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INTERVIEW: Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday Pre-Show Interview – Emo’s 2/20/15

Feature Interviews

INTERVIEW: Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday Pre-Show Interview – Emo’s 2/20/15


The rockers that produced stirring tracks like “MakeDamnSure”, “El Paso” and more recently “Flicker, Fade” are returning to Austin, for the first time since 2012, this Friday night, February 20. Taking Back Sunday on only the second stop of their 2015 tour have already completely SOLD OUT Emo’s!

They are kicking off their headlining tour in the south showcasing many songs from past albums and promoting a box set of vinyl’s due to be released just four days after passing through here titled Happiness Is: The Complete Recordings. The records include some new acoustic, rare and unreleased TBS tracks. Pre orders and merchandise bundle packages are still available through

Check out TBS’s recently released video for the song off ‘Happiness is’ titled “All The Way”:

Getting to chat with the bands lead singer, Adam Lazarra, was delightfully entertaining. Discussing things from the Austin music scene to his limberness, we got to dip into what things have been like for TBS’s frontman lately. It was quite admirable to find him so humbled by his experiences with the band and in the industry after so many years. Adam expressed that we can be looking forward to a big show featuring a variety of TBS favorites this weekend.

Accompanied by colorful openers letlive. and The Menzingers. its certain to turn out a wicked Friday night for the rock bands fans old and new.

Interview with Adam Lazzara (frontman)

ATXMM- You’re about to be coming to Austin here in a bit..

Adam- Yeah

ATXMM- I know y’all lived here while recording Taking Back Sunday self titled album, how was that for you, living out in Texas?

Adam- Well its funny I actually used to live in Tyler, Texas, which I don’t know if you’ve been there its not really a culture hub or anything but I lived there for a few years and actually a few of my cousins lived there in Austin but I have one cousin thats still out there. So its really fun to visit.

ATXMM- You’ve played Emo’s a few times before but its been a couple of years since you have played Austin do you have any experiences here that stand out to you?

Adam- Well I remember you know we used to play Emo’s when it used to be closer to downtown and so I guess i just remember anytime going there and just hanging out with my cousins and getting in to trouble you know when we first started touring i was to young to get into the bars and I had this fake ID and so my cousin and I would go around and it was just a real good time.

ATXMM- Was it one of your cousins IDs or you just got lucky with a good fake?

Adam- Well actually I would use our guitar play John. I would use his because he would go in and somebody would come out with it and I’d wait a few minutes and just use that one. The funny thing about it is we look nothing alike but it always worked

ATXMM- Good old fashion hand off, you can always confuse them with something right? Its a good time being young around here I can agree with all that.

Adam- Yeah it was great

ATXMM- Any bars or restaurants that stick out to you when visiting?

Adam- Man Im trying to think of the name of a place where my cousin used to work because we were would always just go there. It was kind of off the beaten path you know? I cant remember the name of it off the top of my head but the thing there is its just so unlike any place in Texas and its just unlike any other place in the country. Theres this southern feel and its completely immersed in art and music which is something that I really enjoy, both being southern and liking art and music. So its kind of like the center of the universe with a lot of respect, you cant help but feel that you’re on to something special when you’re there

ATXMM- I can’t imagine when you first got into the industry that you quite expected to end up where you are now how do you think its influenced you, growing and experiencing from the south and our version of it and what you grew up in and everything, whats it been like developing in all of these different environments?

Adam- Its been really surreal you know you kind of go from just playing instruments in your room by yourself and then you’re able to do it in front of people and then like I was saying then you’re able to do it in cities like austin where thats kind of where a lot of people from that region and of course people from all over the country come and congregate. To be able to kind of go there and have a large amount of people into what were doing is just something we just didn’t ever expect to happen but were very glad it did.

ATXMM- Hey and were all grateful for it. So this show coming up at Emo’s again is the first you’ve played here in a few years are there any stand out moments from preforming in Austin before that really shine to you?

Adam- Well I remember the first time we played SXSW. It was a complete whirlwind because we were playing pretty early in the days both days that we played so the shows were crazy. Thats actually where we met our manager. It was kind of like a friend of a friend thing that brought her to see us playing and we’ve been with her since the very beginning you know she’s one of my best friends its good. Its always a good time down there

ATXMM- So its coming up on a year since y’all released Happiness Is how do you think live audience has been receiving that album on your last tour and kind of pushing it everywhere else?

Adam- Well anytime you put out anything new you just kind of, well for me I always get really nervous because the thing is that I like it and I know the band likes it but you cant guess what other people are going to think but ever since we’ve been playing those songs live and after the record finally came out the reception has been great. With a few of those songs you cant really tell they’re newer songs because the reaction is kind of as big as some of the older ones.

ATXMM- I cant help but be curious you know Ive read that y’all take a lot from a couple of older acts, Ive seen you reference the Beatles yourself does the title ‘Happiness Is’ reach out from that or where’d it come from?

Adam- To tell you the honest to god truth i was at my buddies house and we were going through all these old records of his that he had kind of accumulated over the years. Be it from family or old flea markets stuff like that and Ray Conners hes kind of like an old crooner, southern guy. He had a record called ‘Happiness Is’ and there was just something about it that I loved so much that I convinced the rest of the band to call it that.

ATXMM- Awesome, Influences are a hell of a thing. What would you consider some of your biggest influences to date outside of Ray Conners that have moved you?

Adam- Now I mean I listen to Tom Petty, he is my go to 100 percent. You know those days where you’re just not sure what to listen to and then you’re just kind of going through everything and you’re just kind of not in the mood. I can put on anything Tom Petty and it just always seems to work. He has this record called highway companion that I just think is one of the greatest records so yeah thats just kind of my main go-to as of now.

ATXMM- Inside of your own musical capabilities, what drives you? What are you most passionate about your personal production?

Adam-Well I just love the idea that I’m capable of making something out of nothing and the band is too. Just kind of putting something into the world that doesn’t exist. So I think thats one of the coolest things about the whole process

ATXMM- So what do you think, coming to Austin we can expect from the set list in february? I know y’all are kind of opening up the tour around here. Hows the show going to be for everyone this tour?

Adam- Well the last tour we did was a co-headlining show so both bands were playing the same amount of time each night. So we didn’t really have a chance to dive into both the new songs and insist on the old catalogue. So to where now we have kind of free reign so like I think folks going to the show can kind of expect a good thing. Like a good balance and mix of all the songs we’ve written. Were pretty much going to play until they tell us to stop

ATXMM- I know people really appreciated the Tell All Your Friends ten year tour where’d that come out of? Deciding to preform cover to cover and what was that like?

Adam- At first I was a little reluctant to do it. I didn’t want anybody to look at it as this nostalgia thing. I didn’t want to turn into that because so many people, one of their first questions will always be related to our first record which is awesome and I’m grateful for that but theres this other part of me thats like we’ve done a whole since then. My thing is yeah I just didn’t want to be looked at like this nostalgia act but then i came around and we finally did it and it was really amazing just to see how that record moved people you know? and how it kind of held up over all these years because we knew some people felt like that but we had no idea the whole extent of it.

ATXMM- For sure. So in the earlier years I’ve seen you hanging from scaffolds and consistently delivering a pretty renowned stage presence what inside of that has been your favorite part of preforming and growing with the band over the years?

Adam- Are you asking if i still do that?

ATXMM- No I don’t imagine you do. I mean what part of preforming and growing has been your favorite?

Adam- Well I do still do that stuff I’m very limber! but my favorite thing about preforming is that its kind of like this cathartic thing and for however much time you’re up there you get to be somebody else or you know a different version of yourself and its a very therapeutic thing. Ive always said some people have doctors and shrinks and we have that. Its kind of like a transformation every night and you just kind of get to get it all out and if I didn’t have that I don’t know where Id be or what id be up to.

ATXMM- Definitely and I mean over a decade doing this I doubt you ever really planned to be doing and then it sort of went and then it went some more didn’t it?

Adam- Well i guess the fortunate and unfortunate, kind of like a double edge sword is I don’t really know how to do anything else so hopefully we can keep it up. hopefully people continue to appreciate what were doing

ATXMM- I don’t see that changing anytime soon. What is it like preforming with a young family how does it affect your lifestyle and your life itself?

Adam- Well it makes it really hard to leave. Before I was the guy, in talking to our booking agent I would always be like l look I don’t care if were home just keep us working. Where as now its kind of quite the opposite, like OK we need sometime at home. Its like an ongoing thing that were learning how to balance it. Though its kind of the same thing as anything else in life. Theres new things come up and you figure out how to work with in that. Theres times where I feel like i get frustrated because it wasn’t until I got a little older that I started looking to other people in my family, aunts and uncles grandparents for things like that. With my family now I think to myself with my family now why cant I just have it figured out like they have it figured out but then its kind of the thing you’ve got to realize is Im really young compared to them and they had a time in their life where they had to try and figure it out. They’ve just been at it longer and you know practice makes perfect

ATXMM- Absolutely you’ve got to get there right? Its learning experience

Adam- Yeah

ATXMM- With all of the advancements in the industry thanks to the Internet, mass media, all that good stuff what do you think is different for artists today growing and coming up versus ten years ago when you were passing out flyers and promoting physically?

Adam- I think most everything is different now you know its kind of like the wild west like theres no laws or rules and everybody is just trying to figure out whats going to work. Whether that will settle I don’t know. Now theres so many outlets for newer bands to be heard and things like that. We have these conversations all the time, well what could we be doing to help our band grow and then we’ll try a bunch of wacky shit but at the end of the day you just don’t know. Where as ten years ago there was kind of like almost a formula to it. Like you would go to record a record and there would be a three month lead time and then you do a tour. It was something you could at least anticipate, to where as now its a little more systematic. The thing is I don’t think its a good thing and I don’t think its a bad thing either. Theres a lot of freedom in there and theres kind of this “fuck it, anything can happen” feeling and I guess theres always that feeling but its a lot more strong now that theres no kind of set guidelines anymore. I think the thing too is that, well for us is that we just try to stay busy and write the best songs we can and play the best we can and hope the rest works out

ATXMM- Is there anything y’all are actively working on?

Adam- For us we were just going, going, going, all last year and then it wasn’t until maybe a few days before christmas that we were able to slow down and kind of get our feet on the ground so I would say right now sort of leading up to this tour we’re all just catching our breath. But then kind of during this tour and afterwards is when we will be kind of starting to hash out new ideas and things like that.

ATXMM- Cool. Well I cant say much other than that every bodies looking forward to it me myself included.

Adam- I sure hope so, thanks for saying that.

ATXMM- Anything you have to say as far as the accompanying acts y’all have Let Live and the Menzingers? How would you generalize them for everyone?

Adam- Well the Menzingers are just a really great rock band. Kind of leaning more towards the punk rock side of things and they just write incredible songs and its really an energetic fun show. Actually with saying that, with Let Live theres a little more chaos to their music, there just all over the place and if not for anything you should just come see that band play

ATXMM- Well if not for anything we’ll be there to see all three of y’all!

Adam- Alright good deal

Interviewed and Written by: Bailey Berry

taking back sunday atxmm


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