In the midst of their run on Warped Tour, I sat down with three of the gentlemen in Taking Back Sunday to discuss a bit about the nostalgia of Warped, their upcoming anniversary tour for Tell All Your Friends and bands they wish would do tours on a single record.
Pictures by Brittani Ericksen
Just for the record, could please state your name and what you do in Taking Back Sunday?
Eddie: Iím Ed.
Shaun: He plays guitar. Iím Shaun, I play bass.
Mark: I am Mark and I play drums.
Howís Warped going for you guys, basically playing a headlining spot on the tour most nights and to a mix of old and new fans?
Eddie: The shows have been great. We played a couple of midday shows, but weíve been doing mostly second to last or last. Itís been a mix of people out there and itís been fun.
Shaun: Thereís people who are seeing us for the first time, people who havenít seen us in awhile, so itís a good mixture. We do meet and greets every day, so itís cool to see the different people. Itís a blast.
I saw you guys with a swamp of people earlier.
Shaun: Itís an honor. Theyíre all hot and sweaty out there and it sucks. We get to sit in a tent and they donít, so weíre lucky.
Michigan has certainly delivered on its humidity.
Shaun: Itís certainly been hotter other places so this is nice to us.
How would you say the crowds are reacting to the pretty spanning set you guys are playing from the new stuff all the way back to Tell All Your Friends?
Shaun: They seem to be digging it all. Everyone seems to be responding to all the stuff, it feels good.
You recently announced that youíre going to be doing a tenth anniversary tour for Tell Al Your Friends, besides that this is a ten-year old record and its nostalgic for people in the scene, how does doing this tour pay tribute to something you guys wrote to ten years ago as opposed to just giving people another chance to hear this record live if they perhaps havenít?
Mark: That record has turned into something really special for us. The way people over the years have grown to love it. We didnít know that was going to happen when we were writing it. We just thought hey, weíll do this album and then whatever. We didnít even think about it. Itís gonna be cool for us to do that. Weíre very proud and itís crazy that itís ten years ago. I think itís gonna be fun for the kids that come out to see it too. Itís cool because we grow up and everybody has those records. I have those records that I listen to and I feel like Iím a kid again. To be able to have that album for other people is awesome.
Eddie: Itís also gonna be fun to play a lot of songs I havenít played in awhile.
Shaun: Thereís people that come out, that the bands got so big when John and I left that so now that weíre back itíll be fun for everyone to see the original lineup play that record front to back and just embrace it and celebrate it.
Itís certainly been that way that people who saw you before and werenít able to see the lineup like that have said that. What are some bands you wished would have done something like that?
Eddie: For me it would be Quicksand, but they did get back together but only for like three songs and that just did the first record Slip. That would be awesome for me to see. Thatís one band. Another band would be, as far as our genre or music, it would be Texas is the Reason doing their first record. That would be cool.
Shaun: It always reminds me that if Guns ĎN Roses got back together and did Appetite For Destruction, that would be pretty special. But it will never happen. [laughs] Címon Axl. Címon buddy.
Mark: Heís not gonna like you. But youíll say, ĎAxl, but I love you.í [imitates Axel Rose] ĎYa jerk!í
In a similar nostalgia factor, this Warped reminds me a lot of the first Warped I went to that were you guys played and New Found Glory. What do you think has given bands like you, Yellowcard, New Found Glory that longevity as opposed to bands that have been a part of Warped Tour and other things and have just kind of faded out over time?
Eddie: Itís because we keep doing it. We keep playing and writing music. We grew up in a different generation. We grew up with DIY and started in basements and VFW halls, some bands havenít done that. We kind of just have a different mentality about this music and what we do. Weíre workhorses, we just want to keep playing and writing music.
Mark: I think thereís a realness with us and New Found. When the whole genre got really big, it was a lot of labels going, ĎOkay, we need to find bands that sound like that and push it to MTV and blah blah blah, and have their hit single. If they donít come through on the next album, itís just, later, bands disappear.í I think getting out in the band and getting a core fan base in very important.
Shaun: They were all very passionate about the band. They were all willing to ride the ups and downs. Well, John and I werenít for a little while [laughs], but you have those ups and downs in your personal life and your career. You just wanna do it so badly nothing else matters, and thatís what the five of us have together.
Is it kind of reassuring to see labels like No Sleep, Topshelf and Run for Cover fostering bands that have that same kind of mentality?
Eddie: Itís not easy running a label, so kudos to them for even doing that. But thereís a lot of great independents that went on to sign on with major labels. And itís really cool to see them here on the tour supporting whatever bands theyíre putting out.
Shaun: And itís important that those labels are pointing out to the majors that you can turn on a profit on a much smaller scale if youíre not spending like an idiot. The major labels kind of screwed themselves by thinking illegal downloading wouldnít be a problem or they could just sue it away instead of getting innovative like iTunes has started to do. There just needs to be further innovation and for the smaller labels to figure that out is a great thing.
Do you feel now that youíve been been shows since reforming with this lineup that the rejuvenation youíve seen is what you expecting as a band?
Eddie: I have more fun playing live now. Itís definitely brought a new spark of life to the band. It needed more fun again.
Mark: It wasnít instant though. It wasnít like, okay John and Shaun are back and weíre selling out arenas. Weíve been working. We donít stop. We have wives and kids and its been small like in the very beginning, and itís getting a little bigger and a little bigger. Word of mouth, and people hear about the show and we give it all every single show. Having John and Shaun come back and putting out an album that weíre very proud of helped. But it did take a lot of work. We didnít just like shit on a record.
Shaun: That was the important thing about doing the Warped Tour. We felt like we had to prove it again doing this thing. Sweating it out, the porta-potties. The waiting in line. The catering is awesome, but you have to wait in lines to get your food. Itís not the easiest tour. You do have to play for 35 minutes, which is a breeze for us because weíre used to an hour and a half, but weíre doing it every night so we can prove to everyone. I feel that weíre hungry still even after a steady year of touring.
Speaking of that Warped Tour grind, how has this year compared to yearís past when you did Warped or any sort of outdoor thing with the temperature and weather in play and itís an all-day event?
Mark: The thing is, Warped Tour is constant. Itís every single day and itís all day long. Itís not like a festival where itís one day or two days.
Eddie: Itís like a carnie, gypsy, punk rock gathering. Like punk rock summer camp.
Shaun: Weíre carnies, we embrace.
With the new record, what are some things youíre particularly proud of with this record now that youíre back together and youíve toured on it a bit, whether it is a progression in terms of sound or with what you were able to do with coming back together?
Eddie: Writing songs with people I like. I mean, weíve been demoing and stuff like that. I think what it is is we just write really well together. And everyone writes.
Shaun: And we were trying to do diverse things, like a heavy song like ďEl PasoĒ and something a bit more dancey like ďMoneyĒ. Then youíve got something like ďCall Me in the MorningĒ which is out there. Itís a good and varied record that doesnít stray too far from what the band is known for. I think we did something pretty good, but the new stuff weíve been writing will far surpass that, and I didnít know that until we started demoing some new songs, so Iím excited about those too.
Anything else youíd like to talk about?
Shaun: Weíre excited to tour in the Fall and weíd love to see everyone out on the rest of Warped Tour.
Eddie: Weíre very thankful for everyone sticking around and supporting us through all of the years.
God they were great when I saw them at warped. I have always loved their first 2 albums and very much enjoyed Louder Now but ever since seeing them live I have been on a kick for this band. I love their new album a lot more than I used to just cause I can equate those memories and just enjoy it without it having to sound just like old stuff. Tempted to give New Again a listen so despite knowing I really disliked that one when it came out just cause I have not been this much into this band since I was in high school. I really hope they continue put out quality albums.
looking forward to hearing this lineup muster out a follow up, finally haha. excited to hear this new shit. the self titled to me acts as a debut, sorry if you think its a follow up to either new again or tayf.
When I saw them tour behind the S/T they played 9 songs from TAYF. I will likely go to the 10th anniversary show but I feel like their tour with John and Shaun back delivered on this already.
That said, good interview and I'm happy to see them excited to play live again. New Again tour was brutal.
Yea exactly. The FIRST tour back, when they just played like 5 or 6 dates across the US in the summer of 2010 or whatever, they played the whole thing aside from like, The Blue Channel or something. So I mean I kind of already have seen this but I'll still travel far to see the 10th anniversary tour.