Taking Back Sunday's Agenda: New CD, Cancer Charity

"We recorded 14 songs and we'll whittle it down to 10 or 11," bassist Matt Rubano tells Billboard.com.

Rock act Taking Back Sunday is putting "finishing touches" on its Warner Bros. debut, "Louder Now.” The Eric Valentine-produced set is expected to be released in April. "We recorded 14 songs and we'll whittle it down to 10 or 11," bassist Matt Rubano tells Billboard.com. "We like to put a lot of focus on what will make the best listening experience."

Rubano is particularly enthused about the new song "What's It Feel Like To Be a Ghost.” "For my ears, it has the zillion dollar guitar hook at the beginning,” he says. β€œIt's not quite 'Paradise City,' but it's a guitar riff where when we first came up with it, we were like, 'Whoa! Rock!'"

Also tipped to make the final cut are "Miami" ("It's something a little more rock than the Cure, but with a definite Cure influence") and "Liar Liar" ("It sounds like the Police if they were young guys in this day and age").

"We wanted to make a much more rock-oriented record," he adds. "We did that not in changing our songwriting but maybe in the recording and the tones of the instruments. We also got a really unique character out of each song."

The group will return to live duty in late January with a handful of U.K. shows, likely to be followed by TBS' first visit to Australia before North American touring gets underway later in the spring.

For now, Taking Back Sunday is devoting its energies to an intiative that will raise funds for cancer charities. Group members will autograph a holiday card designed by Arizona-based artist James Rheem Davis and will begin selling them in packs of five ($10) or 10 ($20) this week via the TBS Web site.

Rubano, drummer Mark O'Connell and guitarist Eddie Reyes all have close family members that have battled the disease. "You can't think of anyone these days that doesn't know someone who has dealt with cancer," Rubano says. "At this time of year, we want to make people realize that there's something more important than bottles of wine and gift baskets."

Proceeds will be donated to charities handpicked by band members' relatives: the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society and Give Kids the World Village. "We wanted this to be something we could interest our fans in, if not just by simple charity than just getting something the band was involved in," Rubano says.