After 20 years of music influential to many scenes, Long Island, USA, band Taking Back Sunday are back at it again releasing compilation album Twenty this month.
Filled with their most influential tracks from the years, it has a tail end of two new songs, which set up fans for future tunes to come.
Guitarist, vocalist and all-round-nice-guy John Nolan reckons the band put the album together in a ‘now or never’ decision.
“I think it just felt like if we were ever going to do it, the 20 year mark was the point where it made sense,” he says.
And with a career spanning 20 years, choosing the tracks for the records must have been something of a task.
“Yeah, there were discussions about it and we kind of went back and forth with our manager and there were songs which over the years become like go-to songs in our set list and they may not have even been singles but they might have been, a solid reliable part of our set list for, ten – fifteen years,” John says. “Or even some of our newer ones, so five years. So we went by the ones that have really stuck around and seemed like they get that solid reaction in a live setting every time we play them.”
Two decades have seen some members of Taking Back Sunday come and go, John included, but he says the glue that holds them together now is brotherhood and the mutual desire to play music.
“I think one of the main things is it’s all we ever wanted to do. We never really had a Plan B, we never really had any other ideas for what we could do, and this is what we’ve always wanted,” he says. “Even now after all this time it just feels very natural to just do it and pursue it, and we’re all very much on the same page.”
“We are definitely family. It feels very much like that. We’ve all experienced a lot of things together that not many have experienced, we have a shared history that no one else has had.”
And with a world tour coming up, John says the guys are more solid than ever.
“I think a big thing for us is that we all feel that we are getting better as a band,” John says. “We see a future where we are the best we have ever been that continues to drive us. It really does feel to us that our best years are still ahead of us.”
And with two brand new tracks on the forthcoming album including the awesome ‘All Ready To Go’, that couldn’t be more true.
“That was a track that our drummer [Mark], worked out the music for and brought it to the band, and then we got into the studio together and worked on the arrangement on it, as a band. And Adam took that and brought us the lyrical and melody ideas for it. We’re really excited about it. I think it stands with, any other songs on that compilation, equal or if not even better to it,” John says.
“We’re really excited about the video. We’ve never really done anything like it. The whole video is actually animated and we’ve never had anything animated before, we get to see what each of us would look like as a cartoon.”
The second new track, ‘A Song for Dan’ is about substance abuse, which is something friends of the band have struggled with.
“That one came from a sense of music that Mark had and it was inspired by a friend,” John says. “The music was inspired by a friend that had really struggled a lot with substance abuse, and hearing that music and kind of knowing what it was coming from… I put some lyrics to it that were also inspired by it even though I haven’t had the experience that he had, but I was able to draw off similar experiences in my own life with other people, and I took what he put down in the music and translated it into lyrics.”
Taking Back Sunday are embarking on a huge world tour and will be playing the new tracks live and John says he and the guys are keen to get back downunder.
“We’re excited to get to Australia, it’s been a little while; at least a year, maybe even more. We love touring over there and we always feel like we feel very at home when we’re over there. The people are so nice to us and the fans are always great,” he says.
“It’s actually great when we go to another country. It’s an amazing thing to go halfway around the world and to meet people who are excited about your band. It’s something you never really get used to and it’s something that never gets old. It’s an amazing thing.”
Taking Back Sunday kick off their tour in Australia on January 9 so grab your tickets now.
By Kirra Hussey