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Interview: Taking Back Sunday - 03.13.14
 

Taking Back Sunday - 03.13.14

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Taking Back Sunday - 03.13.14On March 18th Taking Back Sunday releases its sixth full-length record so we got on the phone with vocalist Adam Lazzara to learn more about it:


When did you start writing this record?


We started writing not too long after the self-titled record came out. Just because we all live in different states, whenever we got home from tour we would get together to write and find a place that was kind of out of the way so there werenít many distractions.

This time I noticed you went with two producers, Marc Hudson and Mike Sapone, instead of returning to Eric Valentine like you did with the self-titled.


That kind of happened haphazardly because we had done a round of demos in Michigan with Marc Hudson and then we did another round of demos in New York with Mike Sapone. When it came time to actually record the record we thought things went so well when we were demoing with those guys, so if it ainít broke, donít fix it. Weíve had a relationship with Mike Sapone since the band started so that is one reason we went back. As for Marc Hudson heís been touring with us for years so it was just two guys we felt really comfortable with because they were our friends first. There really wasnít much of an outside influence.

How would you compare and contrast working with the two of them?


Well theyíre both really great engineers as well as producers. The thing is Marc pays a lot of attention to detail in the songs themselves while Mike is more about capturing the mood. At first I think we were worried that recording the record with two different producers might make it not sound cohesive, but the end product though, when I sit back and listen to it I think weíre the only ones who are really able to tell who produced what.

What made you choose Happiness Is as the title?


Originally I was just going through all the lyrics on the record and trying to find a phrase or something that really stood out, but nothing really popped up its head as the thing that should sum up the record. I think we went with Happiness Is because itís kind of a blanket statement about where the band is right now. We were much more comfortable writing with each other this time around and there wasnít any kind of outside influence as we were writing and recording. I think it just speaks a lot to where Taking Back Sunday is right now.

I think this is the third record youíve recorded with this line-up, which is sort of a record breaker for the band.


Yeah, I guess two was the limit but now weíve broken that and done three, which is a big accomplishment for Taking Back Sunday. For us we donít really think about it like that though, honestly it feels like the next record.

Yeah, this is still the sixth Taking Back Sunday record. Was there anything you wanted to do with this one that you werenít able to do previously?


Well for us I think we just wanted to go where the songs were taking us, I know that sounds like a real hippie statement, but we didnít go in there with any expectations or preconceived notions about how we had to write songs a certain way. When we all got into the room together we just sat down and said ĎLetís make the best songs that we can make.í Weíve always had that in mind when we were writing in the past, but since there wasnít any outside influence I think that makes it one of our most honest records. I think itís the truest example of what happens when the five of us get in the room together and start making things.

One of the songs that sort of stands out to me is ďBetter Homes and Gardens?Ē How did that one come about?


Well Mark our drummer had the guitar parts for it, that main little riff. We were in West Virginia during that time on top of this mountain in a really old colonial house and we just started writing it one day and worked back and forth. The words just sort of happened right then and I think there was something about the mood of the guitar part and then the idea that Mark had for the drums as well. I think the words are very fitting for it.

It seems to be about divorce, would you agree?


If you want it to be yeah, Iíd say it could be something along those lines. Iíd say itís open for interpretation, my hope is that someone always takes our songs and make them their own.

This is also your first record for Hopeless. Whatís it like being back on an indie again?


Itís actually been great, itís really something else to be working with people who are excited about what youíre doing. I feel like itís just a great home for us and also Eric Tobin, whoís one of the guys over there, Iíve been friends with him since the early 2000s and I think heís one of the smartest people around in the business of music right now.

You also just released a video for ďStood a Chance.Ē How did the concept for that come about?


Yeah, the concept came from the director Evan Brace. For us what caught our eye about it originally was that it was very bright and colourful and we had never done anything like that. The song itself is an upbeat poppy tune, but of course itís juxtaposed with a darker lyrical content. Still we wanted something that had more of an upbeat feeling to it and then because we never tried anything that was seemingly that happy we decided to go with that idea.

Youíll be hitting the road soon.


Yeah, we leave this week and weíll be out with the Used which is all over the U.S. and a bit of Canada throughout the spring. Hopefully the weather is nice, itís been awfully cold lately.

Do you think Taking Back Sunday might do a full Canadian tour again or will it just be a select few cities?


Iíd like to do the full Canadian tour again, Iím actually a temporary resident and Iíd like to take advantage of that so hopefully we could work that out, Iím not sure. Itís funny because I think over the years weíve only done a full Canadian tour once which doesnít make much sense to me, I might have to make a few phone calls.

Yeah, the last and only time I saw you in Winnipeg was in 2007.


With Underoath? Yeah, itís about time. Itís funny with those things too, just how they work out. Your schedule gets filled up and then when you step back and look at it for a minute youíre like ĎWait, why donít we go here and here?í Iíll have to talk to my people about that.

What else is next for Taking Back Sunday?


For us the record is out on March 18 and weíll just be touring and playing these new songs for as many people who want to hear them. Thatís the main plan.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
08:21 AM on 03/13/14
#2
Cammiecoke
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I can't wait to see them on the 18th.
08:22 AM on 03/13/14
#3
Anthony Sorendino
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Great interview, Deborah!
09:00 AM on 03/13/14
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cantbesaved
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thanks for suggesting a Canadian tour :) would love to see that, as I can't make it to Toronto for their show with the used.
09:02 AM on 03/13/14
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Deborah Remus
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Thanks! I was stoked to do this interview in particular, only because I've been around here for almost 5 years and never really covered the AP.net staples that drew me to the site in the first place, haha.
09:04 AM on 03/13/14
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Deborah Remus
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thanks for suggesting a Canadian tour :) would love to see that, as I can't make it to Toronto for their show with the used.
No problem! I do hope Adam is truly serious about talking to his people because another Canadian tour would be absolutely amazing.
09:07 AM on 03/13/14
#7
cantbesaved
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No problem! I do hope Adam is truly serious about talking to his people because another Canadian tour would be absolutely amazing.

Really would be. Really wanna hear this new album live, it's so good. Beat up car and better homes are the standouts for me right now.
09:54 AM on 03/13/14
#8
RaginCajun
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nice short interview. I wanna know what the band thinks of the last album now compared to the new one.
01:22 PM on 03/13/14
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Mario57
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It's kind of interesting that he keeps repeating they made this record without any outside influences. I guess it worked because it's the most consistent album they've written since Louder Now. However, while there aren't any bad songs, there also aren't any songs that impressed me, like This Is All Now or Everything Must Go on the previous albums. We'll see if it holds up well over the time.
01:50 PM on 03/13/14
livinginpixels
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It's kind of interesting that he keeps repeating they made this record without any outside influences. I guess it worked because it's the most consistent album they've written since Louder Now. However, while there aren't any bad songs, there also aren't any songs that impressed me, like This Is All Now or Everything Must Go on the previous albums. We'll see if it holds up well over the time.
you should check out All The Way


It's probably my favorite love song by them
01:58 PM on 03/13/14
Mario57
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you should check out All The Way


It's probably my favorite love song by them
Yeah this song in particular is one of my favorites so far. Some of the album's best parts are when the band's trying new things (Preface, Stood A Chance's bridge, Nothing At All, It Takes More). That's why I don't get people who automatically compare it to any other albums they've done because the band does sound (a little bit) different this time.
11:49 PM on 03/13/14
Fringe
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Oh my god please come to Canada!
07:57 AM on 03/14/14
Sean.Murphy
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i have such a love/hate relationship with the way Adam refuses to ever divulge what his lyrics actually mean. I think it's cool that they can kind of be open to anyones interpretation, but sometime it makes the song that much more meaningful to you if you know what the content is about and perhaps can even relate.

Great interview!
09:27 AM on 03/14/14
BLeClair12
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Good read. I've had the hardest time avoiding the stream, but I'm holding out as usual. Tuesday can't come soon enough. Excited to see them on one of the solo dates on this tour as well.
09:41 AM on 03/18/14
surgerone
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It's kind of interesting that he keeps repeating they made this record without any outside influences. I guess it worked because it's the most consistent album they've written since Louder Now. However, while there aren't any bad songs, there also aren't any songs that impressed me, like This Is All Now or Everything Must Go on the previous albums. We'll see if it holds up well over the time.
I noticed that common thread throughout the interview as well, "outside influences". Did they have co-writers or something on previous albums? Or is Adam just referring to the sense of pressure they felt on previous albums?

Edit: Also, I agree. I enjoy this album much more than I thought I would.

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