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Known for being one of two major alternative rock bands to come out of Long Island, Taking Back Sunday has been putting out music for over a decade now and doesn't show any indication of stopping.
Taking Back Sunday began with punk alternative ideas and added new sounds that punk never heard before. Their songs were crafted carefully and weren’t preformed with multiple guitar riffs and unidentified words, characteristics well-known to the punk community.
Starting their career by singing in run down Long Island bars and experiencing their fair share of lineup changes, their fans remained dedicated to them throughout the years. Eddie Reyes is responsible for founding the band, but it definitely had its rocky stages.
From 1999 to 2001, the band lineup went through some fine-tuning. Jesse Lacey, current singer of Brand New, was recruited and brought John Nolan along with him. Antonio Longo was on vocals and after the process of recording their first 6-track EP, Lacey left the band to start Brand New.
Nolan half-jokingly called friend Adam Lazzara to come from North Carolina to Long Island and jump head first into the band. Lazzara was all for the idea—he moved, joined the band and worked in Reyes’ father’s deli for some quick cash. He signed on to play guitar but after more discrepancies, Antonio Longo left and Lazzara jumped to vocals.
Singer Adam Lazzara, guitarist and backup vocals, John Nolan, guitarist Eddie Reyes, bassist Shaun Cooper and drummer Mark O’Connell came together for good in 2001.
After putting together an EP, they put out Tell All Your Friends with Victory Records in 2002 and immediately saw success. Flavor Flav even made a strange yet entertaining appearance in the music video for “You’re So Last Summer.”
The band made their music by nailing the guitar riffs and adding lyrics and other musical elements to it. Nolan and Lazzara would spend nights ripping pages out of their notebooks and pulling lines from their writing to strategically place into new songs.
It’s no secret that Taking Back Sunday and Brand New were at odds for a while. Nolan and Lacey fought over girl issues, which became very personal. Their lyrics take jabs at one another and there’s even Brand New apparel that says “mics are for singing, not for swinging,” which makes fun of Lazarra and his token mic-swinging moves. Fans even felt the need to choose “sides” and support only one band.
Throughout their album successes, constant lineup changes, famous concert gigs and guest appearances on television, the original lineup found their way back to one another. The band lost Nolan and Cooper, gained Matt Rubano, Fred Mascherino and Matt Fazzi just to lose them a few short years later.
The Tell All Your Friends 10-year anniversary sparked a tour for the band where they played the entire album front to back, a once in a lifetime experience. The band is currently working on another studio album called Happiness is.. which will be available on March 18.
Some fans think the band’s time has run out and to leave a good thing alone while others are eternally grateful that their favorite band of over a decade still manages to put out music for themselves and their fans alike. Either way, their music has paved the way for rock bands to follow in their footsteps.
Let’s count down the top 10 best and most influential Taking Back Sunday songs.
Image: Wikimedia Commons