Adam Lazzara thought it might have been a sign.
In March, Taking Back Sunday's singer was at a recording studio in rural Michigan, working on new material with the Rockville Centre-based band, when he went outside to smoke a cigarette. Minutes later, an enormous tree was blown over and fell on top of him, crushing his left leg and trapping him beneath it.
"After the initial shock of the whole thing, I got home and I thought it may have been the good Lord telling me to chill out," says Lazzara, whose leg was broken in the accident and is still not completely healed. "But then, I haven't really."
No, he hasn't. In true hard-rocking Taking Back Sunday style, instead of taking it easy for the past four months, Lazzara and the band toured Australia with him performing, mostly seated, in a cast. They toured Europe and then the United Kingdom with him performing on crutches. And now, they are on the entire Vans Warped Tour, including a stop July 21 at Nassau Coliseum, with Lazzara standing upright, unaided, and moving around only slightly hobbled.
"I still can't run yet, and there's still a little bit of a limp," says Lazzara, calling from a tour stop in Glendale, Ariz. "The doctor says I should be 100 percent in the next few weeks. The cuts are still healing slowly because I'm moving around a lot."
For Lazzara, known for his physically demanding stage antics, climbing stage sets and hanging upside down, standing relatively still while singing is a big change.
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"It's frustrating at times, but I'm glad that I can actually do it," Lazzara says. "I'll take it over being on crutches any day."
Nevertheless, Lazzara is enjoying the Warped Tour, with its grueling travel schedule and daily battles with the elements. (It was 110 degrees in Glendale when Taking Back Sunday took the stage there. "It was so hot, kids were passing out before they opened the doors," Lazzara says.) "When we first got asked, I was like, 'No way we're doing that.' " he says, laughing. "But I'm glad we're here. It's been awesome. The crowds have been great, and it's really interesting playing the shorter set. It's short and sweet."
Lazzara says he enjoys the camaraderie of the Warped Tour both with his bandmates -- guitarist-vocalist John Nolan, guitarist Eddie Reyes, drummer Mark O'Connell and bassist Shaun Cooper -- and with other bands they have bonded with on previous tours, including New Found Glory and Bayside.
"It's awesome to hang out with folks you've known for a long time," he says, adding that he's been checking out Every Time I Die as much as he can. "It's also cool getting to discover new bands, too."
After all, that's the mindset the Warped Tour has been built on for the past 18 years -- offer fans a mix of acts they are familiar with and introduce them to some new acts that were hand-picked by organizers.
This year, Warped is becoming even more eclectic, adding The Acoustic Basement, a stage for acoustic-only acts, and acts that incorporate more electronic and dance elements, including the metalcore-meets-dubstep act Skip the Foreplay.
Lazzara says he's looking forward to returning to Long Island for the band's first appearance at Nassau Coliseum since it headlined there in 2006. "It'll be a homecoming of sorts," he says. "It'll be cool to play there again."
As far as Taking Back Sunday's plans after the Warped Tour wraps up next month, Lazzara says he can't be specific. Though Lazzara couldn't confirm them, there have been hints of a tour to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the band's breakthrough "Tell All Your Friends" album, which seems fitting, since the band has returned to the same lineup that made that album.
"I can say there will be more touring," Lazzara says, laughing. "I'm not slowing down now."