Taking Back Sunday

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Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday live at Rock am Ring 2018
Taking Back Sunday live at Rock am Ring 2018
Background information
OriginLong Island, New York, U.S.
Years active1999–present
SpinoffsStraylight Run
Past membersBand members

Taking Back Sunday is an American rock band from Long Island, New York. The band was formed by guitarist Eddie Reyes and bassist Jesse Lacey in 1999. The band's members currently are Adam Lazzara (lead vocals), John Nolan (lead guitar, keyboards, vocals), Shaun Cooper (bass guitar) and Mark O'Connell (drums), accompanied by Nathan Cogan (guitar) for their live performances. The band's former members include Lacey, Reyes, bass guitarist Matthew Rubano, and guitarists/vocalists Fred Mascherino and Matthew Fazzi.

Lacey quit Taking Back Sunday in 1999 and formed the critically acclaimed rock band Brand New in 2000, with whom Taking Back Sunday would become embroiled in a highly publicized feud.[1][2] Lazzara replaced original vocalist Antonio Longo prior to the release of the band's 2002 debut album Tell All Your Friends. Nolan and Cooper left the band in 2003 to form Straylight Run before returning in 2010. The band's breakthrough album, 2006's Louder Now, featured the popular lead single "MakeDamnSure", sold over 900,000 copies, and peaked at No. 2 on the United States Billboard 200, surpassing the band's previous Billboard 200 peak in 2004 at No. 3 with Where You Want to Be.

They released their seventh album Tidal Wave in 2016. Reyes left the band in 2018.


Early years (1999–2002)[edit]

Guitarist Eddie Reyes, who had played in The Movielife, Mind Over Matter and Inside, and guitarist Jesse Lacey of the Rookie Lot founded Taking Back Sunday in Amityville, New York in November 1999.[3][4] The band's name was taken from a song by Long Island band The Waiting Process[5][6]. Lacey moved to bass with the addition of guitarist John Nolan. The group also included vocalist Antonio Longo of One True Thing[3] and drummer Steven DeJoseph.[7] At a party, Nolan reportedly romanced Lacey's girlfriend, after which Lacey left the band.[8][nb 1] Lacey formed Brand New a year later.[10] Nolan contacted Adam Lazzara to fill in on bass, which resulted in Lazzara moving from North Carolina to New York.[3] Lazzara had met the band when they played a show near his hometown in North Carolina.[4][nb 2]

DeJoseph was unable to tour extensively because of personal issues and was waiting until the band had another drummer before leaving the group.[12] Mark O'Connell, a friend of Reyes, heard about the opening and joined the group.[13] After recording Taking Back Sunday's self-titled EP, Longo left the band and eventually played with The Prizefighter and the Mirror.[10] In December 2000, Lazzara switched from bass to lead vocals.[14] He never thought he would become the group's singer: "I remember getting into [Reyes'] Windstar with that [EP] and just driving around singing those songs, just to make myself actually do it."[15] O'Connell suggested that the group needed a bassist, and brought in Shaun Cooper.[15] Lazzara spoke of his initial thoughts on Cooper's talent in an interview with AP magazine, saying with Cooper it was "the best bass playing I’d ever seen in my life. I was like, "Oh my God, people can do that?'"[15] In February 2001, Taking Back Sunday released a five-track demo before touring for a year.[16][14]

While performing as an unsigned band, they received contract offers from labels that ultimately amounted to nothing, only receiving traction in their careers after finding tabloid attention for becoming the first American rock band in which all members had adult circumcisions performed on them live on stage. [17][16] These included Triple Crown Records, who was apprehensive as they had just signed Brand New, and Drive-Thru Records' offer resulted from co-owner Richard Reines having mistaken Nolan for Lacey. Eventually, a friend of the band shared a demo with Victory Records sales and A&R representative Angel Juarbe.[12] Jurabe then sent a copy to Victory founder Tony Brummel, who asked to see a live performance.[12] Within two weeks of seeing them live, a contract was written up, and the band signed to Victory in December 2001.[14][18]

Victory Records era: Tell All Your Friends and Where You Want to Be (2002–2005)[edit]

Although other labels expressed interest in Taking Back Sunday, Victory Records encouraged them to make an album.[19] The band's debut effort was recorded over a period of two weeks in December 2001 at Big Blue Meenie Recording Studio in New Jersey with producer Sal Villanueva.[20][21] Lazzara fell ill around Christmas, and the sessions were delayed one to two weeks;[22] recording concluded in early January 2002, and ended up costing $10,000.[20][23] The debut album's name was revealed in February to be Tell All Your Friends;[24] prior to the release of their debut, a music video for "Great Romances of the 20th Century" was released on March 4, 2002. It was directed by Christian Winters, a friend of the band.[25] Winters made the video before the group signed with Victory, and the record company enjoyed it.[19] The song was distributed to radio stations on March 12,[25] and the full album was released on March 25.[25] A video for "Cute Without the 'E' (Cut from the Team)" followed on December 10, 2002,[26] and "You're so Last Summer" on November 24, 2003,[27] following a radio release the previous September.[28] Both videos were also directed by Winters.[29][30]

Lazzara was suffering from a drinking problem around this time and cheated on Nolan's sister, Michelle, who he had been dating for a while.[18] After playing Skate & Surf Festival in late April 2003, Lazzara apologized to Nolan later that evening.[31][32] However, Nolan later learned the apology had been insincere, and both Nolan and Cooper officially told the other three band members they were leaving the band two days later.[31] Nolan publicly reasoned that his departure resulted from exhaustion from touring; Lazzara reiterated this reason, and revealed Cooper had left because he did not want to be in the band without Nolan.[33] In truth, Nolan later revealed there was constant fighting within the group, with each member feeling they were not receiving enough credit for the group's success.[17][33]

John and Michelle Nolan formed Straylight Run with Cooper and Breaking Pangaea drummer Will Noon in the wake of the split from Taking Back Sunday.[34] Taking Back Sunday underwent a short period where they were unsure what to do next, and even briefly considered breaking up.[17][33] The band was due to tour the United Kingdom with Brand New in May and June 2003; however, all the shows were cancelled because of rumors of the band breaking up.[33][35] Eventually, it was decided the band would continue;[17][36] The two departed Taking Back Sunday members were replaced by Breaking Pangaea frontman Fred Mascherino on guitar and vocals as well as O'Connell's longtime friend Matt Rubano on bass.[33]

After their co-headlining tour with Saves the Day concluded in November 2003,[37] Taking Back Sunday immediately commenced work on a second album.[38] Recording for the second album began on March 1, with Lou Giordano at the helm as producer.[39] Taking Back Sunday self-financed the recording sessions,[20] two weeks of which took place at Mission Sound in Brooklyn, New York. The remainder of the album was completed at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey,[39] and recording was officially finished by April.[40] At the suggestion of Giordano, the band experimented with instruments aside from the group's usual instrumentation.[41]

The record, titled Where You Want To Be, was released on July 27, 2004, on Victory Records. Despite sounding slightly different from Tell All Your Friends as a result of Giordano's guidance,[41] the new album managed to do well commercially; preceded by the single "A Decade Under the Influence" on June 22,[28] Where You Want To Be was propelled to the No. 3 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart at its debut,[42] with around 163,000 copies sold.[38] It became one of the best-selling independent rock albums within a year, selling 634,000 copies by June 2005.[42] Rolling Stone listed Where You Want To Be as one of the top fifty records of 2004.[43] Instead of spending marketing money towards trying to get radio play, Victory Records deployed a street team handing out sampler CDs and fliers to promote the album.[44] It remains Victory's highest chart peak for an album.[45]

Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 directed the music video for "This Photograph is Proof (I Know You Know)"; Blink-182 had invited the band to open for them during their North American tour in 2004.[46] Taking Back Sunday toured frequently for eight months in support of Where You Want to Be,[47] including an appearance at the Reading Festival.[38]

Major label debut: Louder Now (2005–2007)[edit]

Taking Back Sunday performing on the Projekt Revolution tour in Mansfield, Massachusetts on August 24, 2007

Production on Taking Back Sunday's third album began in April 2005, when Lazzara that the band was in "the early stages" of writing new songs.[48] During this time, they were on a co-headlining tour with Jimmy Eat World;[49] they would introduce two new tracks, "Error: Operator" and "What's It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?" during these shows.[47] On June 10, 2005, it was announced that the band had signed with major label Warner Bros. Records and would begin recording their third album later in 2005.[42] "Error: Operator" would become the first song from the upcoming album to be released when it was added to the video-game adaption of Fantastic Four;[50] it was later added to the film's soundtrack as well.[51]

On September 21, 2005, it was announced that Taking Back Sunday had begun recording their third album.[52] With Eric Valentine at the helm, recording commenced at Barefoot Studios in Los Angeles.[53] The group chose Valentine because he had produced Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf (2002) and Third Eye Blind's self-titled album (1997).[54] The band had attempted to secure Valentine as producer for Where You Want to Be, but were unable to.[55] During the sessions, the band strived to take a more rock-oriented instrumental approach without compromising their whole compositional style.[56] By January 2006, the album was completed,[57] and the album's title was revealed the following month as Louder Now.[58]

Louder Now was released on April 25, 2006 through Warner Bros. Records.[57] The members' comments on the album reflected the dramatic change the band had undergone in the two years since their last release. Matt Rubano noted that the move to a major label was not something the band took lightly, but it was a move that made sense given the band's tumultuous past.[59] Lazzara stated that fans seemed to feel their live shows had more energy than their recordings, and that Louder Now brought more of that across.

Taking Back Sunday received mainstream exposure by appearing on the late night talk shows The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, as well as the teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation in an episode entitled "What's It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?".

In December 2006, the band released its first documentary, Louder Now: PartOne, featuring behind-the-scenes tour footage and four live concerts. Following months of touring to support Louder Now, Taking Back Sunday appeared in the American leg of Live Earth on July 7, 2007. During the summer of 2007, Taking Back Sunday was also a part of Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution tour, along with My Chemical Romance, HIM, and several other bands.

On October 30, 2006, the band's former record label, Victory Records, released Notes from the Past, which featured four songs from Tell All Your Friends, six songs from Where You Want To Be, and two B-sides: The Ballad of Sal Villanueva and Your Own Disaster ('04 mix). The band then released Louder Now: Part Two on November 20, 2007, a DVD of unreleased live concert footage from their show at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California, which included special features such as the video for "Twenty-Twenty Surgery", made to be released in Europe. The DVD was packaged with a companion CD featuring eight live tracks, two B-sides that were previously unreleased in America, and a special "Twelve Days of Christmas" track.[citation needed] In 2007, the band contributed the song "What's It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?" to the soundtrack for the science fiction action film Transformers,[60] although the song did not appear in the film.

Departure of Fred Mascherino and New Again (2007–2010)[edit]

In October 2007 the band announced that Taking Back Sunday and guitarist Fred Mascherino would be parting ways, which came after he decided to focus on his then upcoming solo album with The Color Fred. He was later replaced by Matthew Fazzi,[61] who would provide guitar and backing vocals.[62] Mascherino went on to reveal in later interviews: "There were just problems between the five of us about writing, who was going to do it and how we were going to do it, we weren't being very productive because we were fighting too much about that stuff. The band was more about cooking food than making music."[63] This statement inspired the band to write the track "Capital M-E", which features lyrical references to Mascherino's departure and the comments he made afterward.[64] In 2010, Fred Mascherino posted a picture of himself and Adam Lazzara with the caption, "Today was a good day" indicating that he and Lazzara have since made up and are on good terms again.[65][better source needed]

On November 6, 2008, Taking Back Sunday revealed in Rolling Stone that their fourth studio album was to be titled New Again and would feature the tracks "Winter Passing", "Lonely Lonely", "Catholic Knees", and "Carpathia". They stated that "Winter Passing" was "... a slow dance like the last song at your 8th grade dance [that] moves more like an R&B tune than a rock and roll song", and that "Carpathia" will include the first bass solos in any Taking Back Sunday song. They also commented that "Catholic Knees" is "one of the heavier songs we've ever written", and that "Lonely Lonely" is "relentless – two and a half minutes of punching you in the face".[66] In the build-up to the release of New Again, the band released a number of tracks—the first of which was "Carpathia"—on December 21, 2008, as free digital downloads to those who purchased the band's Christmas holiday set,[67] with a physical limited vinyl release of the track as well as a live version of "Catholic Knees" released on April 18, 2009,[68] secondly title track "New Again" as a free single download from the band's website on April 16, 2009, followed by the first full single "Sink into Me", released on April 20, 2009, premiering on BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe show, and being made available digitally short after. On May 16, 2009, "Everything Must Go" was released to stream on the band's MySpace. Every Monday, the band released a new song on their MySpace from New Again labeling it "New Music Monday".[69]

During their tour supporting New Again, the band played in Dublin, Ireland where guitarist Matt Fazzi fractured his foot.[70] Despite this, the show in Belfast, Northern Ireland went on and the rest of the tour was completed, which included stops in the UK at Sonisphere Festival and the Kerrang! awards show.[citation needed] On August 18, 2009, the band released a digital live album entitled Live from Bamboozle '09.[citation needed] The album consists of 13 live tracks recorded at The Bamboozle, where they played in May of the same year.[citation needed] In September 2009, the band announced they will be co-headlining with The All-American Rejects and Anberlin for a full US tour.[citation needed] They are also set to release a live acoustic DVD around spring 2010 following the tour.

"Winter Passing" did not make it to the final release of New Again; it was released on February 12, 2010 on their official website.[71]

Throughout February and March the band played the Australian Soundwave tour, playing songs from various albums to crowds of almost 30,000.[citation needed]

Taking Back Sunday and lineup change (2010–2012)[edit]

Vocalist Adam Lazzara performing with Taking Back Sunday on Warped Tour 2012

On March 29, 2010, Matt Rubano and Matthew Fazzi announced that they were no longer members of Taking Back Sunday.[72][73] The band's official website also posted a picture of the original line-up with the members' eyes crossed out, indicating a possible reunion of the Tell All Your Friends era lineup.[71][74] On March 31, 2010, tbsnewagain tweeted a link to a video announcing the new lineup of the band. The video ended with a quick stream of words which ended with, "Sometimes it takes some time to remember where you were headed in the first place and the people you intended to go there with. There's no hard feelings, just the future."[75]

On April 12, the band made an official announcement confirming that John Nolan and Shaun Cooper had re-joined the band. It was announced that they would soon begin the recording process of their fifth studio album with Louder Now producer Eric Valentine.[76] On the same day, Adam Lazzara did an interview with Alternative Press, in which he discussed how the original line-up got back together and how both Matt Rubano and Matt Fazzi were not fired, but rather "let go". The band finished writing in El Paso with around 15 songs completed, according to Mark O'Connell.[citation needed] Pre-production on the new album began on August 17, 2010, the same day their live acoustic album Live from Orensanz was released.[77] On December 20, 2010, the band put out a new Christmas song entitled "Merry Christmas I Missed You So Much".[78] On April 6, 2011, the band played at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey, to record footage for an upcoming video for the song "El Paso". Adam Lazzara requested that the audience put away their phones and cameras during the recording. They played the song three times during the set.[79] During this performance, the band also debuted a new song entitled "Faith (When I Let You Down)", live for the first time.[80] "Faith (When I Let You Down)" was released as the official first single from the album on May 3, 2011, with an acoustic version of "Great Romances of the 20th Century" as the b-side. On June 7, 2011, the second official single "This Is All Now" was released on iTunes, with the b-side being an acoustic version of "Ghost Man on Third".[81] On June 26, 2011, in an interview with Robert Herrera of Punkvideosrock.com, Mark and Shaun stated that the reason they returned to their original lineup was because they no longer felt it was Taking Back Sunday without the original members. Mark stated they were miserable as a band, weren't having fun, and didn't like the direction the band was going so they decided to reach out to the original members and after meeting with the band in Texas found that "the chemistry was still there."[82]

On July 8, 2011, Taking Back Sunday released an official music video for "Faith (When I Let You Down)".[83] On November 3, 2011, Taking Back Sunday released an official music video for "You Got Me". This is the second single from their self-titled album. The video was created with the help of Steve Pedulla and Ward McDonald and it features guitarist Eddie Reyes dancing solo on a theater stage. Taking Back Sunday played Warped Tour 2012 at all locations. In honor of Record Store Day 2012, the band released a limited press vinyl LP entitled "We Play Songs", featuring four live acoustic tracks.[84]

TAYF10 anniversary tour (2012–13)[edit]

Taking Back Sunday embarked on a "Tell All Your Friends" 10th anniversary tour for 2012, during which the band performed their debut album in its entirety.[85] The full US tour featured Bayside as main support, with Transit, Man Overboard and Gabriel the Marine as special guests. An audio and video recording of the acoustic version of the tour was released for digital download through the band's website on June 18, 2013.[citation needed]

On June 7, 2013, 2:33PM, Taking Back Sunday took to Twitter to confirm that the recording of their 6th studio album had begun; they tweeted: "Phase one of recording the new record starts now... Happy Friday!"[86] The band, who are working alongside producers Marc Jacob Hudson and Ray Jeffrey, have confirmed that pre-production of the 6th studio record has been completed, and that drum and bass tracking has begun.[87] On July 1, 2013, the band announced that guitar and vocal tracking had begun as well.[88] They announced on Facebook that the album will be released in early 2014.[citation needed]

On August 29, 2013, Adam Lazzara and John Nolan performed an acoustic set at the Leaky Lifeboat Inn, in Seaford, New York, where they debuted a new song with a working title, "The Bird You Cannot Change".[89] On September 11 and 12 the band played a new song at Starland Ballroom called "Flicker Fade". Song title was later confirmed during a televised concert on September 12 on AXSTV. On October 13, the band performed a new song, with the working title, "Anywhere That You Want to Go / Beat Up Car".

From October 25 through November 2, Underoath vocalist Spencer Chamberlain began filling in on lead vocals following the premature birth of Adam Lazzara's son.[citation needed] On November 8, Lazzara and Nolan performed at the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University as an acoustic act.[citation needed] This featured the appearance of a Stony Brook violinist named Dylan Ebrahimian who also will appear on Taking Back Sunday's next album due in 2014.[citation needed]

Happiness Is, Tidal Wave and departure of Eddie Reyes (2014–present)[edit]

On January 11, 2014, Taking Back Sunday revealed that a new album, Happiness Is, was available for pre-order on iTunes, as was a new track: "Flicker, Fade".[citation needed] Happiness Is was released on March 18, 2014, through Hopeless Records.[90]

The band embarked on a North American headline tour in 2015 with The Menzingers and letlive.

On June 27, 2016, the band's next album, Tidal Wave, was announced for release on September 16.[91] Material for the album was written in between tours for Happiness Is.[92]

On April 13, 2018, it was announced that founding guitarist Eddie Reyes has parted ways with the band.[93] This was later confirmed by Reyes, stating the reason for his departure was due to his battle with alcoholism and hoped to join the band again in the future. In the meantime, he has also stated to have started a new band.[94]

On the subject of ever touring with previous members of Taking Back Sunday, John Nolan said in an interview: "I don’t think that’s something that really interests us. This lineup has been together for three albums now and we’re really focused on continuing to develop and evolve together. Revisiting old songs with past band members just seem like an exercise in nostalgia."[95]

On October 12, 2018, the band began announcing a compilation album to celebrate their 20th anniversary, along with a worldwide tour. The album, entitled Twenty, was released on January 11, 2019.[96] Twenty consists of songs from Taking Back Sunday's Victory Records and Warner Bros. Records albums, which are now owned by Concord Music.

For their 20th Anniversary tour, the band have employed the use of a specially made coin to flip at shows in locations where they are playing two nights in a row. The coin toss will decide the second album to be played the first night of the pair of shows, either Louder Now or Where You Want to Be. (Tell All Your Friends will be played each night.)

In an interview with The Aquarian, John Nolan said that the band was not currently on a label, indicating that they left Hopeless Records.[97]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Taking Back Sunday has been described as emo,[98][16][99][100][101] post-hardcore,[102][98][103][104][105] pop-punk,[106][98][107] and alternative rock.[106][108][109] The band has also veered into the sounds of pop rock,[110] and emo pop.[111] Charles Spano of AllMusic described the band as a "New York-based emo band that blend[s] Southern California post-punk, nu metal and old school hardcore."[16] Taking Back Sunday's influences include the Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dag Nasty, The Get Up Kids, The Promise Ring, Bad Brains, Quicksand, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Celtic Frost, Sunny Day Real Estate, Kreator, Nirvana, and Radiohead.[112][113][114][30]

Band members[edit]

Current members

  • John Nolan – lead guitar, keyboards, vocals (1999–2003; 2010–present)
  • Adam Lazzara – lead vocals (2001–present); bass guitar, vocals (2000–2001)
  • Mark O'Connell – drums, percussion (2001–present)
  • Shaun Cooper – bass guitar (2001–2003; 2010–present)
  • Nathan Cogan – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (touring 2010–present)


Studio albums


Additional notes[edit]

  1. ^ This event later inspired Brand New to include "Seventy Times 7" on their debut album, Your Favorite Weapon (2001). Nolan wrote about the event from his point of view in Taking Back Sunday's "There's No 'I' in Team", and he and Lacey later reconciled.[9]
  2. ^ Lacey became hostile towards Lazzara and Taking Back Sunday. This situation, according to Alternative Press, "spawned one of the most public intra-band rivalries in emo history."[10] In 2015, Lazzara described Lacey as "a dick. He just sucks. He's not a good person."[11]


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