THROWBACK: Taking Back Sunday

Originally found in Issue 26. Purchase online here.

Issue 26

By: Jameson Ketchum

Substream sat down with guitarist John Nolan and vocalist Adam Lazzara recently to forget about the past and look to the future of Taking Back Sunday.

Substream Music Press: With the new record, all the changes and knowing that kids were going to expect a lot out of it, how did you approach this in your mindsets? I’m assuming a lot of kids wanted Tell All Your Friends Part II.

Adam: When we first got together to start writing I felt like we were realistic. There were all those years between is so that chemistry might not be there, you know? Originally, Mark and John and I started emailing this one idea back and forth and everything that was coming back from everyone was working so well that was a good indicator. But early on there were a lot of people saying it was going to be a sequel to Tell All Your Friends, we couldn’t make that, we’re not 18.

John: The thing that helped for me was I really felt like in the whole writing process we were in our own little worlds while out at the studio in El Paso for so long. We hadn’t done anything publicly yet so it felt like I got together with some old friends to play music and hang out at a studio. We were pretty isolated. It was almost hard for me to believe that what we were doing was going to be something that people heard at some point.

SMP:  John, you have done Straylight Run for so long and having control there, what did you learn from that that you brought back into this band?

John: I think I just learned to be a better musician. I don’t mean like technically, just learning more how to play off of other people and when to lay back and when to jump out. I think also the writing process with Straylight Run was such a different thing than with this band and I was really at the point where I was really excited to get back into something that was so collaborative and so much about getting into a room  and making stuff up with a bunch of guys.

SMP: John, did you have an idea going into this record what to expect? Had you been keeping up with them all?

Adam: Dude, he’s our biggest fan.

John: I wasn’t really listening through that time. I heard those singles and biggest songs but it was something I tried to purposely avoid. It was kind of weird coming back because there’s all this history and obviously the fans are very aware of the history but I was actually kind of glad not knowing everything leading up to writing because I feel like it would have been more intimidating if I would have been aware of everything (laughs). I feel like I was in this little bubble for a while that kept me away from knowing what people were expecting.

SMP: What is your process like for writing lyrics? Do you write a lot in the studio? How do you go about that?

Adam: With this, each one of the songs there’s probably three different drafts for I would say. So then we just kind of keep going back and forth to make sure we’re saying what we’re trying to say so that more people than just us will understand it. The song “Faith, When I Let You Down” probably went through the most changes of all.

SMP: The last few releases, you guys had so much going on, band drama, dealing with addictions etc. It seems that everything is pretty peaceful again in the TBS camp, so what inspired the words on this album?

Adam: With the point we’ve gotten to in our lives…there have become these questions of faith like whether its faith in a higher power or faith in relationships, that was a big thing. We drew a lot from our friends’ relationships; at this point in life a lot of our friends are getting married and all that stuff so there’s a lot to draw from there. It’s funny too, I think John said it, there seems to be these fictional characters that travel throughout the record that we didn’t realize were there until after it was done, there was almost like a story line that sort of crept its way in.