INTERVIEW Matthew Fazzi Tells All

A Closer Look at Joining Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday guitarist and backup vocalist Matthew Fazzi took a minute to talk to The Tech about joining the band and the current tour.

The Tech: How did you end up playing with TBS? You joined the band fairly recently, how did that work out?

Matthew Fazzi: Eddie (Reyes, guitarist) was actually a fan of my previous band, I met him on the 2004 Warped Tour with my band Facing New York. I just met Eddie, showed him our band, he really liked it and we just kind of became friends like that. Eventually they took us out in 2006, and when (Fred Mascherino) quit the band I just got a text from Eddie asking if I wanted to audition, so it was very cosmic, weird, and awesome. I owe a lot to Eddie for giving me the opportunity.

TT: Were you a fan of Taking Back Sunday before you joined?

MF: For sure. That’s how I was kind of able to recognize Eddie, I knew a whole lot about them: They had just put out “Where You Want to Be” and they were one of the biggest bands of the moment, and at Warped Tour they were one of the largest bands that year. So I was definitely a fan of their band, I had both of their records at the time, so it was definitely an easy transition for me. When I joined I knew all of the songs already so everything became like, cake, you know.

TT: Were you hazed mercilessly when you joined, or was it more of a smooth transition?

MF: (Laughs) Not at all, actually. We were actually just talking about that because one of my best friends, Isaac, was in a similar situation and there’s been little to no hazing of us whatsoever, I think because we’re such laid-back California kids they don’t have the heart to come down on us hard at all.

TT: Is it interesting to make the transition from being in a smaller band supporting other bands to being in Taking Back Sunday and having other bands support your own tour?

MF: It’s a trip out, dude. I’ve been doing a lot of band touring and playing for no one for 6 or 7 years, and to go from that extreme of playing in front of two people that don’t care to playing in front of 20,000 is just such a trip out, it’s the coolest thing in the world, and it’s something that I hope I don’t take for granted for even one second. I know that I’m super fortunate to be in the position that I’m in and the position that we’re in, especially in these times with the economy and people just not buying music anymore, but luckily Taking Back Sunday is doing well. I mean dude, everything is a privilege and it’s the raddest job in the world and I couldn’t complain or ask for a better dream job.

TT: What’s the most insane thing that you’ve ever seen on tour, either with your own band or with Taking Back Sunday?

MF: Man, I don’t know, that’s like one of those questions where when you get the question your mind goes totally blank and you can’t think of anything cool. I’m sure the second I get off the phone I’ll think of something. The craziest thing for me is the size of some of the shows that we’ve played, playing in front of 50,000 or 60,000 people. That to me, is crazy. But I guess one crazy story is that we were playing Hartford for our May-June tour. It was the day that Michael Jackson died, so it was just a weird day, a weird vibe all around, and when we were headlining that night a kid got up on stage, and he must have been standing there for only about 2 seconds. I’m also going to preface this by saying that this kid was maybe 5’7”, 150 lbs., so a really average, to smaller than average kid. So he gets on stage for all of two seconds, and the biggest, burliest, football playing security guy just runs across the stage and destroys this kid. Tackles him like he’s playing in the NFL. For sure if you go search on Youtube you’ll find it somewhere. It all happened in slow motion to me. I don’t know if you ever watched wrestling when you were younger, but that move that that Austin bald guy would do, where he runs all the way across from the other side and just nails you, that’s what this guy did. Imagine a guy who’s like 6’5”, 250, just pummeling the smallest kid in the world.

TT: Well you know that guy lives for that moment.

MF: Yeah, and you could see it in his eyes, he was just ready for that. He was just waiting to tackle the first person that he saw. But that’s the only thing that I can really think of (laughs). We don’t really get gnarly crazy things like people jumping and trying to steal our shoes or anything.

TT: What are your plans after this tour, what can we expect to hear from Taking Back Sunday coming up?

MF: We put out a live record last week, it’s the first legitimate live thing that we’ve done that really encompasses all four records. So that’s kind of new and I really encourage people to check that out. Otherwise we have another month to go on this tour and we have a few secret things that we have planned, and after that we’re going to Australia. We’d also talked about trying to do some sort of acoustic thing, so that’s sort of in the mix somewhere. But for the immediate feature it’s just getting through this tour and taking a break for a second.