Interview: Taking Back Sunday
Posted on February 9, 2012 by L&G
Last Thursday I had the chance to speak to Matt from Taking Back Sunday. Seeing as I’ve been a huge fan, speaking to one of the bands I grew up listening to was awesomely incredible.
Here is how it all went down:
Hey, how’s it going?
Yeah, good. How are you?
I’m very good. Just chilling with my wife and dog. Watching TV as well. Nothing special.
(Laughs) Hey, don’t bag out watching TV. I love it.
Thanks for taking the time out to talk to PRIMO! Magazine by the way.
Yeah, no problems at all. Thanks for taking the time out to chat to us.
Anytime, bro. I have been a big fan from way back when I was an angsty teenager chasing chicks and trying to play the guitar. This is like a bit of a privilege to be perfectly honest.
That’s awesome man. Thanks.
How is Taking Back Sunday going?
It is going great. We just got back from South America, actually. It couldn’t be better right now. We are very happy playing shows and stuff. We couldn’t ask for anything more.
That’s amazing. Where abouts in South America did you play?
We played in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
Hey, I’m from Chile!
Yeah, I am actually Chilean. How good was it?
Yeah, it was great!
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard you guys before?
Well I guess you can say it’s a mix of Punk Rock, with mostly just rock. We are basically a rock ‘n’ roll band.
Awesome dude. I remember when I was younger I saw you at the Sydney Roundhouse and I was with this chick who swore you were singing to her. You guys basically killed it when I saw you live.
How important is it for you guys to put on a good live show?
That is what we do, man. That is what we pride ourselves on. Every single show, no matter how many people, we give it our all. That is the thing, we have been around for over 10 years and I personally feel that because of our live shows we are able to make it happen.
Definitely. I remember there wouldn’t have been more than 200 people there and not brown nosing or anything, but it would be up there with one of the better live acts I have seen in my time. It definitely stood out.
You guys have come a long way since ‘Tell All Your Friends’, and like I said to you early, it is no lie that I have been a huge fan of you guys since way back. How do you feel has been the progression of Taking Back Sunday, and has the change in line-up affected your sound at all?
Well, yeah. Definitely. There has been a couple of line-ups and when you have different people helping out writing music, everyone will have their own style to put into it. Having Shaun and John back to me has made it much more fun than it was. It got to the point where it became a chore. You play music because it’s a passion; you love writing music and playing music. I kind of lost that but with the last album, it was real. We had that vibe as everyone was doing it for the right reasons.
So would you say it is a collaborative effort with all the band members or do one or two people take control of it?
It’s all the band members. If it wasn’t all of us 5 working on something it wouldn’t be Taking Back Sunday, especially now more than ever.
You said how it’s different now because John is back. For our readers out there that don’t know, John left in 2003 and came back in 2010. What does that mean to you, and did you guys stay in contact while he was on hiatus?
I stayed in contact with both Shaun and John. Shaun has been one of my best friends since childhood. There was a time when we went through a rough patch, but we grew up together and have had the same friends since elementary school so Shaun and I patched things up really quick. Then I patched thing up with John too. It got to the point where I became so unhappy with where Taking Back Sunday was at, so what happened was, Shaun and I met up one night and we were having such an amazing time. I ended up saying to Shaun: “Man, wouldn’t it be crazy if you guys got back in the band? Wouldn’t it be so much fun? Like, you think maybe something could happen?”. It made me realise that I really wanted this to happen. I didn’t know how much longer I could have taken without it happening. So we spoke again and it worked itself out. We are as happy as could be.
Awesome bro. I mean, if you were friends with Shaun and John since you were kids, of course things would work themselves out.
So you made ‘Tell All Your Friends’, then backed it up with my personal favourite ‘Where You Want To Be’. Your latest album Taking Back Sunday will be your 5th studio album which is crazy. How does it feel like still being relevant after 5 studio albums?
It is amazing! (Laughs). It is like our dream. We always talk about how lucky we are still playing shows and still having people there. It doesn’t normally happen. It is not real life. When you start a band, you always want that, but it’s not the norm. When we started this band in 1999, I started touring when I was 19. I am 30 now and this is my job!
That’s over 10 years, bro!
This is my real job. We are lucky, lucky people.
10 years is a massive innings!
(Laughs) Yeah! I mean, I couldn’t be happier. We never take it for granted. We all know how lucky we are, we still love to play shows, play music together and write. So yeah, we are excited for the future.
Well, I take my hat off to you guys. It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, I’ll tell you that.
Thank you, man. Thanks.
For your latest album, you worked with Eric Valentine. What was it like working with him?
He is an absolute genius. Like, he is an actual genius.
The things that he does are insane. When you work with people that work with sound, they are kind of like scientists. He is a special person to work with.
Is Eric there? I’m starting to feel like he is putting you up to this.
(Laughs) No! I am in New York, and he is in California!
Only kidding, bro. (Laughs) Forgot to ask; did you guys take a break after completing Taking Back Sunday? Because it seems like you guys bust out an album every couple of years. Is it straight to tours and writing?
Well, when we got Shaun and John back in the band, we got straight back to writing and from there, straight to the studio. Ever since the album was mixed, we have been working straight. We really haven’t had any time off. Even though when we’re not touring, we are still working.
What’s the writing process like for you guys? Do you all get together, or is a more natural let it happen kind of thing?
If we have time off, we write at home by ourselves, and then on tour we show each other and stuff. All we have to do is when we have time off, is get together also to work on stuff if that makes sense.
Yeah, it does. I get you. You guys are touring Australia with ‘New Found Glory’ and ‘This Time Next Year’. You have got to be excited, right?
Oh man. I love it there.
I know you’re playing Sydney and Melbourne, but you playing any other shows?
Hold on, I actually have it written here… We are playing Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide.
Nice! You’re practically playing most of the major cities.
That’s awesome, bro
Ok, so last question that is huge time. Burgers or Burritos?
Well, I prefer anything that is vegetarian.
So… You’re saying burrito then.
Yeah, but there also are vegetarian burgers, so it all depends.
All I’m hearing is burritos, bro.
Thanks for taking the time out to speak to PRIMO! magazine today. See you when you come over!
Have a good day, buddy.