If you were a teenager around the turn of the millennium, there is a good chance you were listening to emo. If you were listening to emo, there is a great chance you were listening to Taking Back Sunday. Their 2002 album Tell All Your Friends and their 2004 album Where You Want to Be are classic emo albums. Yes, in the minds of essentially everybody, Taking Back Sunday is a quintessential emo band. We say “essentially” everybody, though, because there is at least one person who doesn’t think Taking Back Sunday are an emo band at all. That person also happens to be their lead singer Adam Lazzara.
The band is still kicking, and they have a new album, Tidal Wave, coming out September 16. In the lead up to the new release, Lazzara was profiled in GQ. During this profile, he takes umbrage with the notion that Taking Back Sunday is emo, saying:
“I’ve never considered us an emo band. I understand it’s a lot of the scene we came from. But I consider us a rock and roll band. Loud guitars, big drums. It gets frustrating sometimes because then it’s putting it in this little box that can be contained and I think we’re more than that.”
“I never considered us an ‘emo band,’ you know? Even though, yes, that’s the place where we came from, but then the place where I came from is this fast punk-rock or hardcore music.”
It seems like Lazzara is determined to remove the “emo” label from his band, for whatever reason. Sure, it is a label that has its baggage, but that goes for almost every music genre. Perhaps he is concerned it will trap his band within a timeframe in people’s mind, not allowing them to really move forward. Or maybe he really doesn’t think he is the frontman of an emo band. He’d be wrong on that, though, no matter how much he tries to convince us otherwise.