Taking Back Sunday: Interview with Adam Lazzara

Taking Back SundayAlthough I’d say at this point the band doesn’t require an introduction from the likes of me, Taking Back Sunday have become the poster children for Long Island’s burgeoning (after half a decade—most of these bands are not new no matter what commercial radio says) emo scene.

Since their formation in 1999, the band has seen lineup changes that nearly dismantled them, tours that never end, and after it all, an expanding fan base that grows ever more loyal with each passing single. 2004’s Where You Want To Be was a Billboard explosion and will perhaps go down in pop culture history as the record that broke the emo scene commercially.

Now on tour with Jimmy Eat World, hitting arenas across the country, TBS are also in the process of sketching out their next record. Anticipation is already mounting, but according to front man Adam Lazzara, they’re not exactly all about the hype.

You guys moved very quickly to the forefront of the scene. What’s your take on how?

Dumb luck. If I could explain it, then I would be writing a book, which would double my income so other people could do it too, but honestly I have no idea how it happened.

We’ve just been on the road nonstop since we started, and then with everything else, so we’ve been kind of oblivious to how big people tell us the band is. It doesn’t really compute. I still feel just like we’re starting.

There has to be some difference at this point.

Our diets consist of more than ramen noodles at this point. (laughs)

How would you compare commercial success versus artistic success?

I’m not sure what you’re asking.

In general, having other people perceive you guys as a successful band versus accomplishing what you want to accomplish musically.

Whether people see us as a successful band doesn’t really matter like if we’re happy with ourselves and how we’re looking at ourselves. Making other people happy was something we had hoped to do, but we always put the focus on ourselves. So I don’t know. I don’t think that answered your question at all. You’ll notice I’m really good at like, dancing around things and never really answering.

Really? I hadn’t noticed that!


What about the change in physical venue, not playing in small clubs anymore? Like this tour is arenas. Which do you prefer?

I think it coincides with our moods. Coming off the tour of the size we’re about to go on, it’s like really nice to play smaller places. But then if you do a tour of the smaller places, it’s kind of nice to be in the bigger places.

I wouldn’t say I prefer more one than the other, the only thing that I think would be bad about the bigger places is that a lot of the intimacy is lost and it’s hard to reel that back in.

I’m interested to get your take on the blending of hardcore and pop that’s coming up now?

Are you saying as far as mainstream stuff or what the underground is doing as far as mixing pop and harder music? Because that I feel has been done for a real long time.

You listen to old Dinosaur Jr. records and it’s just like dirty music and every now and again he’ll throw in a hook that you would expect to hear on something that was on the radio, just a little more clever words.

Now I feel it’s the same as music that I’ve been listening to for a long time, there’s just more people paying attention.