As I’ve said in a previous article about Amnesia Rockfest 2014, Hopeless Records’ artist Taking Back Sunday isn’t the type of band that we usually cover. But the band calls Amityville, New York, home. Yup, the same Amityville as my second favorite house of posession (the first being the one in Poltergeist). Anyway, with that bit of knowledge, I ran with it when I got to sit down with the band’s lead vocalist, Adam Lazzara, who happens to be an absolute pleasure to talk to. Seriously, if you’re a fan and ever get a chance to talk to this dude, he will no doubt make you feel like an old high school buddy.
If you’ve never heard Taking Back Sunday, go see them since they’re currently on tour promoting their latest release, Happiness Is. Of course, it’s natural that you’d want to check them out first, so, here, check out “Flicker, Fade” from their new album:
So let’s jump into the interview at the point at which we were talking about Amityville being the band’s home…
Our guitar player, Eddie Reyes, who is the originator of the band, he brought everybody together, I’m originally from North Carolina, and when I joined the band I moved up there [Amityville] and John [Nolan – guitars] and I had an apartment. Eddie went to the Amityville High School, which is pretty much right across the street from where the Amityvillehouse is, and of course the first thing you do when you get up there is, “Hey, can you take me by the house?”
To tell you the truth, I heard all these stories, and I saw the movie, and it’s not quite as impressive as I was hoping it would be. They kinda changed the front at the time, this was years ago when I first moved up there, but I guess they were trying to sell it again, and again, and again…
Nobody buys it?
Well, that’s the story I hear, people do and then like after a year or two they just want to get out. [They’ll buy it] ’cause they’ll get a good deal on it ’cause of the whole stigma, and then they’ll just want to leave. Now, whether weird stuff happens there or not, I don’t know, but Eddie always has these stories, like, “Oh, I had a friend who used to babysit there when I was in high school and she said that blah blah blah.” If he were sitting here, he could go on for hours about it. It was actually not far from where our apartment was.
Did you ever go inside the Amityville house?
No. You would think if folks were smart, they’d do tours. But Eddie, there was this one interview he did pretty early on, it’s where he was saying that when he was younger how he got his first guitar was people would be driving around wanting to know where the house was and he would tell them where to go for like a couple bucks and that’s how he saved up to buy his first guitar. It’s a pretty grand story; I don’t believe it.
Are there any horror fans in the band?
See, that comes right back to Eddie. For myself and my sensibilities, I’m better with the Evil Dead, stuff like that, that’s almost on the verge of slapstick kind of horror. Just because there’s a comedy element to it that I appreciate. But Eddie’s the guy that if you happen to walk into the front lounge and there’s any kind of horror movie left on, you know he just stepped outside for a cigarette or something. He’s the guy who’ll keep those on all day long. Like on the DVR, the only thing that he’ll have recorded are those kinds of movies or Ghost Hunters or any kind of show that’s like paranormal… and it’ll be full, so when you go to record Family Guy or something you won’t be able to because it’ll just be filled with all these ghost shows.
What’s the worst injury Adam Lazzara suffered as a performer, and our conversation about Crispen Glover…