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Published: Thursday, 12/11/2008

Taking the easy road

BY ANNE ERICKSON
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE
Taking Back Sunday will be at the Toledo Civic Theatre Sunday. Taking Back Sunday will be at the Toledo Civic Theatre Sunday.
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Let s face it. Pretty much every band s touring diet is made up of sliced lunch meat, day-old doughnuts, and some form of alcohol.

Not Taking Back Sunday.

There are a lot of fruits and veggies involved, which sounds really boring for a rock-and-roll band, lead singer Adam Lazzara laughed, via his cell phone. It s really hard to eat healthy on the road, so we try to focus on that.

Sound advice. And there s more.

We sleep as much as possible. We play a lot of Scrabble. We like to throw the Frisbee around, he added. And when you re on the road, you don t get a good chance to see the places you re visiting, so we ve been trying to make an effort to get away from the venue and go check out local record stores and just get a flavor of the town.

That might sound tame, but it s pretty representative of Taking Back Sunday.

Not musically, mind you. On stage, the screamo punk-pop outfit which plays the Toledo Civic Theatre Sunday makes the most explosive of hardcore. Almost purposely built for short attention spans, the band focuses heavily on up-and-down dynamics, big hooks, and grand touchstones.

But during downtime, the guys keep a low profile and use their clout for the greater good.

Case in point: They try to do green tours. That means recycling at venues, using alternative fuel sources, and using organic materials for shirts and other band paraphernalia. Lazzara hopes these efforts rub off on other bands.

It s sad that more groups haven t started doing this, he said. Since we became more aware of the problems facing the environment, we do our best to make our tours as eco-friendly as possible. These are necessary steps to improve the world.

Taking Back Sunday which now includes Lazzara, Eddie Reyes (guitar), Mark O Connell (drums), Matt Rubano (bass), and Matt Fazzi (guitar, vocals) first got together in Amityville, N.Y., in the late 90s. It wasn t long before they inked with Victory Records, and soon after Warner Bros. lapped them up.

Next up: The band releases New Again next year. ( It s up to the adults exactly when, but we know it will be out sometime in the spring, Lazzara said.)

That title reflects the disc s themes of rebirth and renewal.

Those ideas run rampant through all the songs on the album, Lazzara said.

In our personal lives, we re reluctantly taking baby steps into adult life, so we re tackling new things. And as a band, we brought in our friend Matt (Fazzi), so it feels like a new band. There s this excitement that hasn t been there the past couple years.

So just what can Taking Back Sunday fans expect from the new tunes? Well, according to Lazzara, they re different from anything the band has done to date.

With every record we make and every song we write, we try to push ourselves to go further, he said. You ll surely hear a lot of things that are signature to Taking Back Sunday on the album. There s a song called, Everything Must Go, that I think definitely sounds like something that would come out of us. But there s also the album s title track that is very much unlike anything we ve done.

When Lazzara looks into his glass ball be it five or 10 years down the road he sees a bright future for Taking Back Sunday.

Hopefully we ll still be making tunes and people will still want to hear them. I hope we still have a voice.

As for the near future Sunday s concert you can bet on a high-octane showing.

For us as a band, the live show is a huge release, said Lazzara. We don t need to go to therapists because we have that. So we really put all of ourselves into it. And the end result, I always like to think, is that everyone in the crowd does the same.

Then it feels more like a party than anything else. And who doesn t like a party?



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