Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara: Performing Live Is ‘Better Than Any Therapy I’ve Found’

Performing live is good for Adam Lazzara’s soul. The Taking Back Sunday singer tells Billboard’s Behind the Setlist podcast that shutting out the world and losing his sense of time while on stage lifts mental and emotional weight. “If you can do that again and again and again,” Lazzara says as he exhales deeply, “it’s better than any therapy I’ve found — and I’ve tried a lot.”

On the road this summer to support the band’s latest album, 152, Lazzara has learned how to take better care of himself to endure the rigors of being on the road. Taking Back Sunday’s backstage rider now includes healthier snacks like melons, trail mix instead of Oreo cookies, and coffee. “And then water,” he says from a tour stop in sun-scorched Arizona. “There’s so much water everywhere that it’s just wonderful.”

Lazzara’s mindset was different in his younger years when Taking Back Sunday was establishing itself as a preeminent rock band and had five albums chart in the top 20 of the Billboard 200: Where You Want to Be (2004), Louder Now (2006), New Again (2009), Taking Back Sunday (2011) and Happiness Is (2014). He says he would call the band’s longtime agent Matt Galle [formerly with Paradigm and now with CAA] and ask him to put them on the road for extended periods. “We don’t care for [being] home,” Lazzara would say. “Keep us busy. Keep us working.”

For the current tour, though, the band decided not to tour for more than four or five weeks without a break. Anything longer and “reality changes,” says Lazzara, making the transition from touring artist to family man more difficult. “As the kids get older, the harder it is to be gone and to miss things.”

Taking Back Sunday is taking a break from late June to late July before resuming the tour — with Citizen as the supporting act — in Pittsburgh on July 24. The band winds through the Northeast and into Canada for Toronto’s Festival of Beers on July 28 before returning to the States on July 30 in Newport, KY, and heading down to Lake Buena Vista, FL, on Aug. 1. That string of shows ends in New York City on Aug. 18. Then the band travels to Los Angeles to play the Greek Theatre on Aug. 21. 

The final tour dates currently scheduled are Riot Fest in Chicago from Sept. 20-22 and the When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 19-20. At the end of the year, says Lazzara, the band will keep with tradition and perform holiday shows on Long Island, NY, and in New Jersey. “We’re doing those for sure,” he says. 

Listen to the entire interview with Adam Lazzara in the embedded Spotify player below, or listen at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Amazon Music or Everand

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