Interview: Taking Back Sunday bassist Shaun Cooper talks about band's 20th anniversary
Courtesy of Craft Recordings

Being capable of doing anything positive for 20-years is commendable, and when you’ve held a successful band together for that amount of time it is really something to be celebrated. And celebrating is exactly what rockers Taking Back Sunday, on the occasion of 2019 being their 20th anniversary, will be doing all year. Of course, the band’s fans will have lots of opportunities to join in the milestone merriment, as Taking Back Sunday will be touring North America for most of the remainder of the year. And as a permanent memento of the anniversary, Taking Back Sunday has also released Twenty, a career-spanning retrospective that also includes two new songs, “All Ready to Go” and “Song for Dan.”

The ambitious tour schedule will play out in two parts; the first leg of the tour takes place mostly in the west and runs from late March through mid-July. Similarly, the tour’s second leg, taking place primarily in the east, runs from mid-Sept. through mid-Nov. The tour also has an interesting format as many cities will see performances on back-to-back evenings, with the band playing either the Where You Want to Be or Louder Now album in its entirety, paired with a performance of debut album Tell All Your Friends in its entirety. Where a city has only one show scheduled, the performance will be of Tell All Your Friends.

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We were able to chat briefly by email with Taking Back Sunday bassist Shaun Cooper, and he gave us a few more details on Twenty and the upcoming tour jaunt. His commentary below is given exclusively to AXS.com.

AXS: The latest Taking Back Sunday album Twenty contains two new songs and 19 cuts from the band’s back catalog. Tell us about the new cuts.

Shaun Cooper: Mark (O’Connell, drummer) had the bulk of the music written for both songs. We got together in North Carolina and fleshed them out as a band. It wasn’t difficult at all. It was a really fun process working together. It was the first time we ever really recorded something entirely on our own without any input from a producer. I’m very proud of those songs.

AXS: Are there particular oldies that you’re especially looking forward to playing on your upcoming tour?

SC: I’ve been having a lot of fun playing “The Union” from Where You Want to Be and “Miami” from Louder Now.

AXS: Considering that you’ll be spending two nights in a row in many cities on the tour, do you have any plans on how to spend the downtime that would normally be spent on travel?

SC: Any downtime is usually used for catching up with family on FaceTime or doing laundry. Maybe get a light workout in at the gym followed by a good meal.

AXS: Twenty is available on vinyl, including a couple of very cool limited-edition options. Do you like to listen to music on vinyl, and if so what are your most cherished records, either vintage or recent?

SC: The label that released Twenty, Craft Recordings, just put out a picture disc of the Traveling Wilburys first record. I just bought that, it’s awesome. If I love an album I will buy the vinyl. I have a few of my parents’ old Beatles albums. They aren’t the best sounding records I own but I feel like you can feel their history in all the cracking and popping those records make.    

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