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Taking Back Sunday’s John Nolan releasing compilation album to benefit ACLU

Long Beach-based Taking Back Sunday headlines opening night

Long Beach-based Taking Back Sunday headlines opening night of the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue July 13. Credit: Ryan Russell

Taking Back Sunday’s John Nolan started getting worried almost immediately after President Trump was elected.

“I was seeing something happening that was different than in the past,” says the Baldwin native, calling from New Zealand, where the band is in the midst of its international tour supporting its “Tidal Wave” (Hopeless) album. “Presidents, even Republican presidents,” he said, tend to “come towards the middle to work with as many people as possible. But that’s not what’s happening now.”

Nolan felt the need to take action, as did the rest of Long Beach-based band. “As a group we’ve always been cautious about talking about politics, because everybody has to be on the same page for us to say something,” Nolan says. In this case, he says, “the entire band was on the same exact page.”

Nolan felt a compilation raising funds for the American Civil Liberties Union would be the most useful. Taking Back Sunday recorded a new acoustic song, “Just a Man,” specifically for the compilation and Nolan said he was hoping other artists would contribute new or previously unreleased music as well.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Nolan says, adding that the response from artists and from Sub City and Collective Confusion Records, who agreed to release the album, was overwhelming. “People were pretty passionate about what they were doing. The way things have gone I think a lot of people are looking to find some way to fight back to help a cause like the ACLU.”

Nolan says the “Music for Everyone” compilation — which features 26 artists, including Anti-Flag, Kevin Devine, Frank Iero, Modern Chemistry and Anthony Green — was in the works long before the ACLU stepped in to defend residents mistakenly caught up in the initial travel ban drafted by the Trump administration. “That was a clear example of what they can do,” Nolan says, “It was also the first confirmation that this was going to be an important fight.”

Nolan says there may be additional fundraisers, but currently his focus is on releasing and promoting the compilation — in addition to his duties as guitarist-singer in Taking Back Sunday, who will return to Long Island to headline the first night of the Great South Bay Music Festival on July 13 at Shorefront Park in Patchogue.

“I think with what’s happening right now, if you’re a musician or an artist, you can’t really see things and not be horrified,” Nolan says. “There is no reason to stay quiet.”

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“Music for Everyone” will be released March 31. For more information, go to


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