The Taking Back Sunday/Brand New Feud: Still?

 In the early 2000s, the feud between then-new bands Taking Back Sunday and Brand New was quite the introduction to them, and one of the scene’s biggest stories.  Last week, OC Weekly published an interview with TBS frontman Adam Lazzara, where he called Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey “just a dick.  He just sucks.  He’s not a good person.  Who am I to say?  There’s somebody out there that’s gonna say I’m not a good person.  I don’t know.”  After, the internet partied like it’s 2002 and people got all defendy* (*TM?) of both bands, both guys, blah blah.  You know.  Many went “this is still a thing?”, including me.  So, if you need a refresher or you don’t know about this, let’s go back to how this feud started.

As legend has it, Jesse Lacey and Taking Back Sunday guitarist John Nolan were friends growing up.  At some point, Lacey’s girlfriend cheated with Nolan and a friendship was ruined.  As both bands formed, so did the diss tracks: Brand New’s “Seventy Times 7”, Taking Back Sunday’s “There’s No ‘I’ In Team”, Brand New’s “Mixtape”, Taking Back Sunday’s “Timberwolves at New Jersey”…yada yada yada. That’s the story, and as each band became a big player their feud became more known and was often a part of their press, fans, you name it.

When I first read Lazzara’s latest comments, I thought “mics are for singing not for swinging LOL” but then, “this is tired, what year is this?”  Can this feud still possibly have legs in 2015?  Is one side more dickish than the other?

The real answer, regardless of whether it’s still a thing, is who cares?  First of all, I partially blame OC Weekly for asking what it’s like for TBS to play songs like “There’s No ‘I’ In Team”.  That is not a relevant question for Taking Back Sunday anymore.  It was a couple of years ago when they did the anniversary tour for that album, their seminal debut Tell All Your Friends.  But now?  C’mon.  It’s also Adam Lazzara’s fault for not taking the high road and answering politely, regardless of what he thinks of Jesse Lacey.  This feud peaked ten years ago (publicly, anyway) and if brought up at all, should not still be a petty and angry subject.

Another thing is – if you have a vested interest as a fan – as the saying goes, don’t meet your heroes.  Once upon a time, John Nolan left Taking Back Sunday after rumours Lazzara, who was dating his sister Michelle, cheated on her.  His replacement, Fred Mascherino, eventually left and said something like TBS was more interested in cooking than making music.  HIS replacement Matt Fazzi and bassist Matt Rubano (who replaced Shaun Cooper, who left with Nolan) were eventually kicked out to bring Nolan and Cooper back, over the phone.  You should do that kinda thing in person shouldn’t you?  So, maybe Taking Back Sunday are dicks!

Or, Brand New?  Jesse Lacey isn’t known for being approachable, and the band have spent the past few years saying cryptic things about a follow-up to 2009’s Daisy.  Dicks right?

Look, it just doesn’t matter.  Taking Back Sunday’s lineup changes don’t necessarily mean Adam Lazzara or anyone in that band is a dick, and Jesse Lacey’s known shyness doesn’t make him a dick.  It does matter that Brand New are an ambitious group that challenge themselves and Taking Back Sunday are on the nostalgia circuit, but not in the context of this feud.  Fact is, they’re both really good bands who have a history, and that’s all.  It’s actually a testament to how well-liked Taking Back Sunday and Brand New are that one answer in an interview can set things off like it did.  It’s also unfortunate timing for Adam Lazzara, since he also just got nailed with a DWI charge.  I think most people hope this feud is dead, and not NEW AGAIN (boom, TBS album reference!).  I sure do, anyway.