Taking Back Sunday hit Irish shores later this month as they celebrate 20 years together.
The Long Island four piece – including founding members Adam Lazzara, John Nolan, Mark O’Connell and Shaun Cooper – play Whelan’s on 16 June performing their seminal piece of work, ‘Tell All Your Friends’ in full.
Over two decades, the early adopters of emo-turned-rock ‘n’ roll powerhouse navigated line up changes and label issues. Despite – or perhaps because – of their extensive legacy, they show no signs of slowing down.
Taking Back Sunday came together as most bands of that era did: Nolan met original singer Antonio Longo through school. The pair got together with original guitarist Eddie Reyes.
“I went to the practice space and we worked on some ideas and they were like ‘You’re in the band!’” Nolan told Kerrang!. “It was exciting to be in a band with people who I could tell were serious about making it work.”
Lazzara came on board after an impromptu audition at one of the band’s first shows, with Cooper coming on board shortly after. The rest, as they say, is history.
‘Tell All Your Friends’, released on 26 March 2002, was thus named for a simple reason.
“We called it the ‘Tell All Your Friends’ demos because we hoped everybody would tell their friends about our band,” Lazzara said. “We thought we were pretty clever! So when it came time to make the record, we just thought, ‘Let’s call it Tell All Your Friends.’”
After a slate of rejections from labels and reps alike, TBS signed with Victory records: a move which their lawyer initially warned against making. What followed was debut success beyond any of their wildest dreams.
“We went from no-one being interested in signing us to having this record out,” Lazzara. “We did maybe two tours and then suddenly it just blew up. We were selling out these venues we’d come through not too long before and opened the show.”
However, this wildfire turnaround proved to be a catalyst for the initial departure of Cooper and Nolan, as two barely twenty-somethings struggling to adjust to a life on the road and under the microscope.
Two men down, Taking Back Sunday moved on, enjoying success with a major label as Cooper and Nolan pursued side projects. However, it wasn’t long before the gang inevitably came back together, to reflect on the music that made them.
Revisiting the songs of Tell All Your Friends, having been afforded the space of 20 years to grow up, has been a cathartic experience for the group – as it will be undoubtedly be for anyone in attendance at Whelan’s.
‘Tell All Your Friends’ is an album for anyone of the MySpace era, who bemoans the loss of the early iterations of instant messaging and is looking for an injection of nostalgia that cuts close to the bone, in a way that only this genre can.
Taking Back Sunday play ‘Tell All Your Friends’ in full at Whelan’s on 16 June, with special guests The Frights and Geoff Reddy. Tickets €30.20 incl booking fee.