As Billboard reported this past May, emo music is enjoying quite the resurgence in L.A. thanks to a monthly night at the Echoplex originally dubbed Taking Back Tuesday. The monthly party, held the first Tuesday of every month, started in late 2014 at the Shortstop and quickly expanded to the larger Echoplex, where it’s become a favorite of emo musicians; everyone from Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and The Used to Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carraba have made an appearance.
One artist who is not a fan, however, is the man whose band inspired the name. We spoke with Taking Back Sunday co-frontman Adam Lazarra backstage at the final stop of the Taste of Chaos tour in San Bernardino, California, on July 17, and when the subject of the emo revival and, specifically, Taking Back Tuesday, was mentioned, Lazarra did not hold back his feelings.
“Those motherf—ers owe me some money. They’re using our name, they didn’t ask,” he tells Billboard. “It’s flattering, I get it. But also, I don’t want to become a parody of something I take real seriously. That’s the line that those people are walking. They need to understand that they’ve got to take care with that sh–. You don’t make shirts that say, ‘Sad as f—.’ Like you’re making a f—ing joke out of it? F— you.’”
For Lazarra, it’s the intent behind the name that bothers him. Told the band name has also led to “Taking Back Sundae,” an ice cream sundae at popular L.A. shop Donut Friend, he says, “That’s fine, they’re buddies, they’re not making fun of us.”
The three promoters behind Taking Back Tuesday — Barbara Szabo, Morgan Freed and T.J. Petracca — were aware of Lazarra’s feelings as he reportedly said something to Szabo onsite during an encounter we were told was “a rather unpleasant run-in” and also made reference to his feelings about the night from the stage.
Billboard reached out for their response and they sent us the following: “When we started this night in December 2014, it came from a place of love and admiration for the genre that saved our lives and made us who we are. This was never to be seen as a joke, and the response from our event attendees and the artists who have been involved has been incredibly positive.”
The event organizers also responded to Lazarra’s claims about money owed to him: “It is unfortunate that Adam feels so much animosity towards a night created to celebrate and support the genre of music that continues to embrace his band. Our events have brought together like-minded people who have become a family that support each other. In regards to the financial compensation, what began as Taking Back Tuesday (We never once used the name ‘Taking Back Sunday’) turned into Emo Nite in a full rebrand in 2016… We have always respected and been fans of this genre and will continue to support it. If Adam ever wants to come experience the event for himself, we’re positive he’d have a different opinion and we’d welcome him with open arms. And, at the end of the day, the night was meant for everyone to just have a great time.”
It’s worth noting: The event’s official website and other social media accounts are currently listed under the titles “Emo Night” and “Emo Night LA.”