AU ABROAD

the AU interview: Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday (Amityville) on touring with The Used, 'Happiness Is' and more!

When the Taking Back Sunday/The Used co-headline Australian tour was announced, I'll admit that the part of me who went through that 'angsty' teen stage everyone does in the mid-2000s perked up. The Amityville boys and the Utah rockers have recently been tearing through stages in the US on a co-headliner which has been bringing fans of all ages together for some great sets. Adam Lazzara comments on the atmosphere these special shows have been generating night after night.

"The response was really overwhelming." he admits. "For us, we were excited because after all these years, we had never done a full, proper tour with The Used. It was just a few shows here and there. We were excited for that, but then at the shows themselves, we were watching people from the ages of 13 to their late 30's. Everyone is together in this room and though everyone was at different stages of their lives, they were all enjoying the same thing at the same time and the energy was really great."

While Taking Back Sunday have a healthy body of work that fans have seen them pull from over the past few months of touring, the band have also been promoting and giving their latest album, Happiness Is, a good lease on life too. Bringing new material into the fold, especially to a fan base who has remained as steadfast and loyal as theirs have been, has been an experience Lazzara observes as being not only successful, but a thrill for the band.

"We were just chomping at the bit," he laughs. "We had worked so hard on them [songs] and we were so close to them, we wanted to play them for people. When the record came out and we could start adding more songs to the set, it was just a great thing, not only to be playing them but to be seeing the crowds reacting to them. Everyone has been responding to them so well, you would think these songs have been out for years."

Discussing this current tour with The Used, Lazzara notes that while the new material has been going over well with the crowds, it's the sense of unity for one common sound that the band has been able to get from the crowds which has remained a huge highlight.

"It's something I'm really proud of with this band," the band's vocalist explains. "Not only have we been blessed with this longevity, but it seems to be a very difficult thing to be able to bring people together in that way. It's a really great thing to see and to know that I myself have had a part in it. If you told my younger self that I'd be able to do that, I wouldn't have believed you. It's pretty crazy."

Releasing Happiness Is back in March, Lazzara opens up about how the band recorded this time around. Obviously, being six albums deep now, a certain creative dynamic and work ethic would be in place, but how did they keep their momentum going in studio?

"For us, there wasn't any kind of outside influences on this one, so it's generally just the five of us. Through that, I think it took a lot of pressure off of us and it was also very freeing. When we went in and started writing for it, we went in the mindset of, 'Okay we're going to try every single idea that everyone has and we're going to see what sticks'. The end product of that would have been the record. I think that, through that, it allowed us to have fun with "All The Way" or "Nothing At All" or even "We Were Younger Then". I think that if it was a different circumstance, it probably wouldn't have happened."

Obviously, one of the great things about being in a band, especially a successful one, is being able to channel your influences and tastes as a music fan into making something which could possible hit other people in a similar way. Lazzara agrees, bringing his own experiences of seeing live shows to the way he has approached performing with Taking Back Sunday in recent times.

"I went and saw this guy who calls himself Phosphorescent and he put a new record out not too long ago; his set was actually really heavy with a lot of the new songs and it was the greatest thing - that record is so good. So, to be able to be on the other side of it as you say, to be on the stage and looking out at people reacting like that to those songs...it's an amazing feeling."

Looking ahead to the band's upcoming jaunt Down Under, Lazzara anticipates his Australian visit greatly - though it's not that surprising, given how bad his last trip down this way was. He laughs, noting how this trip stands to be much more comfortable for him as both traveller and performer.

"The last time we were there, my leg was broken and my other leg was really wounded, so I couldn't really do what I normally do. It was like a bittersweet experience for me, so I'm excited to be able to get down there now and give everyone a good show. I can't wait, I think it's been a little too long since we've been there. I think the plane ride will be a lot more comfortable too!"

Currently off the road for a short amount of time before hitting it again hard, the 32 year old looks back on their recent bout of touring slightly contemplatively. The Australian fans are in for something special by the sounds of it, and it's a live experience the importance of which hasn't escaped either band.

"It's crazy how time flies," Lazzara comments. "Happiness Is is our sixth record and it doesn't feel like all that long ago that we were putting out our first and second records. It's just been this crazy ride, you know? This tornado that's built up over all these years; it's been very fun and I've been very lucky."

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Tickets for the Taking Back Sunday/The Used co-headline tour are on sale NOW!

August 21 - HQ Complex, ADELAIDE - Lic/AA
oztix.com.au // venuetix.com.au

August 22 - Eatons Hill Hotel, BRISBANE - Lic/AA
oztix.com.au

August 23 - UNSW Roundhouse, SYDNEY - Lic/AA
ticketek.com.au

August 25 and 26 - 170 Russell, MELBOURNE - 18+
oztix.com.au // www.170russell.com