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.
Just for the record, could please state your name and what you do in Taking Back Sunday?
Eddie: I’m Ed.
Shaun: He plays guitar. I’m Shaun, I play bass.
Mark: I am Mark and I play drums.
How’s 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 we’ve been doing mostly second to last or last. It’s been a mix of people out there and it’s been fun.
Shaun: There’s people who are seeing us for the first time, people who haven’t seen us in awhile, so it’s a good mixture. We do meet and greets every day, so it’s cool to see the different people. It’s a blast.
I saw you guys with a swamp of people earlier.
Shaun: It’s an honor. They’re all hot and sweaty out there and it sucks. We get to sit in a tent and they don’t, so we’re lucky.
Michigan has certainly delivered on its humidity.
Shaun: It’s 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 you’re going to be doing a tenth anniversary tour for Tell All 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 haven’t?
Mark: That record has turned into something really special for us. The way people over the years have grown to love it. We didn’t know that was going to happen when we were writing it. We just thought hey, we’ll do this album and then whatever. We didn’t even think about it. It’s gonna be cool for us to do that. We’re very proud and it’s crazy that it’s ten years ago. I think it’s gonna be fun for the kids that come out to see it too. It’s cool because we grow up and everybody has those records. I have those records that I listen to and I feel like I’m a kid again. To be able to have that album for other people is awesome.
Eddie: It’s also gonna be fun to play a lot of songs I haven’t played in awhile.
Shaun: There’s people that come out, that the bands got so big when John and I left that so now that we’re back it’ll be fun for everyone to see the original lineup play that record front to back and just embrace it and celebrate it.
It’s certainly been that way that people who saw you before and weren’t 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. That’s 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 ‘N Roses got back together and did Appetite For Destruction, that would be pretty special. But it will never happen. [laughs] C’mon Axl. C’mon buddy.
Mark: He’s not gonna like you. But you’ll say, ‘Axl, but I love you.’ [imitates Axel Rose] ‘Ya jerk!’
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: It’s 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 haven’t done that. We kind of just have a different mentality about this music and what we do. We’re workhorses, we just want to keep playing and writing music.
Mark: I think there’s a realness with us and New Found. When the whole genre got really big, it was a lot of labels going, ‘Okay, 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 don’t come through on the next album, it’s just, later, bands disappear.’ 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 weren’t 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 that’s 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: It’s not easy running a label, so kudos to them for even doing that. But there’s a lot of great independents that went on to sign on with major labels. And it’s really cool to see them here on the tour supporting whatever bands they’re putting out.
Shaun: And it’s important that those labels are pointing out to the majors that you can turn on a profit on a much smaller scale if you’re not spending like an idiot. The major labels kind of screwed themselves by thinking illegal downloading wouldn’t 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 you’ve been been shows since reforming with this lineup that the rejuvenation you’ve seen is what you expecting as a band?
Eddie: I have more fun playing live now. It’s definitely brought a new spark of life to the band. It needed more fun again.
Mark: It wasn’t instant though. It wasn’t like, okay John and Shaun are back and we’re selling out arenas. We’ve been working. We don’t stop. We have wives and kids and its been small like in the very beginning, and it’s 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 we’re very proud of helped. But it did take a lot of work. We didn’t 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. It’s not the easiest tour. You do have to play for 35 minutes, which is a breeze for us because we’re used to an hour and a half, but we’re doing it every night so we can prove to everyone. I feel that we’re hungry still even after a steady year of touring.
Speaking of that Warped Tour grind, how has this year compared to year’s past when you did Warped or any sort of outdoor thing with the temperature and weather in play and it’s an all-day event?
Mark: The thing is, Warped Tour is constant. It’s every single day and it’s all day long. It’s not like a festival where it’s one day or two days.
Eddie: It’s like a carnie, gypsy, punk rock gathering. Like punk rock summer camp.
Shaun: We’re carnies, we embrace.
With the new record, what are some things you’re particularly proud of with this record now that you’re back together and you’ve 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, we’ve 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 “El Paso” and something a bit more dancey like “Money”. Then you’ve got something like “Call Me in the Morning” which is out there. It’s a good and varied record that doesn’t stray too far from what the band is known for. I think we did something pretty good, but the new stuff we’ve been writing will far surpass that, and I didn’t know that until we started demoing some new songs, so I’m excited about those too.
Anything else you’d like to talk about?
Shaun: We’re excited to tour in the Fall and we’d love to see everyone out on the rest of Warped Tour.
Eddie: We’re very thankful for everyone sticking around and supporting us through all of the years.