The world’s biggest cult band, Taking Back Sunday, has been at the center of a hailstorm of buzz press for the better part of a year now.
The alternative press has taken to them like flies on shit and the mainstream press have picked them to be the band that they hold up and place the crown on.
But what does this really mean when you are just five guys who want to just hang out and play music minus all of the bullshit? I recently spoke with singer Adam Lazzara who filled me in on how new guitarist Fred Mascherino drove the point home that they would be okay after a rocky start to the campaign for the latest record, Where You Want To Be, when two previous members jumped ship, the pressure of being the it band for their scene and more.
AW: With all of the talk of Victory being approached by so many high profile cats on the buy-out tip, does it weird you out to know that it’s your band’s numbers and buzz that really is responsible for all of this?
Oh yeah, it totally does. When we first started playing, it was nothing more than, ‘Hey, let’s just play some songs.’ Things are really at the point where there are some weird feelings involved with all of this.
You know, there are some people who just look at this as just business and as much as we realize that there are other aspects to all of this, sometimes it’s hard for us to really get into them at the same time. To us, this is just what we do.
With all of this going on, how is it affecting your songwriting? Obviously you guys seem to be the type of band where your emotions and your environment play a big part in how things turn out.
I really don’t know how to answer that, I think. The things that we have started writing, they sound like Taking Back Sunday songs. We don’t really question ourselves like, ‘Can we get away with this?’ Or, ‘Can we make this part happen?’
We just let whatever wants to come out come out. So it’s all on the same page and it’s all in the same vein. Out here on tour now, I think maybe the biggest thing is that we can pay attention to certain little snippets of songs more now.
Obviously, there was a major line-up shuffle not too terribly long ago, What was that period like?
It was awesome and terrible both at the same time. It was terrible that we lost friends over it and at the same time if it never would have happened we never would have gotten the two new guys in the band.
There was a whole lot of confusion there for a little while. But when we practiced with our new guitarist Fred for the first time, we just knew that everything would be cool. We started writing right away.
Oh, so that’s cool. You didn’t take the, ‘we’re the real band, we’ll write you, just show up and play’ approach.
No, not at all, it’s all like a total democracy and sometimes it makes for big arguments but it’s all good.