Interview mit Taking Back Sunday



Nachdem ich ein wenig zu spät zur Show am 31. Mai in Hamburg angereist bin, bot sich an diesem Abend nicht mehr die Gelegenheit für ein face to face Interview mit TAKING BACK SUNDAY. Doch der Termin sollte am nächsten Abend per Telefon mit Adam nachgeholt werden. Doch Adam meldete sich nicht wie versprochen und so telefonierte ich ein wenig rum, bekam schließlich den Tourmanager an die Strippe, der mir den zweiten Sänger und Gitarristen Fred Mascherino reichte. Fred erwies sich als äußerst sympathischer Gesprächspartner obwohl viele der Fragen eigentlich Adam zugeschnitten waren. Aber lest selber:

So how is the tour going so far?

It’s been great. Last night we played Hamburg and it was a really cool show. It was smaller than the Cologne show and it kinda made it more exiting because it felt like a big party. Adam was singing along and it was a really good time. I’ve been a bit surprised because all the German shows so far the people seem to know the new stuff just as well as the old stuff, so that’s really cool to know that they are still digging what we just had come out.

How do you like Germany and how did you experience it the different times you’ve been here?

I just think things are still growing here. There were some people coming out to these shows that were at the last shows and you could tell that they were the ones that knew the old stuff. It’s just been growing a little bit but not so fast that it’s unnatural. We always have a really good time, when we come here. The difference with this trip is these two festival shows that we are playing this weekend. That’ll be our first big shows here and we are really exited about it.

Yesterday the venue in Hamburg was about 700-800. You are normally used to play in front of several thousand people in the States. What kind of shows do you prefer?

I actually have more fun at the smaller shows, because I guess that’s what we grew up playing in those size rooms. I’m comfortable there. It feels like you are reaching all the people in the room. We just played a festival in New Jersey for 20.000 people and that’s a whole different excitement on it’s own but you never know the person who is in the back, you’re hoping you are getting the message out to them but you can’t quite see.

Do you actually have the time to do some sightseeing?

we are in Berlin today. We are walking around the area here. We are staying over night, we have a day off in Berlin tomorrow. We are planning on getting out all day an seeing the sights. We haven’t done a whole lot of sight seeing before just a little bit.

Can you describe a typical day on tour?

Because of the time difference we tend to get up pretty late. In order to peak with your energy at 10 o’ clock at night you don’t wanna weak up at 10 in the morning. I got up at 3 O’ clock today, by 5 o’ clock they serve dinner. I weak up, eat a snack, than I go out to try to see some of the city, than it’s dinner time. Afterwards you hang around at the venue. I usually go out and meet some of the people that are outside waiting in line just to say “hi” and see what the people are like in different cities. That is an important part of the day because those people are the ones that brought us here. Than we are kind of bored, dying to get on the stage. When the other bands start we check them out.

When we’re done, because we slept so lately we stay up all nigh watching movies or playing acoustic guitar.

Yesterday you really seemed to enjoy yourselves….

Because last night was a little smaller it was an especially good time.

You said sth. Like you wanted to go dancing afterward?

I actually didn’t but Adam our singer and Eddie and Marc, they went dancing and I hared there were a lot of pretty girls at the club…

Do you always tell the crowd how good they are looking that night?

Well only if they look good. That’s kind of our way of deflecting the attention from ourselves because we are just a group of nerdy guys, we just want you to listen.

You or Adam was talking about older hip hop music yesterday like TLC or BIZ MARKEE…

I would say those bands are more guilty pleasures. It’s not really what he listens to. Adam does listen to some rap like JAY Z and stuff that has affected a lot of our lyrics because of the wordiness of rap music, putting a lot of words into each line. That transfers over into the way we write lyrics. Our band listens all different stuff…

What are you listening a lot to?

I have two realms: One is more classic rock like LED ZEPELIN, QUEEN, AC/DC and than of course my favourite VAN HALEN. And than there is a lot of bands that I grew up listening a lot to in the punk scene like FUGAZI, DESCENDENTS, JAWBREAKER and BAD BRAINS. Thos are the bands that I really cherish and want to be like. Those are my two legs of what influences a lot of what I do.

Talking about punk bands. On this tour ZSK from Berlin are opening up for you. How did you like them?

I thought they were great. The play that style that a lot of bands on Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords were playing a few years ago. I can relate to their music pretty well but it’s a little bit different than our style. It seems like yesterday they were a big hit though…

ZSK are mostly singing in German, did you realize that they are a political band?

I don't know exactly, what they are saying, I kind of gathered that. I went to their website and I saw their t-shirts and I notice that, yeah..

Is TAKING BACK SUNDAY a political band at all?

No. There are different feelings that we have, that we discuss but we don't put into the songs, because not everyone in the band agrees on what their politics are and some guys are more extreme than others. We are just singing about life and the things that happen to us directly more than overall things that affect us. I think you really have to make a decision that you're going to make those statements if you are going to be political. We aren't a band that's gonna do that, we just don't have the desire to put that into our music. I love bands like RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and FUGAZI and I envy how they can make their music so meaningful in that way and really trying to make a difference in the world. What we are more designed to do / what we are good at is writing songs about more the plainer things in life like relationships and everyday occurrences.

I think their have been a lot of labels approaching you recently. Why did you choose Warner Music?

We had been speaking to a lot of labels and Warner just seemed to be the best place for rock bands right now in our opinion. They saw the vision of our band better than anyone else did. They had ideas that we were really into. in the past we would make stickers or posters and there would be the label name really big on the poster, if you see stickers now you won't even be able to tell what label we are on, because the allowed us to leave that out. We heard from friends that they are also very good about staying out of the way with the creative process. So we were able to make a record the same way we made our past records. It's just us and our producer in their, and the label wouldn't stop by unless we ask them to during the recording process. They had a lot of respect for the success we had on our last two records and they didn't want to get in the way of that this time.

What different possibilities did the new label offer in terms of the recording of "Louder Now"?

When we recorded "Where You Want To Be" we actually fronted the money for that ourselves. We got the producer, but there did come a point after two month when we had to be done the record. This time we were able to go with the producer of our choice, who was Eric Valentine and we got to spent a lot more time with it. We were in the studio for four month, which is twice as long as the last record. That made it easier on us and more comfortable and it allowed us to come out with a record that was more what we wanted it to be. "Louder now" is the thing that our band is most proud of. We think it's the best thing that we've done so far, both, in the songwriting and in the production. And I don't think we could have done it quite as well without Warner.

Let’s talk about your new album "Louder Now". Why did you choose this title for the record?

We were just always talking about wanting to be better and wanting to be bigger, faster and stronger. That title just seemed to fit quite well. The other thing was, that we've written a handful songs, about 20 songs for the album, and when we went back and listened to'em, we started to pick out the best ones that would go on the record. We noticed that the best ones were all more rock songs. "What's it feel like to be a ghost", "Spin", "Liar", these are songs that are faster and more rock than anything we have done before. So, all in all, it just seemed like a cool fitting title, that kind of said, what we were trying to do.

A lot of people said, it’s really a good thing that you did not have a major change in sound like – for example – THRICE, after signing to a major label. How do you see this?

Well, yeah, that does seem to be the reaction. The five of us have views of what we think the music shout sound like, but we actually just went and wrote what we thought would be good, good songs and we really didn't think about, whether it would be like the old stuff. We just figured we could write it any way we wanted and if Adam puts his vocals down on it, it was always gonna sound like TBS. A song like 'Miami' on the record, is actually not much of a rocksong it’s more pop, there are clean guitars on it, the drums are recorded with a tight 80ies sound, that’s much different from the other songs. We thought that was quite new, but it still got those lyrics, that are coming from the same source, and the melodies, and so it sort of sounds like us, but it is a new kind of us. Those are the kind of things that we tried to do.

What is your reaction to people, who say that you just chose the save way for your record?

I haven't heard it to my face, just maybe in a review I read, I thing, what we did on the record is, that we pushed ourselves to play better, like on a song like "Spin", I think that’s the best our drummer has ever done and there is guitar solos, like in 'Miami', that we never had before. So it is us, it’s just a better, stronger version of us, more realized version.

So what are you doing for the rest of the year?

We're finishing up in Germany this week and than we go home and start a summer-tour with 'ANGELS AND AIRWAVES', who is Tom Delonge from BLINK182's new band and than we go to Japan for the first time ever and than in the fall we are actually planning a more extensive European tour, where we would play at least ten shows in Germany, when we would normally only play like five shows, and than we are gonna hit some new countries. A lot of our goals right now have to do with going to places we haven’t been, so we're going to Italy, we're going to Spain and maybe some of the Netherlands. We're trying to hit some new places we never hit and also to go to some places we have been to, for a longer time. That's how our year is summing up.

Ok, that’s it from here, enjoy the show tonight an thank you very much for your time!

Thank you, it was good talking to you. So we'll be back probably in November. Hope to see you than. Thanks again.