Taking Back Sunday bassist Shaun Cooper will never forget the feeling of being onstage with his band at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in June.
“It was the first show my whole family could get to,” says Cooper, who now makes his home in Long Beach. “My wife was there with our son. It was a lot of things coming together. It felt surreal. It was really my dream come true.”
Though singer Adam Lazzara and guitarist-singer John Nolan, a native of Baldwin, now call North Carolina home, and guitarist Eddie Reyes lives in Sandusky, Ohio, Taking Back Sunday will always consider Long Island its home base, especially with Cooper and drummer Mark O’Connell setting down roots with their families in Long Beach.
“We are a Long Island band,” O’Connell says proudly. “It’s where we started. It’s where we grew up. It’s who we are.”
The band’s Long Island roots show up throughout the band’s ambitious seventh album, “Tidal Wave” (Hopeless), which has a water theme throughout its 12 tracks. And Cooper and O’Connell’s problems after superstorm Sandy flooded their homes may have subconsciously worked their way into the idea for the title track and its catchy chorus, “Nothing’s gonna save you from the tidal wave.”
O’Connell says he felt extra inspired for the writing and recording sessions for this album, which were mainly held in North Carolina near Lazzara and Nolan’s homes. “I just wanted to make the best drum sounds I could for these songs,” he says. “I just kept thinking, ‘Do something you wouldn’t normally do.’ I wanted to bring a different style.”
Lazzara says O’Connell’s playing is one of the things that make “Tidal Wave” so special. “There would be times when he would play something and I’d think, ‘I don’t know how he’s physically doing that,’ ” Lazzara says. “It just helped Shaun and everybody to push even harder.”
Cooper says the band is eager to play the new songs for fans. Taking Back Sunday is in the middle of a small club tour, during which they will play “Tidal Wave” in its entirety.
“It’s a way for us to go back to our roots,” Cooper says. “We really get in close with the audience. It becomes this intimate, cathartic experience.”
O’Connell says he really wants fans to fall in love with the new songs the way he has.
“Come out and see us,” O’Connell says his message would be for fans. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
WHO Taking Back Sunday
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Irving Plaza, Manhattan; 5 p.m. Oct. 4, Looney Tunes, West Babylon; and 8 p.m. Oct. 4, Revolution Bar & Music Hall, Amityville.
Hangouts on LI
Taking Back Sunday’s Shaun Cooper says the band is “ready to tour until the wheels come off” for their new album. But he and Mark O’Connell will always head home to Long Beach to recharge. Here’s what makes them feel at home:
n SERRA BJJ ACADEMY, Levittown: Cooper studies jujitsu at former UFC Champion Matt Serra’s gym whenever he can. “It really burns off stress,” he says. “It gives me more energy.”
n LONG BEACH BOARDWALK: O’Connell says one of the first things he likes to do is bike on the boardwalk, before taking his son into the ocean. “He really likes going into the water and swimming,” he says. “The beach life here is really amazing.”
n GINO’S OF LONG BEACH: Cooper says it was O’Connell who introduced him and his family to the pizza at Gino’s. “I can’t really eat a lot of pizza,” Cooper says. “But my family loves their pizza and I get something else that’s great.”
— GLENN GAMBOA