Ask the Magic 8 Ball
Back in late 2001, Taking Back Sunday's founding member Eddie Reyes could only imagine what his life would be like just 3 short years later. With new bass player Adam Lazzara moved up from North Carolina to sleep on his couch and share the Top Ramen, the world was theirs for the taking. After finalizing the initial line-up and moving Adam to lead vocals the band recorded a few demos and begged anyone and everyone to have a listen. A record deal with Victory Records followed after their demo circulated to an east coast rep of the label. Their debut album recorded a few short months later, Taking Back Sunday's TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS hit stores at the end of March 2002. The album sold over 2,300 copies in it's first week after the band had barely done more than hit up the local Long Island touring circuit, played a few weeks with indie favorites Rival Schools and spent a few weeks as the opener on a multi-band packaging of the Victory Records tour. From there it just started to pick up momentum. “We played our first shows in California and one was at a venue called Chain Reaction in Anaheim . We're suddenly 3,000 miles from home and there are like 150 kids singing all of the words to our songs. That was when it hit us. What could really happen,” recalls Reyes. Before they knew it, a sold out summer tour showed them and the indie label public the force they were about to become. Soon fans were singing along so fervently that it was sometimes hard to hear the stage sound. They continued touring and started playing with more national acts like The Used, Jimmy Eat World and Saves the Day. The cover of Alternative Press and features in Rolling Stone and Spin soon followed. For the sophmore album, Taking Back Sunday enlisted veteran producer Lou Giordano (Sugar, Goo Goo Dolls, Sunny Day Real Estate) to come in and take five valid musical opinions and craft them into one cohesive album. “The songs really are written by all five of us. They may start with a part or an idea but it's the five of us that make it the song it ends up being,” states Fred. ‘It's fantastic,” recalls Lou “because they've grown so much and added such great musicianship, yet it's still very much Taking Back Sunday. I was honored to be a part of this record.” Recorded during most of March and April of 2004, the 11-song album, titled WHERE YOU WANT TO BE, was released on July 27 th , 2004 on Victory Records. Filled with their trademark dual vocals and hook-filled, guitar driven songs of love, hate, blame, greed and non-apologetic calling out, this album connected with their audience much in the same way as their debut which has already scanned over 500,000 copies. “We didn't quite know what we were going to come out of the studio with,” remembered Adam. “The second we all heard it finished, I just can't describe the look on everyone's face...I can only explain it as shock; it was exactly what we wanted. I personally could not be happier to be a part of this record.” The tracks range from solid opener “Set Phasers To Stun,” an urgent Police-like tune, to the hardcore finger-pointing song “The Union.” Acoustic string-laden “New American Classic” showcases the level of songwriting capabilities combined with the softer singing voices of the two vocalists while “One-Eighty By Summer” showcases much of their vocal range and repeats the unanswerable question we all pose “Why can't you just be happy?” The albums' first single was chosen immediately by the band, which sees it as a song that reflects all sides of Taking Back Sunday, musically and lyrically. Aptly titled “A Decade Under The Influence,” it's a biting number that starts out soft while telling an opposite tale, eventually confidently whispering and repeating the anthem “to hell with you and all your friends.” Add in a few more expertly crafted pop sounding songs and the album is complete with the trademark Taking Back Sunday curves that sometimes come back around and sometimes leave you off a different road. “It would be next to impossible to play anyone half of the album and still get a sense of the entire thing. We all have different favorite songs, it's a great problem to have,” recalls Mark. “There's a depth to this record that you always hope for when you start. Now that it's finished I hear more every time I listen” adds Fred.
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