TAKING BACK SUNDAY talks lineup changes, being influential

Long Island’s Taking Back Sunday is a success story of a more traditional kind than is common today. The band was formed by Eddie Reyes in 1999. Reyes was already a veteran of such influential acts as Mind Over Matter and Inside, not to mention a founding member of the Movielife. The band recorded a demo and toured relentlessly before attempting to talk to labels, subsequently being signed by Victory Records. 5 full length albums, countless tours all over the world and even placing number 2 on the Billboard top 200 charts are just some of accomplishments Taking Back Sunday have since seen. Chris Stocking recently had a chance to speak with Reyes.

Chris: Between reforming the Tell All Your Friends-era lineup in 2010, then writing and recording your eponymous album, did you find the overall process of writing and recording more natural?

Eddie: It felt more natural and it flowed a lot better. It was nice that it wasn’t forced, it flowed perfectly just like before.

Chris: What is your favorite song on the album?

Eddie: I have two that I listen to a lot, Money (Let It Go) and Falling.

Chris: How do you feel your musical style has changed over the years? Do you feel that the changes in line up have created experimentations within the bands composition?

Eddie: I think we’ve grown a lot as a band and matured a lot as people. Playing with different sound and ideas would probably happen on every album regardless of membership changes.

Chris: You guys played “Existentialism on Prom Night” at Bamboozle 2011. Have you considered playing more Straylight Run songs as part of your set?

Eddie: Yes, when we get the chance we would love to rehearse a few more of their songs.

Chris: As a band that tours all over the world, what’s your favorite and least favorite parts of touring?

Eddie: I love touring, I love meeting people and playing shows, I just wish I could be with my kids at the same time because they are the ones I miss the most.

Chris: What was your favorite part of the South America tour?

Eddie: We loved being down there and the audiences were so enthusiastic. Outside of that, our tour manager Marc arranged a sightseeing day trip in Rio and that was incredible.

Chris: What are you most excited for on the Australia tour?

Eddie: It’s just exciting to be in Australia period! Australia is one of my favorite countries! It’s everything awesome about the UK, the rest of Europe and America rolled up into one!

Chris: Being a stage setter for an ongoing trend of emotionally strong lyrically driven bands, how does it feel to be in part responsible for the eruption of bands within that concept?

Eddie:The band I was influenced by was influenced by someone else so it’s definitely always present. The fact that someone may have wanted to start a band because of our music will always be an honor.

Chris: What inspired you guys to be behind the December 27th food drive?

Eddie:Someone asked for help and it was something we could do so we did it.

Chris: As we all know, you featured Flavor Flav in your video, You’re So Last Summer. What was the concept behind this?

Eddie: Since John wasn’t there we tried to think of the silliest person we could who could cover his part. At one point we said Flavor Flav and everyone laughed. He is a fellow long island musician after all. Then we asked him and he said yes. This was before all of the reality shows though.

Chris: I’ve always loved the cover art for Louder Now. It reminds me of a photo by Joel Meyerowitz called ‘NYC, 1963’. Did you draw inspiration for the cover from that photo?

Eddie: Good eye, check the credits!

Chris: My first exposure to TBS was from Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland where you covered “Suburban Home” and “I Like Food”. Would you consider the Descendents an influence on your sound?

Eddie: Definitely for some of us. Everyone in the band has different influences.

Chris: What can we anticipate from Taking Back Sunday in 2012?

Eddie: More music and more touring! Maybe something to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our first album!

Chris: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. We really appreciate it and look forward to what Taking Back Sunday has to offer in the future.

Eddie: Thank you!