to the more intimate ( American Dream, which incorporates snippets of a sermon delivered in East Texas). And while the international trip was a profound experience for the band, much of Stars concerns itself with affairs of the heart, rather than affairs of state. The group will showcase the new tunes Friday at Lola's Saloon Sixth, with the Early Republic and Phantom Caste.
Beyond Stars, Casey wants Titanmoon to carry him and his bandmates as far as possible. The foursome plans to return to Pakistan and Japan this fall, hitting the same places but also considerably expanding its itinerary.
"I'd like this [making music] to be a career rather than something we do when we can," Casey says. "I would like to be able to do this full-time and make a difference as well."