Taking Back Sunday

By paul

Paul: Hi, please introduce yourself and your role in the band.
Matt: My name is Matt Rubano and I play the Bass Guitar in Taking Back Sunday.

Paul: How is everything in the Taking Back Sunday camp right now?
Matt: Things are great – It has never been like this before. ¬†We are currently on tour with Anberlin and Envy On The Coast and have never had a string of shows go this well. ¬†This tour leads up to the release of ‘New Again’ so everyone is excited and giving all they have to give on stage.

Paul: ‘New Again’ is set to be released pretty imminently – let our readers know why they should pick the CD/MP3s/vinyl up when it hits stores…
Matt: We feel that with ‘New Again’ we have taken a big step forward in the development of our band. ¬†We tried things musically that in the past we may have passed on. ¬†This was done with a confidence and fearlessness that was largely instilled in the band by Matt Fazzi’s attitude toward writing that then spread to everyone else. ¬†We really erased all the subconscious lines that we used to work within and the mantra became ‘we will try anything’ while on the quest for a great song. ¬†It was very empowering to re-realize that it is up to us to decide what Taking Back Sunday is and that we will always be trying to redefine what it means to sound like TBS. ¬†We are a living thing and will always be growing and changing musically as we grow and change as people. ¬†We feel that we have made our best record yet and we are excited and anxious for people to hear it. ¬†

Paul: Did you approach the songwriting/recording stages differently this time around? There were obviously line-up changes in the last year or so, how much influence did that have on the band?
Matt: The songwriting for ‘New Again’ was the most organic and natural it has ever been for TBS and above that, it was actually fun. ¬†Respect and admiration for one another took the place of criticism and animosity. ¬†We had some material in the works but Matt Fazzi joining the band was really the catalyst that propelled everything forward. ¬†It was very liberating to bring in ideas, parts or whole songs and have them get the attention that they deserved and became what they became with everyones contribution, big or small. ¬†I believe that this is the only way to get a ‘band sound’ instead of one main songwriter and backup musicians which contrary to some people’s beliefs – TBS has never been. ¬†Matt has had a tremendous effect on Taking Back Sunday. ¬†I cannot say enough about him. ¬†I am happy to have him as a bandmate and a friend.

Paul: What’s the meaning behind the album name and how did you come up with the concept for the artwork, as well as the release of the car kit?
Matt: ‘New Again’ is a very fitting and symbolic title for us. ¬†We have gone through many changes in the last few years both as individuals and as a band. ¬†Many dimensions of our band have changed in a positive way. ¬†There is an excitement that has returned to TBS that we never could have anticipated. ¬†We have never lost sight of how lucky we are we never will. As for the artwork, Adam worked closely with Brad Filip, who has done the last 3 records including ‘New Again’. ¬†

Paul: You recently gave an interview to UK magazine Rock Sound where they asked you the following question: “According to Punktastic.com TBS may be done after the release of ‘New Again'”. ¬†Matt replied: “If I could reach into the internet and punch someone in the throat…period. Kids are so fucking retarded it blows my mind, but so be it.” ¬†A couple of questions related to this:

1) Do you not think it’s disrespectful to suggest you would ‘punch someone in the throat’ [someone being a fan of the band, not me personally] who has bought all your records, paid to see you in concert, bought t-shirts and been a huge supporter of your band over the years, all based on the fact someone told you something that didn’t actually happen?

2) As a band do you read criticism/comments about you that are posted on the internet? Do you take these comments to heart or brush them off?

3) Bearing in mind the majority of your fanbase will be younger people, is it not wrong to brand these kids as ‘fucking retarded’ if they take an active interest in discussing Taking Back Sunday? ¬†is it not better to be talked about, whether good or bad, than totally ignored?

Matt: Thank you for asking this question. ¬†In all of the years I have been in TBS, and all of the times I/we have been misquoted, there have been very few opportunities to set the record straight. ¬†Taking Back Sunday has been the subject of so much drama, lies, speculation and criticism over the years. ¬†I read very little of the reviews/blogs/etc that cover Taking Back Sunday. ¬†I started backing off of these things because while it has revolutionized the way we live our lives, the internet also provides total anonymity for people to say whatever they want with no consequences or relevance to the truth. ¬†Insert comment about the first amendment here. ¬†I found that certain things shocked and frustrated me so much, that I was better of being IN the band and doing what I do to contribute to that, than be aware of the tabloid-esque coverage of the band. ¬†I have said before that “I‚Äôd like to punch the internet in the throat” because of these things – not a person. ¬†Anyone that has ever met me or knows me even a little bit knows I am not a violent person. ¬†That comment is not literal and the fact that I have to actually say that is a bit ridiculous. ¬†I have never called kids/fans/listeners of TBS ‘fucking retarded’. ¬†There isnt a band on this entire planet that cares more about its fans, spends more time meeting and talking to them, or has a more clear view of the fact that without them, we are just 5 guys with our instruments than we do. ¬†We are the anti-rockstars, we do not scurry around the venues hiding and avoiding people, we embrace them and truly love the people that support our band. ¬†As far as the ‘all press is good press’ axiom I have never subscribed to that. ¬†This doesn’t mean I only want to hear the good (I pay equally little attention to good reviews as I do bad ones), it just means after being the recipient of bad press -the lies, speculation, rumors, and accusations I disagree that it is better than being ignored. ¬†People taking an active interest in discussing Taking Back Sunday is great, but that isnt what we are talking about. ¬† ¬†Haters are going to hate and Lover are going to love. ¬†We will go on being Taking Back Sunday regardless.

Paul: You were recently in Europe and the UK with Underoath. How did that tour go?
Matt: We were on the Give It A Name tour with Underoath, Thursday, Innerparty System and others.  It was a great time for us as we have been close with Underoath and Thursday for years and had previously done the Taste Of Chaos International tour all together so it was a bit of a reunion (had Saosin been on GIAN it would have been a complete reunion).  We also got to meet/see Innerparty System who blew us away and we are dying to take them on tour in the US.  It is quite a challenge to follow up Underoath and Thursday, 2 of the most intense live bands out there but it brings out the best in us.  We feel like the eternal underdog which keeps the fighting spirit in TBS.  It was a great tour and although it was only weeks ago, I miss all of those guys.

Paul: Any plans to return to the UK this year?
Matt: We will be returning to the UK in July/August for the Sonisphere festival and some other shows in the Uk and Europe.

Paul: So to end and just to reiterate – TBS have no plans to quit after the ‘New Again’ cycle has finished, right?
Matt: No.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]