Taking Back Sunday

It’s summertime and life couldn’t be any better for Taking Back Sunday. The Long Island five-piece is set to release their self-titled fifth studio album on June 28. Fueled by singles “El Paso” and “Faith (When I Let You Down),” the full-length effort is a well-concise alternative rock collection that truly defines the band.

As Taking Back Sunday prepares to hit the road on a co-headlining summer tour with Thursday, bassist Shaun Cooper sits down with Red Bull USA and discusses the top five bands that influenced him since childhood.

5. Rancid

Shaun Cooper: I always identified with Mast Freeman’s bass playing and I’m such a big punk rock fan. I loved [their album] “Let’s Go.” Their record “Life Won’t Wait” had so many great songs on it. It wasn’t their most popular record, but “… And Out Come The Wolves” was just ridiculous. I just love those records.”

4. The Beach Boys

Shaun: The Beach Boys are right up there. I mean “Pet Sounds,” like I listen to this day and I don’t know how they did those things. Brian Wilson is the best. He’s just a phenomenal genius.

3. Nirvana

Shaun: It’s the cliché thing to say, but those songs are so good. I feel like Kurt Cobain was the John Lennon and Paul McCartney of my generation. That’s what I grew up listening to and looking up to.

When Kurt Cobain died, I was devastated. My friends were like, “Oh my god! I can’t believe that happened!” That was a real life-changing thing and eye-opening thing about how ugly the world can be, and how sad and unfair it can be.

That guy was dealing with depression and addiction and all that. Like the songs he wrote, I don’t know if there was a songwriter of my generation that can match what Kurt Cobain did.

2. Guns N’ Roses

Shaun:“Appetite For Destruction” I got right when it came out and it changed my life. I was like, “This makes me wanna become a rock star.” I was six or seven-years-old and kinda snuck the record past my parents because of all the cursing and stuff. I was like, “No, no. They curse like two times. Don’t worry about it.” That record changed my life and made me do what I do for a living.

Following them right up was Nirvana because, it’s like, “Well, I can’t play as good as Guns N’ Roses, but maybe I can play this.”

1. The Beatles

Shaun: I remember hearing “Back In The U.S.S.R.” when I was three or four-years-old. I was like, “That’s what rock ‘n roll is! I love it.” And then Paul McCartney is my favorite bass player of all time.

He has such lyrical way of expressing his melodies and to me, that’s the perfect bass playing -- him and James Jamerson. I draw so much influence from The Beatles and at a very young age too.

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