INTERVIEW: Taking Back Sunday – Groezrock 2014

Before their set at this years Groezrock Festival, we sat down to have a quick chat with Adam Lazarra and Shaun Cooper from Taking Back Sunday to talk their latest album ‘Happiness Is’, black panthers and traffic in the Philippines!

Taking Back Sunday

© Natalie Escobedo

We’re here at Groezrock Festival. How are you finding it?

Adam: We played here back in 2006, that show was great. We didn’t really know what to expect because coming into any festival, it’s hard to feel it out, but the show was great and I’m pretty sure tonight will be great too! We’ve watched as many bands as we could today and the crowd seems real great.

How has the overall response been to your latest album, ‘Happiness Is’?

Adam: It has actually been more than we could ask for! Anytime you put something new out there, it’s always a little nerve-wracking because you don’t know if folks are gonna like it or not. But thankfully with this record, all the new songs we’ve been adding to the set, the crowd has been very interactive which is something that’s real great to see.

What was the first CD that you ever bought?

Adam: Nirvana – ‘Unplugged’.

Shaun: Mine’s embarrassing. It was EMF – ‘Schubert Dip’. I really liked that song ‘Unbelievable’ but I didn’t like the rest of the record, I spent like $20 on it!

Adam: $20 for the one song!

Shaun: Yep!

Could you describe your music using just three words?

Adam: Really fucking awesome!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Adam: Be cool.

Shaun: It’s important to be cool! People who are dicks, they don’t get by for very long!

Adam: Yeah, that’s true.

Taking Back Sunday

What’s been a highlight of your musical career?

Adam: Well we’re playing Groezrock in Belgium today which is pretty cool ‘cause we’re not from here. I think for us, every day is a new thing because it’s just being able to travel around and play our songs for people and have them react the way they do, is something really special.

Shaun: It’s not like one event, it’s the longevity that we have and I think we are all very grateful for it. To be here 12 years after our first record came out, still playing shows and doing things like this is really cool.

Is there a story behind the album artwork for ‘Happiness Is’?

Adam: Well the reason we chose the black panther – the short of it is, that Eddie, our guitar player, had this huge panther tattoo on his arm and we weren’t sure what it meant so we decided we were gonna put meaning behind it so we started using a black panther in most of our artwork for merchandise and posters and things so then it just kind of slowly started to become our thing, you know like our animal? And so it just seemed fitting to put it on this record.

Taking Back Sunday Happiness Is

‘Happiness Is’ OUT NOW available from iTunes, Hopeless Records and Amazon.

Taking Back Sunday are playing at the Bazooka Rocks Festival in the Philippines, have you been there before?

Adam: Once before, yes.

Do you like it there?

Adam: Yeah! It’s the most nerve-wracking traffic ever!!

Shaun: I was thinking the same exact thing!

They don’t have rules!

Adam: No, none!

Shaun: They have lanes that just don’t really mean anything.

Adam: So anytime they drove us anywhere I had to just look down at the floor because it was making me so scared.

Shaun: They’re great people and we had a great time at the show so we’re excited to get back there.

Can you deal with the heat?

Adam: Oh yeah, it’s kind of like Florida in August for us.

Shaun: We’ve dealt with a lot, so we’re used to it!

What do Taking Back Sunday have planned for the rest of the year?

Adam: Well for us, we go back home for a minute and then we’ll be back over here in the fall and into the winter so a tonne of touring!

Interview by Jess Pearson.


For further information on Taking Back Sunday, check out…

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17th August – Merthyr Rock, Merthyr Tydfil

7th December – Pyramids, Porsmouth

8th December – O2 Academy, Bristol

9th December – Roundhouse, London

11th December – Institute, Birmingham

12th December – The Ritz, Manchester

13th December – O2 ABC, Glasgow

14th December – O2 Academy, Oxford

Listen to Happiness Is on Spotify below…