SALT LAKE CITY — After 20 years of working together, Taking Back Sunday still loves making music, touring and playing shows for their enthusiastic fans.
"It's amazing that 20 years down the line we're still here and we're still playing shows and they're packed and people are having fun," Mark O'Connell, the drummer for Taking Back Sunday, told the Deseret News.
The tour has already been to Australia and parts of Asia. O'Connell said it was amazing to be back on tour, seeing fans from all over the world get excited about the band's music. His favorite thing during concerts is watching how the crowd reacts to their favorite songs.
“It looks like there's a riot going on sometimes,” O’Connell said.
These loyal fans are part of the reason the band has lasted this long. Many have been with Taking Back Sunday since Day One and continue to follow and love the band to this day.
"There are people who met at our shows, and they're married now with two or three kids, then they'll bring out the whole family," O'Connell said.
In a way, Taking Back Sunday has grown up with its fans. O'Connell said he felt a lot of pressure and anxiety when the band first started, "Just worrying about this and that and what this person said, when it doesn't matter." Over the years he and the rest of the band have learned to relax a little.
"I tell people all the time, we get along better now than we ever have," O'Connell said. "We've all matured a lot and we get along really well because of it."
Because this tour is a celebration of the years they’ve grown together and how they started, they are playing their entire debut album “Tell All Your Friends” each night. Additionally, they will flip a coin to choose between playing “Where You Want To Be” or “Louder Now.” They may be playing music from their past for tour, but the band has plenty of newer music and is planning to release more.
In January they released "Twenty," a 21-track, career-spanning compilation album. Along with the 19 tracks fans will know well, the album includes two new songs, "All Ready To Go" and "A Song For Dan," a tribute to a friend of O'Connell's who committed suicide.
O’Connell said they’ve learned a lot and become better musicians over the years working with talented producers and other artists, but their songwriting process has remained relatively the same as when they started. O'Connell and other band members usually begin writing individually, then bring the song to the rest of the band to add their ideas and work on it collaboratively.
"I write a lot of songs on my phone, just on GarageBand," O'Connell said. "Sometimes you come up with something really great you know everybody's going to love and then other times it's like ‘Oh, this is horrible’ …When it is horrible usually you start off (thinking), 'This is great, everybody's going to love this.' Then you put it down for a little bit, then the next day you listen to it and you're like, 'Oh man, this is really bad. I can't show this to anybody.’"
Fans can look forward to more new Taking Back Sunday music soon, maybe even a whole album.
“We're even talking about getting in (the studio) next January — seeing what we can do and having a new album, and then just keep it going,” O’Connell said.Comment on this story
The band has accomplished many things over its 20-year career. Including opening for Green Day (one of O'Connell's fondest memories), reaching top 10 on the Billboard chart and recently becoming the youngest inductees to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
Though there is plenty to look back on, O'Connell is glad there's more to come.
"I'm most proud that we're still a band and still relevant, having people come out to see us and having a great time," he said. "That's definitely what I'm most proud of."
If you go …
What: Taking Back Sunday's 20th anniversary tour
When: Thursday, May 2, and Friday, May 3, 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Complex, 536 W. 100 South
How much: $35