Taking Back Sunday have just released their new album ‘New Again’ on Warner Bros. Bass player Matt Rubano was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
Can we start by grabbing your name, the instrument you play and your favorite beverage?
Matt Rubano, Lead Bass Guitar, Iced Coffee.
Taking Back Sunday are about to release a new album titled ‘New Again’. It will be your first album in 3 years. What’s been going on since then? Why did we have to wait so long for a new album?
When people say it’s been 3 years since we’ve put out an album they forget the 2 years of touring we did on ‘Louder Now’. When that stopped, we went home and re-engaged being normal people for a little while and took the longest break we’ve ever taken as a band. That break gave us all the energy we needed to find Matt Fazzi our new guitarist and write the music for New Again. Since Matt joined, we made our 3rd appearance at the Reading/Leeds festival in the UK, played a sold out MSG show with My Chemical Romance and did a small tour in the US in addition to writing and recording ‘New Again’.
Tell us about the new record. How it was written/recorded and how does it differ to previous records, especially 2006’s ‘Louder Now’?
New Again is a very important and symbolic record for us. We feel is represents our best work to date and was a lot of fun to make. Our mantra for writing was "we will try anything". That, combined with Matt Fazzi’s fearless inventiveness and open minded approach to music, spread to the rest of us and was the energy we worked from. We erased any subconscious lines we may have worked within in the past and just stayed on the quest for a great song while wanting to make every part of the record sound special. No two recording experiences are the same and you learn lessons from them that (should) make the next one better each time.
Back in the day me and my friends used to get pretty wild and sing along to "Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team)" at the clubs here. I still don’t know any of the words and I don’t really have a question but I just thought you might like to know.
Thank you. More interviews should contain statements. Takes the pressure off me. I do know the words though and if you’d like to know them, I can help. I have a question though, if you didn’t know the words, what were you singing? Thank you nonetheless.
In 2006, you guys signed to Warner Bros. What was it like signing with such a huge label? Was it scary? Were you ever worried about selling enough records or that kind of thing?
As a band, we treat business completely separate from music. Signing to Warner Bros was great for us not only to have a huge team of creative professionals to work with but because of the unbelievable lineage of artist we joined. We’re real music fans and it’s a trip to be on the same label as Tom Petty, Green Day, etc… We aren’t in this to sell records – we want people to hear our music and we’re very proud of it, but it isn’t a capitalist endeavor for us. Its artistic first, all the time.
You released your first CD/DVD documentary ‘Louder Now: PartOne’ in 2007 and toured alongside some massive bands like Linkin’ Park and My Chemical Romance. What was that experience like? Were the shows just ridiculously huge?
We’ve been really lucky with some of the bands we’ve toured with. Not only have we gained tons of friends but been able to play amazing shows. We learn a lot too watching a band like LP shred audiences coast to coast after being a band for so many years. We have been friends with MCR for a long time and seeing them explode and continuing to share stages with them is always exciting for us.
1. Megadeth or Metallica?
Can I choose to kill myself instead?
2. Seagal or Van Damme?
3. Star Wars or Star Trek?
STAR WARS and don’t ever ask me that again. Blasphemous.
4. Leno or Conan?
5. Dane Cook or Suicide?
How about Dane Cook commits suicide? Sorry, that’s not cool.
Favorite way to kill time on tour?
After touring for years and years I have still not found an effective way to kill time on the road. I try to explore the place we playing, or simply practice my instrument. Usually it’s just doing something idiotic with my bandmates – which I thoroughly enjoy.
Most memorable tour experience?
My most memorable tour experience was the week I was left behind by the tourbus in the UK not once, but twice.
Favorite bands to play with?
We as a band love to play with My Chemical Romance. There’s a kinship between our bands that makes us both very comfortable around one another. Over the years though we’ve made so many friends is different bands, Underoath, Thursday, Thrice, The Used, Saosin, Saves The Day, Jimmy Eat World….the list goes on and on.
Growing up, what bands influenced you the most?
I was very influenced by a lot of the ‘alternative’ bands that came out in the early 90s like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Fishbone, and Fugazi. I also listened to a lot of Jazz, Motown and classic R and B.
That’s about it. Any last words for your Australian fans?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Australia is pretty much TBS’s favorite country in the world to tour and visit. We are anxious to come back and see you!
Thanks for your time!
Taking Back Sunday’s new album ‘New Again‘ is out now via Warner Bros. You can find out more about the band on their Myspace page.