Taking Back Sunday: What’s In A Name?

August 2, 2006

A lot of people are curious about where artists get names for their bands, albums, and songs. A curious band is Taking Back Sunday, who debuted on Victory Records in 2002–often mocked as Taking Back Thursday, a jest regarding labelmates and fellow New Jersey/New York-area rockers Thursday. This may seem quaint in 2006, but in 2002 “this genre” of music had not yet been so bloated, and, as such, many people saw Taking Back Sunday as a ripoff of Thursday’s sound. Funny, right?

So where does the name Taking Back Sunday come from? Speculation that it comes from Philadelphia’s Breaking Pangaea is not without merit; the first song on their debut CD contains the lyrics:

“And I worry cause I think there’s something wrong with me. Do you feel it? Feel the same? Taking back Sunday is all that we can do or remember days I spent with you.”

To add to the confusion, try this: Guitarist John Nolan quit Taking Back Sunday and was replaced by lead singer/guitarist Fred Mascherino of Breaking Pangaea; drummer Will Noon of Breaking Pangaea then joined John Nolan’s new band, Straylight Run!

The truth behind the name came to light in an interview, though, with one of Taking Back Sunday’s founders, guitarist Eddie Reyes who stated: “[The name comes from] an act of will, because Sunday‚Äôs when you should hang with your family and friends…like the Bible says, a day to kick back”.

So there you have it, the name comes from the intent to take back the day that you should be for your free time. I actually like the explanation a lot; very meaninful, I suppose.

The riddle of the band’s name is solved, but what about their albums?

This one is actually much easier: all three albums take their titles from lyrics from the albums themselves. Tell All Your Friends comes from the chorus of “Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)”: “And will you tell all your friends, you’ve got your gun to my head. This all was only wishful thinking.”

Where You Want To Be comes from the first song on the album, “Set Phasers To Stun”: “So pace the stairs to your apartment, like it’s where you want to be.”

Finally, their latest album, Louder Now, comes from “What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?”, which is where the song title itself gets the name: “What’s it feel like to be a ghost, louder now, louder now.”

That particular song may be easy to derive the title from, but what about some of the bands other titles that don’t come from the lyrics? What exactly is a “Bonus Mosh Pt. 2”?

Reyes explained that a friend said the heavy part later in the song was like a second “bonus mosh”; the name stuck. “One-Eighty By Summer” refers to a bet where Reyes had to be 180lbs by the end of summer; often, it seems the titles are just randomly placed to the songs!

If anyone knows the meanings behind any other song titles, please share them in the comments.