Taking Back Sunday‘s John Nolan has announced the details of his ‘Music For Everyone‘ compilation. The record (available to pre-order now) features new and previously unreleased material from Taking Back Sunday (obviously), Frank Iero, Kevin Devine, Sorority Noise’s Cam Boucher, Allison Weiss, Anthony Green and loads more. All the money raised is going to help the ACLU.
Ahead of Taking Back Sunday’s show at London’s o2 Forum we grabbed John and Frank Iero and got them to tell us about ‘Music For Everyone’.
-So John, what inspired the compilation?
“I’m sure you’re aware Donald Trump is president in America so I, and a lot of people, felt like the things that he’s promised to do and almost immediately started doing are things that are discriminating against a lot of people. There’s a lot of policy that’s taking people that are vulnerable and making them more vulnerable, singling them out and persecuting them to some extent. The ACLU take on cases for people that are being discriminated against by the government, and they also take on the government when they do something that’s unconstitutional. I felt like that’s going to be one of the most important organisations to support in the next four years. Hopefully it’ll only be four years. I decided to put the compilation together and I felt like there’d be a lot of musicians who had a similar feeling about what was happening and supporting the ACLU. We just went for it and it’s coming together nicely.”
-Do you feel like you have to use your platform to speak out?
“I don’t feel like I need to. I actually feel like there is a certain group of fans who would prefer I didn’t, or musicians in general stay quiet about politics, but I definitely feel like I want to. And I feel like, I’m lucky enough to have a platform so it just seems natural to me to support something I believe in. That’s about it, I think.”
– And there’s a new Taking Back Sunday song ‘Just A Man‘ on the record. Where’s that from?
“We recorded a new song for the compilation. That was another thing I really wanted to do, to do something that would not be a bunch of b-sides or songs from people’s album., I wanted people to make something new for this, and hopefully something that’s tuned into current events. We recorded this track and I’m really excited for people to hear it. It’s an acoustic, quiet song but that was cool. A lot of times we don’t end up recording new material until we’re getting into an album so it was cool to just jump into the studio and do a song when we normally wouldn’t be doing that.
I’m also doing a song myself with James Dewees from The Get Up Kids, so that’s been really exciting. I’ve known him for a long time, but we’ve never collaborated on anything so we’re working on this track together for it.
– Was it difficult getting other artists involved, considering the political nature of the compilation?
“It was pretty easy. There were a couple of people we reached out to who weren’t in a place to make new music, or record anything for it, and I think some people were hesitant about getting involved in something so overtly political but for the most part, everyone we got in touch with was like ‘yeah, I’d love to do that’. It was refreshing seeing how many musicians we contacted said yes. And then, even as we were going, some people got in touch with us and said they’d like to do something and be a part of it.”
-Why do you think musicians who normally don’t get publically involved in politics, are speaking out now?
“It feels like things are at a different level than they ever have been in the country, so a lot of musicians are feeling compelled to speak out whereas normally they’d stay quiet.”
-And what bands are inspiring you at the moment?
“There’s this younger band, Sorority Noise, they’re good. I didn’t know that much about them but our producer, Mike Sapone, had started working with them and he mentioned them to me so I checked them out. They were one of the bands who just got in touch. We hadn’t even reached out, I don’t think we knew how to get in contact, but they got in touch and Cam was very passionate about it. That was one of those moments where it was really inspiring to see someone who felt so strongly about it and wanted to contribute to it and went out of their way to find us. That was really cool.”
Hello Frank Iero, You’re part of this ‘Music For Everyone’ compilation. How did that come about?
“We were doing this tour, we’ve known each other for a long time and John was doing this thing. They reached out ‘we’d love to have Frank on it too, do you have anything?’ Funny enough, I do have this track. It’s a track I wrote and recorded around the time of ‘Stomachaches’ and just didn’t feel right putting it on anything else. All of a sudden, this came up and it would be perfect for it. So, that’s the track that’s going on it. it’s called ‘Getting Into Heaven Is Hell’. I’m excited.
-Were you worried about the political nature of the compilation at all?
“I like that the proceeds are going to the ACLU. I think now, more than ever, it is the responsibility of artists to speak up and to put a message out there. For me, the most important thing an artist can remind people of is the idea of humanity. The idea of unconditional love and acceptance. What’s really strange to me right now is that that’s so political. That human idea of loving one another, and accepting one another for the differences we share, is political. That’s fucked. These alienable rights that, for some reason our fear-based cultures are deciding need to be taken away from people, it’s a rough time. Like I said, I think it’s our responsibility as artists to remind people what it is to be human.
-I guess using music, a universal language, is a powerful way to do that?
“Absolutely. We were having this conversation the other night that, in doing what we do, you get to tour these countries that predominantly don’t speak our English language but the music transcends that. They’re feeling what they feel through what you’re emoting and the sounds you’re creating and that’s a wonderful thing. It transcends age and race and creed, all of that and that’s the magic of music. It’s a cliche because it’s so true.