Although the pride of Long Island have had a handful of member changes over the years, the current lineup of the band – vocalist Adam Lazzara, guitarist John Nolan, drummer Mark O’Connell and bassist Shaun Cooper – have all been there since the beginning.
From the band’s landmark, 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends to their most recent full-length, 2016’s Tidal Wave, Taking Back Sunday have evolved from a key player in the early 2000’s emo scene to a genre-defying rock band who have three gold albums without ever ceasing to push the limitations of their sound.
This fact is evidenced on Twenty, a 21-song collection set for release in January 2019 via Craft Recordings that spans all seven of their full-lengths and solidifies them as an act with a catalogue that will undoubtedly outlive them. By now you know the basic history of the band, so we thought it’d be apt to look back at the fact that almost none of it happened…
“When I joined Taking Back Sunday in 1999, it was the first real band that I had ever been a part of, but it never crossed my mind that I would be doing this twenty years later. When I came in to audition it was just [original vocalist] Antonio [Longo] and [founding TBS guitarist and former Movielife member] Eddie Reyes.
Eddie had started enough bands that he was like, ‘I know how to do this, I can just call one guy.’ But it was a crazy thing. When it started out, there was a lot more likely that it would fizzle out in a few months than it would last a few years. I tried out, and basically, after we jammed for a couple of hours Eddie was like, ‘All right, you’re in. You have to get some different equipment though… and I’ll sell it to you.’ I think he sold me a head and cabinet for $200 [that] had to be worth at least $600.” – John Nolan
“My entry into the band is pretty interesting. One day my brother said, ‘Hey, my friend is looking for a drummer and he wanted to know if you wanted to try out.’ But once I realized he was talking about Eddie, I had second thoughts. I remembered Eddie was the jerk who would yell at me and Shaun and all of our friends in front of Shaun’s house when we would hang out there because he would be going to Movielife practice. So I said, ‘No, I don’t want to play in a band with that guy.’
Then maybe two months later Shaun and I were hanging out [with] my mutual friend at a restaurant where Antonio worked and our friend said, ‘Yo, my boy needs a drummer for his band if you want to try out.’ The first song I heard was ‘Go On’ and I was like, ‘Wow, this definitely has a lot of potential,’ so I agreed. On my first tryout, I remember walking in and seeing John, Antonio and then guess who’s there? Eddie Reyes. I was like, ‘Oh, what’s up, man? How are you doing?’ That was it.” –Mark O’Connell
Taking Back Sunday may have started out like most of their peers by playing local shows and recording demos; however, unlike most of those peers they went on to sign to a major, label, tour alongside Linkin Park and become international superstars. That said, they still speak of the band’s early days as if they just happened yesterday. “I’ll never forget, we played Ground Zero in Long Island in 2001 and it was the first show we played where people were singing along and going crazy. It was a tiny place that held 100 people but you could sense something had changed,” Lazzara recalls. “After the show I remember we carried some equipment back to John’s car and we were sitting in it just not saying anything.
Twenty is a celebration not only of those career-defining moments but of the landmark albums that chronicle the band’s story: 2002’s Tell All Your Friends, 2004’s Where You Want To Be, 2006’s Louder Now, 2009’s New Again, 2011’s Taking Back Sunday, 2014’s Happiness Is and 2016’s Tidal Wave, all of which are represented on this collection.
Whether your introduction to the band was singing along to “A Decade Under The Influence” in a sweaty club or hearing “MakeDamnSure” or “Sink Into Me” on the radio, Twenty is a look back at some of the highlights from this unlikely group of musical misfits. Additionally, fans will be able to hear two newly recorded songs, “All Ready To Go” and “A Song For Dan,” which hint at the direction that Taking Back Sunday are heading in the coming years. Musical legacy aside, ultimately what’s most impressive is the fact that after two decades and countless successes, Taking Back Sunday have managed to preserve that initial spark that excited them as teenagers.
Catch Taking Back Sunday live at Vicar Street 16th June 2019. Tickets €29.00 inclusive of booking fee – on sale this Friday at 9 AM via Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide.
For your chance to win one pair of tickets to this historic show, simply do the following;
The winner will be chosen at random and contacted privately on Monday, 10th December at 11 am. 18+ only.