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"An artist must be ruthlessly selfish".
08/15/09 at 09:30 AM by Noah Fawkes
Some quotes I've compiled from some of my favorite artists about the need to grow musically,even if this means alienating some of their older fans:

"Why would you expect that? I would be disappointed too. Sorry. Why don't you just listen to this one for what it is for a little while and see what you think. If I expect a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and bite into a tuna-melt, I'm gonna be a little weirded out. But then I will say, "Oh, I like tuna melts even better. Maybe I should just eat my sandwich and not wish it was something else."
Dustin Kensrue

"In my opinion, everyone should without final judgement on a record until you've heard it at least 10 times. Especially if it's from a band you already like.

As far as doing a record like Artist, it would have to be a very contrived effort, which we aren't interest in making and I doubt most people would be interested in hearing. That album came from the same place as this one did: our love for making music. It's never been about pleasing someone else and the minute it was this band would self-destruct and or start hating being in a band. I've seen it happen. It's not pretty.

I won't say we will never write a really heavy song again, but I will definitely say that we won't write a really heavy song because someone is asking us too. Honesty is our policy.
Dustin Kensrue

"I never really feel proud, per se, of songs. I'm always kind of more like, "Oh, this is interesting to me." When you put 10 songs on a record, you're kind of looking at it like, "How is anyone willing to listen to this?" It seems to me the band has become more and more selfish with what interests us when we're recording. Our goal is really to make ourselves happy and to fulfill the ideas that we have in our head. When you go at it like that, it's hard to imagine that anyone else is going to be interested in it."
Jesse Lacey

"Our fans put up with a lot. We don't think we write something too mature or too deep for them and we don't go out of our way to make it hard on them, we've just stopped trying to please anybody but ourselves"
Jesse Lacey

"For a long time I felt like we were working in the constraints with what other people thought Taking Back Sunday should be and then taking that break kind of helped remind us that it' up to us to dictate who and what we are, which was very freeing. And there's a lot on New Again that,...there's a lot of things on that record that I think we wouldn't have tried had we not been reminded of that."
Adam Lazzara

"I feel like you're not doing a record for your fans if you're trying to make it for them, do you know what I mean? Because if you're not like serving yourself in what you think it's interesting, how it could interesting to anyone else?"
Geoff Rickly

"The mantra for writing New Again was “we will try anything”. We erased all the lines that we may have subconsciously worked inside of and stayed on the quest for a great song. We have all grown as musicians and writers and got to expand a lot on this album which is a natural thing for us. We don’t set out and say, “we’re going to make a _____ album or make it more _____”. We just go for it and use our instincts to decide what our new music will sound like. We became very empowered but the idea that it is up to us to decide what Taking Back Sunday sounds like and we will always be redefining what that is."
Matt Rubano

"It's always nice when people can listen to your music for what it is, without any expectations that they might want to impress upon your music. Often times, I think people have it backwards when it comes to listening to music. Maybe it's just cause I'm a musician, but music to me is someone else's art that they're sharing with me. Not something that was written in order to please me. It's the artist's creation, they're just sharing it with me. It doesn't matter one speck what I wanted the art to be or what I think it should be. It's not mine. There's an AMAZING photographer (maybe deceased now?) named W Eugene Smith, and I found a really sweet quote by him the other day:

"An artist must be ruthlessly selfish."

So true. If we don't write music for ourselves, then it's not real. Sorry I veered off on a tangent a bit...
Teppei Teranishi

I see parallels in the mindset of all these gentlemen when it comes about making music. Despite what you think about their new efforts, I think you can't deny that at least their hearts are in the right place. I don't want any of them to make music for me, I want them to make music they believe in. And taking aside feuds and preconceived ideas, that's why I love the four bands I'm talking about here so much: I can always count on them to stay true to themselves and I honestly thank them for that.

The four bands that these gentlemen are members have released/or will release records this year. Beggars is the best record of the year so far to me, and I honestly doubt that any band can top that. New Again and Common Existence will certainly make their way on my top ten records of '09, and I can say now that I love both records very much.

And then there's Daisy. At first I hated "At The Bottom", especially Jesse's vocal deliveries on the end of the lines. Then I thought it was meh. After buying the single and listening the song properly, I can say that I'm pumped again for the record. It's an excellent song, maybe not as good as their other singles, maybe with lyrics that I don't think are quite brilliant as their previous records, but it's a great song. And catchy as hell.

2009 has been the best year in music since 2002 to me. I think we'll remember it foundly.
Tags: Dustin Kensrue, Jesse Lacey, Adam Lazzara, Geoff Rickly, Matt Rubano, Teppei Teranishi
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