Celebrating twenty years since their formation back in 1999, American alt-rock/emo heroes TAKING BACK SUNDAY are hitting the road showcasing their prolific recording career performing select double album plays, including their iconic debut Tell All Your Friends sophomore smash hit Where You Want To Be and fan favourite Louder Now along with a couple of other favourites and quite possibly a new song or two in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane this January. Adam Lazzara speaks to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about their Australia tour and their new compilation Twenty which features two new songs.
Awesome way to kick off 2019 touring Australia?
Yeah, we’re all very excited that you guys will have us back.
There seems to be a real affinity between Australia and Taking Back Sunday?
We have been really fortunate to be so far away from home and recognise some familiar faces and meet new people being in to all the same stuff.
Can you believe that twenty years have been clocked up with the band?
No I can’t, when we first started talking about putting Twenty together and getting the touring lined up, I was just in disbelief a lot of the time because it doesn’t feel like that much time has gone by but when you see it on paper you start to think about it. The reality of it is pretty crazy to think we have been so lucky and fortunate enough to be able to do what we do for so long.
Putting together a tour like this and the compilation do you get this feeling of being nostalgic looking back?
I guess I did feel a little bit but I wouldn’t call it nostalgia. One thing that I really noticed when putting together the songs that were going to go on Twenty and listening to everything when we got the test pressing and as I’m listening through is that each record and the collection of songs are a real good snap shot of where we were and who we were at the time. One of the big takeaways from it and something I’m real proud of I didn’t really notice, it wasn’t glaringly obvious in my face, going through all that stuff is that over this time we have been able to remain true to those people we have been during those times. There is nothing that struck me as we were trying to be this on that song or trying to recapture this feeling from another record. Each have stood on their own and I’m proud of us for us.
Did you get excited listening to the test pressing knowing you would be playing these songs on the upcoming tour?
Yeah, there are songs that I completely forgot about and felt like it was like listening to them for the first time. Being active and remaining active during this time to hear something that we’ve done and be surprised by it is real nice.
How was the process of going back through and working out the track list and adding a new song All Ready To Go which is a nice bonus for fans?
For us we do everything very democratically in the band. We all compiled our own lists and then came back together to compare lists. They were all very similar and that made the process feel a little less daunting, I don’t think that’s the right word, but you don’t want to make the wrong decision with a collection like that. To see that we were choosing the same thing felt like we were taking steps in the right direction.
Also, we didn’t want it, and I don’t want it to come across as nostalgic thing because for us it is more of a celebration, but when the idea was first kicked around I wasn’t to excited about it because I was worried people would see it as we were taking this nostalgia thing and running with it. It wasn’t until our manager Jillian who has been with us since the beginning told us she wasn’t looking at it that way, the way she saw it was that we have been a band for twenty years and have done so much and accomplish so much that is something that needs celebrating. What better way than trying to take it to the people that have helped you along the way so you can all celebrate together. I feel that once she said that this thing switched in my brain and became the idea that we would have a year long party essentially.
Is there anything else you’re looking to do to commemorate the milestone such as re-released albums or special vinyl releases?
We’re focused mainly on the tour and the one of the things that we noticed led to Twenty is that some of those older records have been re-released on different coloured vinyl and a lot of the time that was out of our hands so that helped in making the decision to create Twenty. As we were working on the two new songs All Ready To Go and A Song For Dan I think that sparked something in everyone. Being on the road it is often hard to get together to write but there has been a lot of conversations starting to form the ideas sending stuff back and forth. Going through the celebration the newer songs will be in the back of our mind.
Over twenty years what moments stand out most for you?
I was reminded the other day the first time we were in California, we’re from the East Coast and grew up on the East Coast, that we went to the beach after one of our shows and I went and dipped my feet in the water and I called my Dad saying that I’m standing in the Pacific Ocean, I can’t believe it! I couldn’t believe this is as good as it could get and now we’re getting ready to cross the Pacific Ocean to play our songs, just the idea of what I was saying earlier to be able to go so far from home and find your people and that is a real incredible thing.
Is there a secret to longevity?
I wish I knew! For us we are all real stubborn but I think one thing over the years that I have noticed is that with all of us that being able to do what we get to do, which is what we’ve always dreamed about, so even when things got rough that was the thought that was always in our mind. Even when things felt like they were as bad as they could be, that thought was enough. Look at how lucky we are, we’re getting to do this, it doesn’t make any sense to fight or whatever. We should be coming together and moving forwards stronger. That seems to have worked for us, it didn’t make going through rough patches any easier it helped to get through.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Taking Back Sunday on the following dates. Tickets from livenation.com.au…