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Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara Discusses ‘Happiness Is’ Album, Touring + More

Taking Back Sunday Adam Lazzara
Mat Szwajkos, Getty Images

Taking Back Sunday are back, and they’ve got a new album called ‘Happiness Is’ that has proved to be one of their most personal albums to date. The band recorded the effort without interference from a label and truly put their stamp on the music.

We had a chance to chat with frontman Adam Lazzara about the new disc, and he also spoke about touring with The Used, the single ‘Flicker, Fade’ and the approach to the new disc. Check out our chat with Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara below.

How close did your initial vision for the new album compare to its final result?

Well it is interesting that you ask that. We didn’t go in with any kind of preconceived notion when we started to write. We didn’t go in and say that this record needs to be weird or heavy or slower or anything like that. For us we just stayed in a room and just kind of saw what came out. We just let the songs show you where they want to you. Which I know sounds like a real hippie thing to say. We weren’t really chasing anything other than to make sure that we had a collection of really great songs, or the ones that we thought were great.

Can you talk about the comfort level with the band and this lineup at this point?

Well, for us, I feel like the self-titled record — the one before this one — I feel that there was still a lot of us feeling each other out. Through that process we were learning how to play together again. When it came to this record there were things where it was real easy to lean on the other guys when I needed someone the lean on and vice versa. I think that is something that is real important, because when you are working with five other real strong personalities things can often get difficult. But seeing as how we were all on the same page and we had all of that touring under our belts it really helped to have a real organic process.

I got to see you on that last tour and it sounds like the band is coming together great in the live setting. I’m assuming that it has carried over into the studio as well.

Awesome. Thanks man. I am stoked on this upcoming tour too because it will be the first time that we will be playing these songs live. We have been playing ‘Flicker, Fade’ and this other song called ‘Beat Up Car’ off of this record but we wanted to wait to play the other ones until the record was actually out. A lot of the reason being that we didn’t want people’s first reaction to be some sh–ty YouTube video on their phone. For us, with where our heads are, it is going to be a really fun time. We just got done with a quick Europe run and it has been some of the most fun I have had playing in years.

You mentioned ‘Flicker, Fade’ being out there and worked into sets. What is a favorite song off the album that you can’t wait to see how it’s received live?

For me, it changes but for right now the one I am a little nervous to play for folks because there is a lot of space in it, it is more of an atmosphere kind of tune. The song is ‘All the Way,’ which is the third song on the record, well fourth if you include the intro. I was really proud of that song and then I think live if the mood is right we could really moved some people with it.

It’s a great pairing, you guys going out with The Used. Talk about your relationship with that band.

We did a tour with them in 2002, a short run. Since then we’ve been a lot of the same festivals, radio type shows. They’ve been buddies of ours since then, we were kind of coming up at the same time. The one thing I’m worried about when we first found out we got this about a month ago, was that people might look at it like this nostalgia tour. Just because we both we’re coming up at the same time, in the 2000′s.

For us, we always want to be moving forward and doing new things, but everyone in their camp kind of feels the same way I do. They have this new record that’s coming out just right after ours too, it was good to hear they’re on the same page. I think everyone is going to have a great time.

‘Flicker, Fade,’ can you talk about that song and how it came together and where it was in the process of putting together this album?

‘Flicker, Fade’ came about on one of our first rounds of demos. It was the first one that we finished that when we all sat back and listened to the rough version of it, we knew we were onto something. So that was kind of the song that got us going in the right direction, I feel like. It was fitting that it was the first one that we put out for folks to hear.

This album has come across as a more personal record. Talk about what it’s like to put that out there for people to take in.

It’s definitely a little bit scarier, you know? Because I feel a little more naked, and I think John [Nolan] does too. It’s like putting us in a vulnerable place and people on the Internet are really mean. It makes it like a double whammy. For a long time I thought that the best way that people could listen to a song and then make it their own was to be as cryptic as they could. Then I guess through growing and a lot of the music that I listen to regularly, I started to realize that it wasn’t the case. I wanted to try my hand at being a little more direct this time around. To see what comes of it. When I sit down and listen to the record I’m very proud it’s under the approach we took.

I recently saw where you guys were building a recording studio for at-risk kids, which I thought was a cool thing to do. Talk about your experience with that.

That was more through Hopeless Records. That was all their brainchild and they brought the idea to us and asked if we had anything that we could donate that they could then auction to raise money for it. I personally think it’s a great thing. It’s giving these kids a place to go, you know? Not only that, but then they can learn how to engineer and tinker around with all the tools and gadgets and instruments.

For me, growing up that was always my outlet. Playing the guitar or trying to figure out how to work the four track. To know that there will be a place where these kids can go is pretty awesome, not a lot of people have that opportunity. It’s often pretty expensive to get into one of those places.

Very cool. What can fans look forward to in the coming months from Taking Back Sunday?

‘Happiness Is’ will be out and then we’ll be touring all of the U.S., we’ll go to Canada and go on to try to do the rest of the world.

Our thanks to Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara for the interview. The band’s ‘Happiness Is’ album is out now and can be purchased here. The group has also started their trek with The Used and remaining dates can be found by clicking the button below.

See Taking Back Sunday's Tour Dates With The Used

Watch Taking Back Sunday’s ‘Flicker, Fade’ Video

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