Taking Back Sunday: Staying Sane on an Endless Tour

For a bunch of warped drama kings, these Long Island punk kids sure play a mean kickball

August 19, 2004
taking back sunday 2004
Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday performs during K-Rock's 8th Annual Dysfunctional Family Picnic.
David Pomponio/FilmMagic

 Today we split the crowd open," says Taking Back Sunday guitarist Eddie Reyes, checking in from a Warped Tour stop in Vancouver. "We were like, 'When we start the song, do fucking Brave-heart.' You had 2,000 kids on one side and 2,000 kids on another running into each other. It was insanity." The incident is typical for the five Amityville, New York, rockers: Not only does their raucous punk attack frequently result in minor injuries to the band members, they've got a strong hold on their rabid and expanding audience, having sold more than 350,000 copies of their debut, Tell All Your Friends, with little radio or TV airplay.  

"When we were recording the first record," says singer Adam Lazzara, "we said, 'If we could just sell 300 records, that'd be awesome.' Now, talking to the kids that understand it, it just blows my mind." Lazzara's wounded crooning, good looks and ability to inspire Dashboard Confessional-like singalongs have certainly helped younger audiences understand, though the band also credits much of its adrenalized sound to Reyes, who has been dubbed "mayor of the Warped Tour."   

After Reyes founded Taking Back Sunday four years ago, the band suffered an almost comic series of lineup changes in 2003 that included the defection of covocalist John Nolan. "The press made us out to be horrible people," Reyes says. "They don't know who we are. We don't bother nobody!" Having weathered intraband fighting that nearly killed their new album, Where You Want to Be, Taking Back Sunday are just trying to stay sane on what seems like one endless tour. "We started a kickball league," says Lazzara. "Us and [New Jersey emo punks] Thursday are on a team. Taking Back Thursday are going to run away with the championship."

This story is from the August 19, 2004 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »