Janna Hutz
Now, what about Tuesdays? (Courtesy of Victory Records)

Taking Back Sunday

Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m.

At Clutch Cargos

Clear Channel

“We try to play exactly the same if there’s 5,000 people or 10,” says Adam Lazzara, lead singer of Long Island’s Taking Back Sunday, about the band’s recent success. Four years ago, they were only a thought in the head of ex-Movielife guitarist Eddie Reyes. But after the release of their 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends and a slot on the main stage of this year’s Warped Tour, the band seemed poised to take over the indie scene with a unique blend of east coast hardcore and pop sensibility.

Then rumors of a break-up started flying. In the midst of it all, the band was forced to cancel most of its Warped shows for personal reasons. When they finally emerged to play the last few dates of the tour, they had replaced guitarist/vocalist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper on less than amiable terms. Still tight lipped about the circumstances surrounding the restructuring, the band now seems to be back on top of things.

“At first we were really apprehensive about bringing new guys in,” says Lazzara. “But it’s seemed to work really well so far. I can’t remember a time when I’ve seen everybody this happy.”

Then there’s the supposed feud with fellow east coasters Brand New. The bands, while old friends, have had a somewhat love/hate relationship as of late. Both take stabs at each other from time to time. TBS’s song “There’s No I in Team” and Brand New’s “Seventy Times 7” share some of the same lyrics about lost friendships, further clouding the waters. Brand New even went as far to release a series of shirts reading, “Microphones are for singing, not swinging,” a clear shot at Lazzara’s onstage antics. But is this just an Andy Kaufman/Jerry Lawler style farce or actual animosity?

“Gossip sells T-shirts,” explains Lazzara. “Most of the stuff on those Internet sites is just rumors. There were two versions of the same song, their record just happened to come out before ours. But they were written at the same time.” Lazzara also dispelled the rumor that their band name was taken from a Smiths’ b-side. “It’s absolutely false. When we started doing interviews, we just started making up answers to keep it interesting.”

Taking Back Sunday are just glad to be back out on the road in such good company. “Saves the Day is a band that I would pay to go see, but instead I just walk to the back of the stage every night and watch their set,” says Lazzara.

Catch both bands with opener Moneen this Saturday and Sunday at Clutch Cargo’s in Pontiac and Monday at the MSU Auditorium in East Lansing.

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