Taking Back Sunday can claim one of alternative rock's seminal moments; the release of their 2002 classic Tell All Your Friends. It was a record that picked up from where bands like The Get Up Kids and Jimmy Eat World had left off. Taking nods from their predecessor's flirtation with pop culture, Taking Back Sunday opted for an all-out, sloppy love affair instead. That album's perfectly titled namesake captured the beauty of the songs contained within. You heard it and you yapped to everyone you knew about it. In honor of aTell All Your Friends's 10th anniversary, the original line-up (which had gone separate directions over the years) reunited to give fans a special dose of tear worthy nostalgia and sentiment (perhaps you saw our man's coverage of the tour's recent stop in NYC). Singer Adam Lazzara and guitarist John Nolan also felt fit to give our audience a similar treatment, stopping by Baeble HQ a couple months back to play a trio of songs from their past. It's a compelling change of pace from the electric mayhem the Long Island outfit has been serving up on tour. Have a look at some acoustic performances and learn a little bit about the story that brought these boys back together after so many years. We have a feeling you'll be telling your friends all about this one.
Captions by Speechpad. com Skin against skin covering bone on the body you're in is aggressively slim Yeah, you've earned the clothes you put on. Cover up where you've been Leave no scars at home let them slide down the length of your spine across your knees down to your feet and slow our momentum each time I'm 'minded they're there. You don't have to pretend to be an orphan anymore You don't have to pretend to be important anymore. That brutal youth, exhumed and removed entombed in box cachet across your room. It slows our momentum each time you're reminded it's there. Your anxious tongue spills cautious words. It has gotten so used to being misunderstood. You do your best to control it. You remind yourself that you care. You don't have to pretend to be an orphan anymore You don't have to pretend to be an important anymore. Say, hey. Hey, hey. Sad savior. Savior. You don't have to pretend to be an orphan anymore. Oh, never, not ever again, is what you swore the last time this happened. Said never, not ever again. Are you gonna settle for those bastards? No, never, not ever again. Never. Not ever. Not ever. Never, not ever again, is what you swore. You don't have to pretend to be an orphan anymore. You don't have to pretend to be important anymore anymore. Say, hey. Hey, hey Sad savior. Savior. You don't have to pretend to be an orphan, not an orphan anymore. - The first song we played is called Sad Savior and that one is one of my favorites off of the--, off of our self titled re--, self titled , titled record. Self titled record. - Self titled record. - Self titled record. - Sad Savior. - It's um, the, the song--, that one might--, it went through a ton of changes and then I figured it was--, just had this idea to make it kinda um, make the beginning guitar to kinda move more like a, like an old standard would. And um, and that really just made all the difference in it just sorta took on this life of its own. This song is titled Your Own Disaster. And it was written a very long time ago by a much young group, us. But we're still equally as sensitive. - Agreed. - Agreed. I, I would even say, over the years, we've gotten more handsome. Kinda like George Clooney, how he just gets more handsome. - Yeah, I agree. I think that's uh, safe to say. We're very much like George Clooney. - In every single way. - Yeah. - Not the E. R. George Clooney, though. - Nowadays. - Yeah, yeah. - Nowadays. Handsome. - Whenever you are. Just think of this and me as just a few of many things to lie around to clutter up your shelves. And I wish you weren't worth the wait cuz there are some things that I'd like to say to you I dont think that you know what you've been missing. No, I don't think that you know you've been missing. Now, I dare you to forget marks you left across my neck from those nights when we were both found at our best. I could make this obvious and you, you could deny it all in one breath come and shrug me off your shoulders. And I don't think that you know what you've been missing. No, I don't think that you know what you've been missing. Is that I don't think that you know Is that I don't think that you know Is that I don't think that you know what you've been missing. Hey, let's have fun. It's the weekend and let's have fun. It's the weekend hey, let's have fun. It's the weekend hey let's, we'll have fun. It's the weekend. No, I don't think that you know what you've been missing. Hey, let's have fun It's the weekend No, I don't think that you know what you've been missing. Hey, let's have fun. It's the weekend No, I don't think that you know what you've been missing. It's the weekend, hey, let's have fun. I don't think that you know what you've been missing. We'll have fun. It's the weekend. Forget me It's that simple Just Forget me It's that simple Forget me It's that simple Forget me It's that simple Forget me. It's that simple. Forget me. It's that simple. Forget me. It's that simple. Just forget me. It's that simple. - So, we uh, we put our first record out ten years ago on Victory Records and it was call Tell All Your Friends. And, and then after that record John and um, Shaun left and um, they started a band called Straylight Run but we kept going with Taking Back Sunday. And then it's been--, it was like eight years before um, John and I even talked. And then uh, so, it was really our drummer, Mark. Um, cuz we we're kinda get, getting towards this standstill just with our re, relationships in the band and all that. So, then, our drummer, Mark, um, was like, "well, why don't we call John and Sean and see if, see, see if they want to make some music. " And um, so, that's kind of how it started and, I mean, here we are today. I thought a lot about the morning after and there's some things I need to get off of my chest. Forgive the preconceptions we both surely have. Like what if the grass is always green. Once you taste, it taste much sweeter. I don't wanna talk. I don't wanna talk. Well, I don't wanna talk I don't wanna talk Peel back his skin. Invite me in. Am I just like the rest of them? Rest of them The sum of my father and all his sins. I didn't need an answer when. Oh, say nothing at all. You said it. Oh. Say nothing at all And I see so much clearer, through the smoke and past the mirrors, past the bright brutality of the people we have been. But you didn't need that explanation. No, I had no expectations. I don't wanna talk. I don't wanna talk I don't wanna talk I don't wanna talk Peel back your skin. You let me in. Am I just like the rest of them? Rest of them The sum of my father and all his sins. And I didn't need an answer when You said it. Oh, say nothing at all. You said it. Oh. Ooh, ooh. Waiting for us with suspense. And I hope that foot of my bed. I don't wanna talk. I don't wanna talk. I don't wanna talk. Am I just like the rest of them? The rest of them The sum of my father and all his sins And I didn't need an answer. You said it. Oh say nothing at all You said it. Oh. Say nothing at all. You said it all. Say nothing at all. At all. You said it all. - What happened was um, we were releasing a song on um, on our website like the demo version of the, of the song just to let people hear what we were working on. And I got an email um, that said we needed a name. And I got the email on my phone so, I went to my computer to open a file to upload the file to. And then on--, you know when you open up like your--, to go to your email, first there's that page with like, the news and a little ticker. - Mm-hm. - Um, that was just the first thing I saw. I was like, that's what we're naming the song, Best Place To Be a Mom, there we go. So, that's how that happened. Yeah, it, it, it's um, or like since we re, recorded and, and, just with the, the touring that we've done you know, like, it feels like a, like a, like a, like a family again, like a gang and like a brotherhood or something. It's um, it's tours for a long time, it didn't --, there was, there was a lot of sep, separation. So, it just feels nice that all be working together. It's like Voltron. It's like when Voltron. It's like when Voltron forms, protects the universe. - Yeah. - That's, that's what our band's like.
"Sometimes it takes some time to remember where you were headed in the first place and the people you intended to go there with..." -- Taking Back Sunday
This is the record that a lot of people never thought would happen: A brand new Taking Back Sunday album that features the same line-up as the band's platinum-selling 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends. Although the players here -- frontman Adam Lazzara, guitarists Eddie Reyes and John Nolan, drummer Mark O'Connell and bassist Shaun Cooper -- are the same, it's important to point out that this album isn't a sequel to this band's debut as much as it is the beginning of a new chapter of innovation and productivity from this celebrated Long Island rock act.
"When I listen to a song like 'Sad Savior' or 'Who Are You Anyway?' it's evident that this record isn't true to any scene or genre," Lazzara responds when asked what aspect of Taking Back Sunday he's most proud of. Nolan -- who left Taking Back Sunday alongside Cooper in 2003 -- echoes this sentiment, adding "I can't imagine us having written this album after Tell All Your Friends," explains Nolan. "It doesn't feel like the follow-up up to that album and we definitely wouldn't have been able to bring these songs to life if we hadn't gone through all the experiences that we've all been through during the past seven years."
Since the release of Tell All Your Friends, Taking Back Sunday has released three more studio albums, which have sold over two million copies, headlined arenas, toured multiple times in amphitheaters with bands such as Linkin Park, Weezer and Blink-182, and shared Festival Stages with the likes of The Police, The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and Phoenix. In August of 2011 they will perform on the main stage at Reading and Leeds festivals for the fourth time. Cooper and Nolan, meanwhile, went on to form critically-acclaimed band Straylight Run, who in 2007 released The Needles The Space on Universal Republic Records, headlined Warped Tour and performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. However, all of the members admit that there is a certain chemistry that only exists when these five musicians are together in the same room.
What began with the simple idea of all five members coming together at the Sonic Ranch in the border town of Tornillo, Texas (near El Paso), last year quickly resulted in a sonic windfall that saw the band writing nearly a dozen songs -- and from there Taking Back Sunday never looked back. "The whole experience of us getting back together was really freeing," Lazzara explains. "We went into all of this knowing that our music didn't have to sound a certain way, so we just decided to see what happens and this is what came of it." Nolan adds, "I think we all knew that we had to take this band to a place where it hadn't been before for it to really work; it couldn't all be about nostalgia."
After two more writing sessions at the Sonic Ranch and a stint in Seattle at the Robert Lang Studios, the band reconvened in Los Angeles with Eric Valentine (who produced their 2006 album Louder Now as well as albums by Queens Of The Stone Age and The All-American Rejects) in late August to begin work on the band's self-titled album, taking periodic breaks to incorporate the new songs that continued to pour out of their collaborative efforts. "I like to think of Eric as a rocket scientist because he's so skilled when it comes to production," Lazzara explains. "He spent so much time making sure everything sounded perfect and each track's personality really got to shine."
Undeniably Taking Back Sunday's most varied record, Taking Back Sunday is also their most ambitious, and it showcases the band's music in ways that you might not expect judging from their previous efforts. This is stridently evident on the album's opener "El Paso," a raging post-hardcore anthem that is by far the heaviest thing Taking Back Sunday have ever put onto tape. "That song came from a riff that Mark had that had gotten the snub in the past, which I'm glad about because I don't think it would have been as awesome as it is now," Lazzara explains. "I feel like that song really embodies the mood and environment we were all in when we first when down to the Sonic Ranch."
Another track Lazzara is especially proud of is the album's first single "Faith (When I Let You Down)," a song that's equally as cathartic in a more pop-oriented context. "I tried a lot of new things on this record and the fact that there's a lot of space in the verses is something we had never done before," he explains. Ultimately Taking Back Sunday is full of sonic firsts, from the atmospheric album closer "Call Me In The Morning" to the energetic rocker "Best Places To Be A Mom," but Valentine's specialty is making sure that the disc exists as a cohesive whole. "Even though times have changed, we haven't, and none of us are the kind of music listeners who just want to own a few singles," Nolan explains. "We all like to listen to our favorite albums from start to finish and naturally we wanted to make a record that sounds like that."
Lyrically Taking Back Sunday sees Lazzara and Nolan exploring relationships, a theme they focused on last time they worked together as well. However, instead of singing about the insular Long Island hardcore scene, that landscape has broadened to include the band members' respective relationships with their wives, kids and God. "John and I are both teetering on real adulthood, so with this record we both wanted to experiment with how straight-forward we could be lyrically," Lazzara says. Instead of being cloaked in metaphor, the lyrics on Taking Back Sunday show the band questioning their relationships as much as they embrace them, resulting in the most honest Taking Back Sunday album to date.
Lazzara is also quick to point out that adding Nolan back into the mix helped him expand his own range and gave these songs a life of their own. "I've found that I write better when there are two perspectives on the same subject; there are some songs on this record where John was coming from a totally different place than I was but when we put the two things together this whole new idea grew from it," he explains. "All of our tastes have changed over time but everyone was so trusting during the writing process and I think that allowed us to go certain places we hadn't visited in the past."
Let's face it, it would be simple for Taking Back Sunday to get back together solely in order to embark on an anniversary tour for Tell All Your Friends, but despite their previous successes they are quick to point out this record is a brand new beast that is ushering in a different era for the band. "This album isn't us trying to be something we're not," Lazzara summarizes, "it's just us and I'm really proud of that." If you listen to Taking Back Sunday with an open mind, you'll agree that it is an important record that marks a giant leap forward for a band that truly defies categorization.