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Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara Discusses Songwriting, Long Titles + More

Michael Dubin

Long Island’s Taking Back Sunday have become synonymous with the region’s emo scene since their formation back in 1999. Last year, they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the legendary album that started it all, ‘Tell All Your Friends.’

Fronted by charismatic, mic-swinging Adam Lazzara, Taking Back Sunday released their sixth album, ‘Happiness Is,’ in March. Beaming with the band’s old school passion and signature John Nolan backing vocals, the LP brought fans back to the sound they fell in love with in ’99. As they were gearing up for another leg of their tour with the Used, Lazzara took some time to answer a few pressing questions for us.

How, if in any way, has ‘Happiness Is’ changed the way Taking Back Sunday approaches songwriting?

The one thing that we all take a lot of pride in when it comes to songwriting is that every idea you hear is a complete collaboration between the five of us. It hasn’t always been that way in the past. Over the years we’ve learned that things move much smoother when everyone’s opinion and voice is being heard. Also, it makes for what Taking Back Sunday is and sounds like.

Taking Back Sunday, Thursday and Tuesday all formed around the same time … did you all fight over which day of the week was yours?

No, we all named our bands at exactly the same time and were very diplomatic throughout the process.

What inspired Taking Back Sunday to start giving long titles to songs?

John, Eddie and I shared an apartment together and often spent a good amount of time trying to agree on something to watch on television. Every song title from the first record is named after something we saw on the preview or menu channel.

What’s the cheesiest pickup line you’ve ever used?

“I’m a grown man.” That’s not a pickup line, it’s just a fact.

Are you ‘louder now’ and ‘is happiness’ ‘where you want to be’ enough to ‘tell all your friends’ about being ‘new again’?

I see what you did there.

What’s the one album we’d be surprised to find in your music collection?

Blake Shelton.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever gotten your hair caught in?

A pants zipper.

Taking Back Sunday hit North America with a fall tour beginning Sept. 4 in Philadelphia. Get the full schedule here.

Next: 5 Questions with ... Bayside's Anthony Raneri

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