Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara: The 10 songs that changed my life

Taking Back Sunday vocalist Adam Lazzara on the music that made him: from The Beatles to LCD Soundsystem…

Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara: The 10 songs that changed my life
Mischa Pearlman

Taking Back Sunday vocalist Adam Lazzara can remember exactly where he was when he first heard these songs. Usually in a car…

The first song that I remember hearing...

Dire Straits – Money For Nothing (1985)

“My parents and I lived upstairs in this house and my aunt lived downstairs, and there were days where she’d watch me. She had this little car that she’d take me around in – I’d sit in the front seat and she’d play that Dire Straits record [Brothers In Arms]. This song always stood out to me, because we’d pull up in the driveway with that song blasting and the windows down and my mom would come screaming down the stairs, yelling at my aunt that she’s going to ruin my hearing – and now I tour in a rock band!”

The song that reminds me of high school...

NOFX – Linoleum (1994)

“Anything from Fat Wreck Chords or NOFX reminds me of high school, really. My friend Tripp had this 1980 Chevy Malibu and it had bench seats in it. I remember we’d spend all our time just driving around town, because we were kids and had time to kill, and we’d always be listening to this album [Punk In Drublic]. The car wasn’t that great, but the stereo that he put in it was amazing.”

The song that made me want to be in a band...

Nirvana – Lithium (1991)

“This was the song that made me want to do what I’m doing now. It made me feel a certain way – it still does whenever I hear it, it’s the craziest thing – and I think that ever since I first heard this song, when I was 13 or so, I’ve been chasing that feeling. There’s just something about the way they recorded it. It’s so, so good.”

The song that soundtracked my first heartbreak...

Lifetime – Knives, Bats, New Tats (1995)

“That whole Lifetime record, Hello Bastards, was the soundtrack to my first heartbreak, and it’s still one of my favourite records to this day. It takes me right back to where I was and what I was feeling and getting through it all. The whole record means so much to me, but this song in particular is very special. The first tattoo I got below my elbows was the lyrics to this song.”

The song I learned to swing my mic to...

At The Drive-In – Ursa Minor (1999)

“Oh my goodness! We followed At The Drive-In around because they were the best live band I‘d ever seen. I would watch what Cedric [Bixler-Zavala, vocals] would do with the microphone, so then when I started singing I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something with my hands,’ and I just stole it from him. I think them and The Get Up Kids are where we get our love for song titles that aren’t straightforward.”

The first song of mine I heard on the radio...

Taking Back Sunday – A Decade Under The Influence (2004)

“I couldn’t believe it; it was by accident. I was riding in the car with some friends. I think we were going to see a movie or something, and it came on and we all freaked out. You know that scene in That Thing You Do!, the movie with Tom Hanks, when they first hear their song on the radio? That’s exactly what it was like, except in a car.”

The song that I wish I had written...

The Beatles – Let It Be (1970)

“There’s a whole lot of these, but this is just a perfect song. Even the production and the way the drums sound and how they come in – everything about it is perfect and I wish I had written it. What a song!”

The song that makes me cry...

Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight (1981)

“When I was a kid, my dad had this little pick-up truck, and I remember riding around and hearing this on the radio. It’s so sad, and it’s dark, man. As I got older, I realised how at a really young age I was exposed to these pop songs with this really dark theme that you don’t catch the first time around.”

The song I'd like played at my funeral...

LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing At My House (2005)

“I don’t want people to be sad at my funeral. I want them to be celebrating. I want them to be like, ‘Hey, we had our fun, didn’t we?’ And if you put this song on in any situation, it’s going to make people happy and want to dance.”

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