Music: Taking Back Sunday

Jul 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly



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John Nolan tracking guitar with Eric Valentine

John Nolan tracking guitar with Eric Valentine

More With Taking Back Sunday's John Nolan

Nolan on the vibe at Sonic Ranch Studio…
There’s a bunch of studios on the pecan farm and we had this one that was even more remote and separated from everything than some of the other studios. Across from the studio we had a house setup for us. It was very remote, very quiet, very peaceful and it was beautiful. We just hung out there and it was a combination of hang out and get to know each other again and work on music.

Nolan on a certain sound for each song…
With each song that we recorded, [Eric Valentine] would go through a bunch of different guitar and amp combinations with us before he settled on one, so we would be there trying these things out and he’s listening and making changes. We would have some input into how we were feeling each song as we were making those choices. A lot of the lead parts that I was playing, I was really interested in getting a classic fuzz sound, and a lot of times that would be layered in with a bunch of other guitar sounds. I always like a more vintage-y guitar sound with a distortion a bit more, natural gain and overdrive, '60s and '70s amps.

Nolan on the album's overall sound…
The place where we started was that we wanted to have an album full of really solid, well-written rock songs. But at the same time, the goal became to let each song take whatever shape and whatever direction to make it the strongest. So there was a lot of trying to stay open as the song developed. In a certain way, there was maybe a lack of a goal that we would let each song take its shape. Not confine into one particular sound or style. Let each song become its own experience.

Watch a video tour of Taking Back Sunday inside Valentine's studio:

Watch a video of tracking "You Could Play Harder (That's What She Said)"

Assistant engineer Cian Riordan's "Rockumentary"

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