Taking Back Sunday have no intention of slowing themselves down. On their latest album, the band has gone back to its roots, reuniting the lineup behind their classic debut release and enlisting the help of ‘Louder Now’ producer Eric Valentine to make a triumphant return to the limelight. Frontman Adam Lazzarra recently spoke with Kill Your Stereo about the self-titled album and the band’s upcoming tour of Australia with New Found Glory.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your role in the band?
Well, my name’s Adam, and I sing for Taking Back Sunday. I love music and art and hanging out, I’m really good at that.
What were some of your highlights for 2011?
Working with Eric Valentine again on this last record we put out was really incredible. He’s a great friend to us, and a whole lot of fun to work with also, so that was great.
Many critics have described the new album as a return to form for Taking Back Sunday. Would you agree with these statements?
Yeah, I mean, just in the sense that John and Shaun are back in the band. I think there are maybe some similar elements across our releases that people have come to like about the band.
How did the lineup additions of Shaun Cooper and John Nolan affect the writing process for the album?
Them coming back made it a lot more efficient, I think. We’re all very aware of our strengths and our weaknesses, you know, musically. Since we know those things about each other, it’s a lot easier to trust one another and lean on each other.
Is the writing process democratic, or are there a few core members of the band who write the music?
Everything is just a complete collaboration between everybody. Normally how it works is somebody will come in with a part, and then we’ll just develop it in a room together from there.
New Again explored a consistent theme of rebirth for the band. Did the band consciously decide on a set of unifying themes for the new album?
No, it just kind of happened that way.
So the band sat out to write songs individually rather than as a cohesive album?
We just kind of took everything as it came. It wasn’t like we sat down and said, “Okay, we need a song that sounds like this or this.” It came out in steps and eventually made it to the record.
What are some of the musical inspirations behind the album?
Well, we all listen to such different styles of music and I don’t think I could list just one thing, you know? Like, if I was to say Tom Petty, I don’t think that would do everyone justice. I do think it’s a mixture of all of our tastes. I think that’s what really helps to make up the sound of the band.
What influenced the decision to reunite with ‘Louder Now’ producer Eric Valentine?
After we did ‘Louder Now’ with Eric, I was convinced that I didn’t want to work with any other producer. I just really think he’s the best out there, so when it came time to record the self-titled album, he was the first person on our list.
The band is set to return to Australia with New Found Glory and This Time Next Year in April. Are you excited for the tour?
Yeah man! We’ve been friends for years, and we’ve been trying to work out when we could tour together, but the timing just hasn’t worked out in the past where we could do it. I think it’s gonna be a great trip.
How do you think the band’s sound will be received on a tour with two pop punk bands?
Well, hopefully we’ll stick out! I’ve found that New Found Glory and ourselves share a lot of the same fanbase, so I don’t think it’ll be too weird. I’m sure there’s people out there who love New Found Glory and don’t really know our band and vice versa, so hopefully both bands can win over some new fans.
So you’re looking at it as a chance to expand your fanbase into new demographics?
What can fans expect from setlists at the shows?
We’ve been playing a little bit of everything. Being as it is now, where we have a large catalogue of songs, we seem to change the setlist around from night to night.
Tell us about the craziest thing the band has ever done?
Um, well, let me see… There was this one show we played and it was with Green Day, and it was to 120,000 people over two days, and that was amazing. To be honest, just the fact that we are able to tour the world has been crazy.
Who has been your favourite act to tour with and why?
We’ve been on tour with Jimmy Eat World, and that was an amazing tour and we’re all really big fans of the band, so that’s the first one that really sticks out for me.
What does the rest of 2012 hold for Taking Back Sunday?
We’re just trying to get in front of as many people as we can to bring them new songs off the last record, so just a whole lot of touring.
Are there any plans to write and record for a future release, maybe even an EP?
Well, we’re always writing. As far as this year goes, we’re really just focused on touring for the most recent record, but I’m sure sometime later we’ll probably end up in the studio.
Where do you see Taking Back Sunday in five years?
Man, that is a great question. Everything is so unpredictable, and I couldn’t even tell you.
So you have no plans or desires to slow the band down as you guys get older?
No man, there’s no stopping us.
Are there any comments you’d like to finish on?
No man, just thanks for taking the time to talk to me and I hope to see you all down there.