Taking Back Sunday en route to Unify Gathering 2019

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Taking Back Sunday en route to Unify Gathering 2019

There’s so much ground to cover with Taking Back Sunday frontman Adam Lazzara, 20 years of ground to cover, no less. With the release of Twenty, a compilation of the New York alt-rocker’s biggest hits over their two decade tenure, Lazzara agrees it’s a time to reflect and to rejoice.
The album has been described as a retrospective compilation, and yet it feels like the tracks chosen stem from a place of introspective selection. “One of the things with our band is, what could be considered a hit varies from person to person,” says Lazzara, “So that’s how we approached it.
“Everything we do in the band is very democratic. We individually went through every record and when we were combined the list, we were surprised to see a lot of them were similar.”
The elephant in the room when it comes to the anniversary release is that guitarist and founding member Eddie Reyes, departed Taking Back Sunday earlier this year. It was difficult for the band to make the choices of how to reflect their history without the presence of someone who was a pivotal part of said history. “It was a choice, we’re not gonna force anybody to stay,” chuckles Lazzara. “Life sometimes comes at ya in different ways than you’d expect – it’s like Bob Dylan said, ‘You change with the times or you sink like a stone.’”
Earlier in the year Lazzara commented on the recent craze for throwback, nostalgia releases and tours, saying he ‘hoped people would take Taking Back Sunday as a progressive entity’ – even though the band will be here in January for a headline slot at UNIFY Gathering and a run of sideshows, Lazzara doesn’t feel that with the release of Twenty alongside all that, he’s contradicting his statement. “I did worry about that at first,” he admits, “But the more we got to talking, during those conversations our manager, Jillian [Newman] – she’s more like family than anything else – it was her who convinced me to look at it differently.
“She said, ’How about trying to picture it as you joining this band changed the course of your life, and look at everything you’ve been able to accomplish since then. That to me should be celebrated.’
“A switch flicked in my brain – rather than basking in this nostalgia, it’s more of a celebration. And what better way to celebrate than to take it and share it with all the people that helped us do this over the years. That’s how I’m looking at it.”
Headlining at UNIFY Gathering is the ultimate celebration for Taking Back Sunday. Lazzara’s steady tone, one he’s used throughout this conversation up until mention of his band’s headlining slot at the Aussie festival, rises a decibel or two as he admits his excitement. “The lineup looks incredible,” he says. Performing at UNIFY Gathering will be for the band, a celebration of where they’ve come and an indication as to where they’re going.
Releasing a compilation might indicate for some that Taking Back Sunday are calling it a day, but that is not the case at all. Taking Back Sunday included two new songs on Twenty, ‘Song For Dan’ and ‘All Ready To Go’, indicative of the continuing journey of the band and where new music might be headed. “There’s all kinds of new ideas kicking around all the time,” says Lazzara.
“I feel like we’ve maintained over the years this forward momentum for our writing. It never feels we’ve been standing in still water. With that said, it’s hard to say where we’re headed in the future, but those two songs are a real good snapshot of where we are right now.”
You can catch Taking Back Sunday at 170 Russell in Melbourne on January 11, or at Unify Gathering when it goes down at Tarwin Lower in South Gippsland, between January 11 – 13. Tickets are on sale now from unifygathering.com/tickets/
Written by Anna Rose