By Crystal Harrell

As scorching hot as the Mojave tent was Sunday afternoon during weekend 2 of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, the crowd emanated a cool anticipation as alternative rock band Taking Back Sunday took to the stage to dish out a bevy of genre-defining tunes that encapsulated two decades-worth of MTV listeners.

“It’s interesting because I feel like a band like us often isn’t recognized in this world, you know? I like to think one of the things that I like the most is that at our shows, the age range is anywhere from, teenager to someone almost in their fifties and everyone in between. We’re all getting lost at the same time together. One of the reasons I feel like one of the luckiest guys that I know is that I feel like I’ve been able to grow up with the people that have led us into their lives,” stated Taking Back Sunday lead vocalist Adam Lazzara.

Taking Back Sunday has been in the music circuit spanning two decades, chronicling a musical journey from the early days of MySpace playlists to the contemporary airwaves of alternative hits.


“I think if you listen to record one and then all the way to 152, which came out last October, then I think you can hear that growth very clearly. When performing live, there’s a couple songs when we’re in rehearsal, we never rehearse them (“Cute Without the ‘E’”; “MakeDamnSure”). We’ve been playing them a while, but also because those songs aren’t ours anymore. They belong just in the ether, and it’s like something takes over when we play them. It’s like an energy I feel like I can grab and hold on to. It’s powerful when we perform,” shared Lazzara.

The band’s newest release, 152, was written in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and yielded sentimentally poignant results from a music project derived from a place of seasoned growth.

“In the writing process, because you’re working so quickly, I oftentimes harp over things. It’s like imposter syndrome. A silver lining to all the pandemic stuff was that we never would have taken a break like that unless we were forced to. I’m still learning how to live with that voice in my head. The biggest thing I’ve realized is that, why am I going to spend time fighting this very strong person that lives inside of me because we’re the same?” said Lazzara, elaborating on the artistic struggle of having opposing internal viewpoints cloud your mental focus.

“We’ve been flying by the seat of our pants for so long, hoping that it’ll work out, that maybe now is the only time we’ve been looking to the future. I would really like for our band and for our music is just to continue to find people when they need it. That’s my hope. And hopefully we can keep playing shows while that’s happening. That would be awesome. And writing songs, that’s all we know how to do,” stated Lazzara.