Interview with: Ed Reyes of Taking Back Sunday
When & Where: 08/18/04 Warped Tour - Darien (Buffalo), NY
(Trash) Please state your name, your role in the band, and your greatest fear.
I'm Ed. I play guitar in Taking Back Sunday and my greatest fear is... I don't really have any fears.
(Journalist) When you guys play a show, what do you want fans to walk away saying?
Well, I want them to have fun. I want them to leave excited as if they just saw the best rock show they've ever seen. That would really mean a lot. You wouldn't want to hear it was the worst they've ever seen.
(Journalist) How long have you been a band together?
Like 6 years or 7 years.
(Journalist) And you've been signed for about how many of those years?
About 3 years.
(Journalist) You guys have exploded onto the indie/emo/underground scene. How did that effect you personally, being exposed to fame?
We can pay our bills now! We're not homeless anymore. Nah, it's cool. We're still not used to it. I guess it's better that way because if were did get used to it, then we wouldn't be as real or enjoying it anymore that we do now. So, we kind of keep our feet on the ground.
(Trash) This is the band's second year playing Warped...
Actually, this is our first year on it..
Wait, you guys weren't on it last year?
No, last year we broke up for about 2 months.
Oh yeah! I totally forgot! Well, I can still ask my question. Such tours as the Warped Tour generally attract a bigger audience. Do you like playing bigger venues or smaller venues better?
We really enjoy playing the Warped Tour, it's fun playing festivals. When we do big capacity venues, it's the same shit, just with walls around you. So, it's the same vibe. It's cool and it's awesome.
(Journalist) You guys had a new CD just released about two weeks ago. What is different from this CD and the first CD?
It's musically more mature I think. It's heavier. It's just two years newer, you know? In two years you grow and the next two years we'll grow to the next record. A lot of people say it still sounds like us and that's good and a lot of people say that it's a step up and that's good too. I guess that's what we should be doing.
(Journalist) Talking about the break up, I heard a lot of rumors about what exactly caused it...
Yeah, we don't talk about that stuff anymore. That's old news.
(Trash) Do you feel, with the new album, that it is the best representation your band has put forth?
Yeah! It's definitely come out the way we wanted it to come out, so I guess yeah. It does represent us in every way, shape, or form. We're really proud of it. We hope people will know it's for them.
(Journalist) What's next for you guys after Warped Tour as far as more shows?
We have to go fly over.. we're doing Reading Leads in England and we're doing Germany and Amsterdam. Then we fly back home and start our fall headlining tour.
(Journalist) Warped Tour is a pretty political driven tour. Do you guys have anything you'd like to share?
Yeah. We all have our own beliefs and we don't all agree with each other. So, we really don't talk for all the people. We're just here to play music and have fun.
(Trash) When writing songs, what influences t he process? Do you think about the type of music you're writing, or do you think about pleasing the record label?
A lot of things! Our experiences throughout the year, a conversation you have with someone, it's weird. I write a lot of music and a lot of my guitar rifts are all based on a person's character. You know, like, you're watching cartoons there's always a little jingle in the background when they're walking around and sometimes I have people in my life, like they're characters, that there's little jingles to them that I turn into songs. It's kind of hard to explain and kind of geeky.
(Journalist) Is there one song that really stands out that you like playing live the most?
I like playing all the songs. "Cute Without The 'E'," is always a good song to play, but "A Decade Under The Influence,' which is one of our new songs, we like to play. Everything comes to be pretty equal. We really don't favor other songs. That kind of kills the whole vibe of everything you put in the whole record. So, I really don't choose which is a better song to play.
(Trash) I noticed that on both of the album covers you have the number '152,' is there any significant meaning behind this?
It's a private thing.
It's private, sort of like a secret?
Yeah it's a secret. (laughs)
I can deal with that.
It's a secret amongst friends and only friends would get it.
Okay, fair enough.
It's like a shout out to our friends.
(Journalist) On the Warped Tour, who would you recommend kids checking out?
Matchbook Romance is really good. I've enjoyed pretty much every band, so I hope the kids could check out every band. I know it's kind of hard, but it's cool. It's a festival that has every style of music playing at one moment and you can't have anything better.
(Journalist) How do you feel about all the Emo labels that so many bands have been falling under?
I don't think we really even pay attention to that. I think the kids and the industry make it to be so much bigger than it really is. The bands really don't pay attention to that. It's just a joke. It's not even a real word. Ten years ago when you were in a hard-core band and someone called you Emo, it was just making fun of them for saying you were to wimpy. I guess someone made it okay to call everyone Emo now. We're not an Emo band. We don't want to be called an Emo band. I think people just make a big deal about it. Just like Grunge. None of those guys wanted to be called Grunge. But they got called Grunge because of some stupid, no offense, journalist or something and then everyone catches on to it and then they're all like oh they're Grunge. Whatever man. There's nothing you can do about it to control it. So who cares? I just play music.
(Trash: Brendon) Is there any meaning behind the new album cover?
You mean with the naked baby? That's what happened with a lot of pot one night.
No, just kidding. We really don't like to explain things to people, like the names of songs or CD covers. Because, we don't want people to know our dumb ideas. A lot of people won't get it and it makes people think about it more I guess. I don't know why the album covers looks the way it does. I think it's funny. Anytime you have a naked picture of a baby's ass, it's funny.
(Journalist) Is there a certain thing that you do before you go onstage?
Nervous pee. We always have to run because we get nervous. No, it usually doesn't kick in until like the third song. Usually it's like the first song that we usually get nervous before we go onstage. Even now, I've played in front of thousands and thousands of people and I still get nervous.
(Journalist) Does the name Taking Back Sunday have any religious meaning to it?
No, not at all. I mean there's religious people in the band and Christian people in the band, but we're not a Christian rock band or anything. It's just Sunday is the most important day of your life to spend with the people you love and care about. So, it's kind of like a day you take back and enjoy. It's the one day you get. So, that's why I named the band that. It's nothing special. It's just how I felt at the time.
(Trash) If you were to create a soundtrack to your life, what songs or bands would you include on it?
That would be a pretty big soundtrack. (laughs) I really don't know. Any Cure album and I'd be happy with that.
(Journalist) With illegal music sharing, how do you guys feel?
It hurts the band a lot. I don't think kids realize that record labels are already screwing over the bands. So they're not screwing them over, it's the band. But, there's nothing you can do about it. It helps kids who can't go buy your band's record. It has it's up and downs. I personally don't care. I download shit, so if I do it what makes it wrong for the next kid to do it? I think downloading helps us anyways.
(Trash) As time goes on, what do you hope Taking Back Sunday's legacy to the music world will be?
Well, I just don't want to be on VH1's 'Behind The Music.' I just want to be known how Zeppelin was remembered or The Who. Just a really good rock band that existed in life that everyone still talks about.
(Trash) Lastly, how would you describe success?
When you don't have to get up in the morning and go to work.
Well, that's a good way of putting it.
That's the honest way of putting it. (laughs) Some people can say I'm successful, I do this or I do that, but when you get up and do what you love everyday and all you have to do is turn on a TV set, that's success.
*Please note: This interview was done with two other journalists from different publications that I'm sorry to say, I forgot who and what publications they were.*