In their fifteenth year, Taking Back Sunday just released their sixth record, Happiness Is, During the past decade, TBS spent most of their time signed to Warner Bros. Records and it was a relationship that, for the most part, went really well. With the help of Warner, TBS launched to one of the bigger acts in rock in 2006 and 2007 with the release of their album, Louder Now. Since the release of that record, Taking Back Sunday released two more records with Warner Bros. That relationship ended after the promotion run was over for the band's self-titled record that was released in 2011. Now, the band is signed to Hopeless Records for their new album, and they're looking forward to what the future holds for Taking Back Sunday.
"I'm excited about the next chapter of the band," said TBS guitarist Eddie Reyes talking with Alternative Addiction. "I'm happy not to be with the major anymore. It's not that they didn't do anything for us, we're just not a major label band. I never really felt like we were. We like to have control of our music. We like to do things the way we want to do them and when you're signed to a big company, you don't really have that. It feels good to be an indie again."
The last record the band released for Warner was their self-titled album. It was a record that was somewhat overlooked at the time it was released, and for the die-hard TBS fans, it's not their favorite. For Eddie and Taking Back Sunday, they appreciate what they made with that album, but they weren't behind the music 100% like they could have been.
"It was a good record, certain songs didn't turn out the way we wanted them to be, that happens when you're with a major. I do love that record, but this one is definitely more us. We had full control. We didn't have anybody telling us to change anything, so this was more of an easy-flowing record to do," added Reyes.
With Happiness Is, Taking Back Sunday wrote this record in a different fashion than what they were used to. Instead of hitting the studio right away, writing at home, or writing on the road, the band elected to go to rural West Virginia to write.
"A lot of it was stuff we just wrote together," explained the guitarist regarding the origins of these new songs. "There were a couple of songs that were old riffs that we were jamming on two or three years ago and never got around to. What we did though, was we rented an old farm house that was build in the 1800's on a mountain top in West Virginia. We locked ourselves up in this house - which I will never do again - and wrote a ton of songs. This is the product of that.
This place was in the middle of nowhere on a mountain top in West Virginia. It took us an hour to drive to the next town - which was tiny - and hang out at Wal-Mart and feel like we were in Beverly Hills. It was different, but it was an experience and I think it did help with writing.
Fifteen years is a long time for any band to run. When you consider all the lineup changes that occurred in Taking Back Sunday over the years, and the general fluctuation of the music climate, it''s a big deal. When asked to reflect on those fifteen years, Reyes pointed out that he's too busy with the present to worry about getting caught up in the past.
"I don't really think that way. I don't like to think about it. It's still fresh and new to me. Every year that passes it still feels the same. I have a lot of memories over the years but it feels like it all happened yesterday."
Happiness Is from Taking Back Sunday is available now.