New York’s Taking Back Sunday is about as hot as a rock band can get these days. They have a hit album under their collective studded belts, Louder Now (Warner Bros.), are constantly on MTV and Fuse, and are currently on an arena tour of the States that finds them playing to their biggest audiences yet. And one look at the long line of kids standing in line hours before they hit the stage at Long Beach Arena here in blisteringly hot California proves that their fans are hard-to-the-core.
G4 had a chance to jump on the band’s glamorous (and very air conditioned!) tour bus to chat with singer Adam Lazzara and bassist Matt Rubano about rock ‘n’ roll, videogames, Star Wars and the pros and cons of zombies onstage, and found them to be fun, funny guys who genuinely enjoy what they do and appreciate their success. They were even kind enough to offer me a microwaved hotdog (to which I had to refuse since hotdogs are made of pig lips and lamb ass).
So read on…if you have the balls… (which I’m sure you do, but I had to say something manly here on behalf of Adam, matt and myself, since we sound like such geeks throughout the interview).
To download the podcast of the full, raw interview, click on links below:
G4: The first time I came to Long Beach Arena was to see Iron Maiden back in the day and here you guys are at Long Beach Arena! So what can I expect in the way of gargantuan zombies and pyro?
ADAM: Oh, well, Matt actually wears full makeup, and like, stilts, ‘cause he’s a tall guy, but not the tallest guy, so we put him on some stilts. It makes him about eight foot two.
MATT: But they’re concealed in my pants. Along with other things.
Oh, I get it! You meant a penis!
MATT: YES! Well, this tour is like the biggest tour and biggest production that we’ve done, so there's quite a bit of lights and fun things we do on stage, like set changes. The stage goes through three distinct setups. One of them is a piece of artwork by a friend of ours named James Reem Davis. One of them is a light wall, sort of like all these hanging light tubes that drops at a particular point. Another one is like a traditional old-style movie theater sort of thing, with red curtains, along with lots of lights and strobing to send you into epileptic shock.
Excellent. It’s always good in an arena show to get as many seizures as possible.
It must be kind of an amazing leap from all those crappy East Coast dives and punk rock clubs you must’ve played in the early days to these big arenas. How do you take a small-scale rock show and blow it up to play these large venues?
ADAM: We don’t really look at it like that. It just takes care of itself. Like, even though there IS the barricade, we’ve always tried to make it so there’s no division, no line drawn between what going on the stage and what’s going on in the crowd. You make it so everybody’s in this thing together, kind of like a party. So we just try to make everyone feel as included as we can and, of course you try to play to the whole room. And we do things like stopping the music and letting everyone sing and things like that. We try to do as much of that as possible.
So, no zombies?
MATT: Don’t get us wrong, we WANTED to blow stuff up and pyro and go crazy at first, but now we’ve sort of settled into was more appropriate for us. And, uh, no one would let us blow stuff up.
It’s hard in this post-Great White world.
MATT: You’re not kidding. People are sensitive about it. Very sensitive.
ADAM: Yeah, they ruined music, twice.
To read the rest of the interview, click here.
Click here for our exclusive photo gallery of Taking Back Sunday live at Long Beach Arena.