For the past two months, Taking Back Sunday have thrown themselves headlong into an incredibly taxing rock-star fitness program to get in shape for their tour with emo-forefathers Jimmy Eat World. But there were no treadmills or free weights used. No carbs were counted and no pilates attempted. Basically, their training regimen consisted of one thing: nachos.
"We tried to eat nachos every single day. I have no idea why — maybe to unwind from being on the road for so long — but we would eat nachos every day," frontman Adam Lazarra laughed. "Oh, and I got some caps put on my teeth. And I got a haircut."
He's joking — kind of. While the band did scarf down plenty of nachos and take a much-deserved break after more than eight months of constant touring (see "Taking Back Sunday: Road Warriors With No Champagne"), they were also beginning the process of writing a new album, the follow-up to last year's breakthrough Where You Want to Be. And though the going has been slow, TBS are heading out with Jimmy Eat World equipped with a handful of new songs, some of which they'll debut on their current tour.
"We've played a song called 'Error Operator' and one other new one, which we're calling either 'They're Probably In There Teaching Bees Algebra so They Can Kill Us,' or 'What it Feels to Be a Ghost,' " bassist Matt Rubano added. "When you tour as much as we have and you have new material to play, it's totally exciting — you want to play as much of it as possible."
"Error Operator" will appear in the upcoming "Fantastic Four" video game (see "Taking Back Sunday Donate Song To 'Fantastic Four' Game"). As for the rest of the material, Rubano said that fans will be hearing it sooner rather than later — and he hopes fans are prepared for what they'll hear.
"Fred [Mascherino] and Adam's lyrics are coming into a golden age. The tracks are really more rocking and we're trying some new things, but it's still us. We haven't come any ridiculous changes," he said. "It's really early. We know what direction we're going in, and that is simply to not rule any possibilities out. We're just trying to do the coolest thing we can do."
Lazarra, on the other hand, has an entirely different agenda for the new songs. He's aiming to create a whole new genre of music: Ushen.
"Yeah, I like to think that we're starting to grow up," he said. "Lyrically, I feel like we're not writing like we're in high school anymore, and it's not until this point in our lives that we realize that you have to be an adult about some things," he said. "The new stuff is hard to explain. It's the perfect blend between Usher and Dokken ... it's called Ushen. Emo is such a stupid term, so we're flipping it: We're an Ushen rock band now."