Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday will be headlining two dates at Marathon Music Works in Nashville this week. The band will performing on Wednesday and Thursday in part of their 20th year celebration tour. 

When you’re teenagers, nobody really thinks about the future. It’s really all about the here and now and what you’re next move is going to be.

Well, the same applies for Taking Back Sunday. Over the years, the Long Island rock natives had their share of changes to the lineups, before some familiar faces returned to the band.

Even with those shakeups, Taking Back Sunday is still pressing on, and now is celebrating its 20th year as a band. That milestone required a tour and that party will come to Nashville, as the band will headline two shows at Marathon Music Works. The first of those dates take place on Wednesday, before a second show the following day.

During each show, the band will give longtime Taking Back Sunday fans a treat, playing their first album, “Tell All Your Friends,” in its entirety. The band will also play another album in full, which will depend on the day and the outcome of a coin toss.

Taking Back Sunday could either play its second album, “Where you Want to Be” or “Louder Now” in its entirety. According to guitarist John Nolan, the band has a special coin with the album name printed on each side. The first day that they are playing two nights in a city, the band will flip the coin, and play whichever album comes up on that night. The next night Taking Back Sunday will perform the other record.

Prior to the Nashville show, The News caught up with Nolan before the band got this round of tour dates underway. The Taking Back Sunday guitarist talked tour life, celebrating 20 years and how new music could be on its way soon.

Tullahoma News (TN): I know it's been a little bit of a busy time for you guys, but how's it going now? I think if I'm reading the schedule right, you have a little break in between now.

Nolan: Yeah. At the moment we're home. We have some time. We've had some time off for a lot of September and August. We did some festivals, and weekend shows throughout this month. But had some downtime and we're gearing up to head out again.

TN: So, how good is it to get that downtime in whenever everything's been so busy? Just because, I'm reading all the dates that you guys have been playing and where you guys have been playing. So how good is it to have that little bit of downtime?

Nolan: It's great. We had a pretty big stretch from the spring and summer. We weren't really home, more than a week or so, here or there. So it was nice to really get some time at home, and we all have kids and stuff, so it's really important for us to be able to get that time.

TN: What has this past year been like? You guys embark on this 20 worldwide year tour, not just exclusive to the U.S. So what has this year basically been like for you guys?

Nolan: It's been really great. It's been really hectic as well you know, pretty insane with the schedule that we laid out for ourselves. So it's a lot of things. It was a lot to take on. It was a very ambitious schedule, like you said all around the world in the past year, but also very gratifying. Because to be able to be doing this for as long as we have, and still have people all over the world coming out to the shows, it's just really amazing. And we feel extremely fortunate that, we're at this place in our career, and that people still care so much about the band.

TN: Did you ever envision whenever Taking Back Sunday was first born, that you guys would be celebrating 20 years?

Nolan: No, I don't think it was something anybody envisioned. Even cause the past 10 years or so, I think that our mindset usually is focusing on what we're doing at the moment. So, I think that makes getting to this point even more surreal. It's just because we've taken it so, day by day and moment by moment, that when you reach this point it's kind of min- boggling.

TN: How does touring now compare to touring back then? I'm sure you don't miss the days of being in a crowded van.

Nolan: There are a lot of things that change as you get older. Yeah, of course the really early days, the first couple of years, being in the van, is such an insane experience to basically live in a van with everybody for most of an entire year. We've been fortunate enough, that for a long time, we've been able to stay in a tour bus.

I think probably one of the biggest changes, is just getting to the point where you have a family and children at home. It's much different when you’re younger, and you're just kind of out there just doing whatever you want and there's not much for you back at home. I think that’s been the biggest adjustment over the past 10 years or so, is trying to balance being away and being home.

TN: You guys featured a couple new songs with “All Ready To Go” and “A Song for Dan.” The press kit I received said that this is hinting at the new direction of it that you guys were headed with your sound. So how would you describe that sound?

Nolan: Well, honestly like I said, the way we approach things, I don't even know if we would even say that we're attempting at the direction that the band is going in. Because when we go in to make new music, we don't go in with a plan. Everything is very much in the moment, and we kind of let the process take us where it will. So, we don't really know what'll happen next time we get in the studio.

I think because there's a natural progression, probably those songs are leading us, somewhere naturally, that we'll see when we go back into the studio. But in a certain way we're just going to see what happens next time we go and make an album and see what the direction is.

TN: So there is definitely a plan for a new album?

Nolan: Yeah. We're unfortunately not very good at multitasking and recording and writing while we're on the road. So, we've really just been waiting for the touring to slow down before we get back into writing and working on a new record. But the plan is, as soon as things slow down with touring at the end of this year, that we're going to start working on new music again.

TN: Earlier this summer, I was able to catch you guys out in Atlantic City. Now what was it like to be part of that 25th Warped Tour celebration?

Nolan: That was a lot of fun. That show was really great. It's a thing that’s kind of the same as this band being 20 years old. It's hard to believe that, Warped Tours has been around for 25 years. So the whole thing is kind of surreal, and amazing that this whole being has existed for this long.

I remember going to Warped Tour before I was even in Taking Back Sunday. So now looking back, I guess this must have been like, the Third Warped Tour or the Second Warped Tour. And again, even as someone going to that, I don't think, I ever thought 20 years from now we'll all still be involved in this, and these people will be coming back in 20 years or something. It's pretty amazing that, it still exists, and that it still means so much to people.

TN: Well, fantastic. Obviously I mentioned that you guys have been playing Nashville. Is there something special and significant about getting to play Nashville?

Nolan: It's a great city, and we have a lot of friends there, actually a ton of people that we've known through the years, that are not from there have moved there in the past five years or so. So, that's always exciting to go somewhere where we have lots of friends that we can reconnect with and hadn't seen in a while. And our touring guitar player, Nathan Cogan, actually has been living in Nashville for a while. So it's become the hometown show, so that's cool too.

Tickets for the Wednesday and Thursday show can be purchased online starting at $29.50. Advanced tickets can be purchased online by visiting here.