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Taking Back Tuesday

On the 1st Tuesday of every month guest DJs from a variety of iconic bands come to spin Emo/ Pop-punk throwback sing-along hits and people go nuts for it. Their previous lineups have included everyone from the likes of Blink 182, Piebald, Sugarcult, Let Live and more.

We teamed up with the innovative creators of Taking back Tuesday, T.J. Petracca, Babs Szabo, and Morgan Freed, for a collaboration that feeds those who may be the last standing frontiers of the desolate genre who thrived off of melancholy nostalgia and ‘sad-as-fuck’ ballads.While we have built our fundamentals as a brand based off of the subversive roots of punk, skate culture, and hip hop; working with Emo Night LA stands for a greater cause, shakes shit up, and aims for change which we have common ground in. Similarly in line with our Awareness program, these amazing individuals have come up with the idea to donate a percentage of the proceeds from all their events towards a charitable cause, last night’s one being for A21, a non-profit organization that aims to abolish human-trafficking worldwide.

Before the night kicked off, we spoke to the founders of Taking Back Tuesday – T.J., Babs, and Morgan.

Q: Morgan, Babs, and TJ—How did you guys meet?

TJ: Babs and I met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. We sang karaoke to Dashboard Confessional and that’s how the concept of emo night was born. We met Morgan because we worked in the same office space – he helped us get emo night off the ground through his friends who work at Short Stop.

Morgs: I said “lets do this,” [so] we did that.

Q: How did you come up with the concept of Taking Back Tuesday?

TJ : In college and high school I would go to parties and always try to steal the aux cord and put on some brand new or taking back sunday – the people who got excited and started singing along became my best friends. I felt like my group of friends was always pre-gaming our nights out by listening to this music. We’d then go to bars or clubs where they played music that we didn’t like and spend a million dollar on drinks. Basically wanted to go to a bar in my neighborhood, have a good time, and listen to music I actually liked.

Q: You guys received some notoriety in the beginning, that seemed really misleading and rather harsh– what do you have to say to the haters?

Babs: I don’t really pay attention to that stuff. I always want to focus on making emo night better and better, and being distracted by people who don’t understand what it’s all about is a waste of time.

Morgs: The best and worst thing about the Internet is it allows everyone to have a voice. It’s easy to hate something you don’t understand, that’s a given. Anyone with a keyboard has an opinion, and attacking something without a) knowing all the facts and b) never attending seems, I dunno, stupid? I don’t like plenty of things, but I’m not standing on rooftops screaming my dumb opinion. I’m not that important. I don’t understand half the nights/music in Los Angeles, but if people are having fun, why the fuck should I care? I support fun. I’ll never look back on my life and go “I wish I would have said I disliked more things on the Internet”. So what do I have to say to the .1% of people that don’t like the night? Thanks for the press, nerds.

TJ: haters fade. we’re doing this for the right reasons. all we care about is having a good time and building a supportive and fun-loving community.

Q: Favorite song that describes you?

Babs: My favorite song is Play Crack the Sky by Brand New. I listened to it on repeat when my grandmother passed away and it honestly got me through it. My favorite band of all time is Taking Back Sunday.

TJ: Limousine by Brand New gets me every time. its like 8 songs in one and its so fucking powerful. I’ve had open eye hallucinations to that song while completely sober.

Morgs: Not an emo song but Misfits “Where Eagles Dare”

Q: If you could comprise your all time lineup, who would it be?

TJ: I’m actually going to see this lineup on my birthday at the Ryman in Nashville – Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, and Kevin Devine. I saw this exact same tour when I was 16 and it forever changed my life.

Morgs: Saves the day acoustic set, mark hoppus dj, Joyce manor live performance

Babs: Taking Back Sunday, Bright Eyes, The Used and Have Mercy.

Q: Did you guys have any idea the impact you’d create with a concept that doesn’t involve any live performance?

Babs: We had no idea that emo night would become what it has evolved into, but I’m so happy about everything that has happened. I’ve been lucky enough to work with two of my best friends and have met some incredible people in the past year. Being able to donate to charities month after month has been such a cool part of this whole event too.

TJ: All I really wanted was to hear music I actually cared about while having a few drinks with my friends at a local bar.

Morgs: We all just hoped people would feel the same way we do when we hear these songs. It’s like when you go home with all your friends after a long night of partying and someone puts on a dashboard song or picks up a guitar and you all start singing. It’s like that but now times 1000 and it’s beautiful. And who says we’re sticking to not live performance…? 😉

Q: Plans for the future of emo night LA? What do you hope to achieve with this?

TJ: We’re currently planning to take emo night to new cities across the country and see where it sticks starting in October!

Morgs: I hope that we can bring the community that’s formed in Los Angeles to other parts of the country. People here genuinely love each other. Friendships are created, relationships are formed. I’d love to see the kind passion that Los Angeles has in other parts of the world.

Q: Best moment so far.

TJ: I’m not sure… every emo night I always just have these WTF moments where I can’t believe any of this is actually real and can’t understand why this is all happening…

Babs: The best moment for me so far was the night All Time Low and Hotel Garuda performed back to back, and they both delivered such energetic, fun performances. Watching the crowd during those sets brought tears to my eyes that such a perfect community of people could exist at one time under one roof.

Morgs: Fav moment was when Fidlar DJed on stage and everyone held up their cell phones as lighters for the last song they played. And our OBEY collaboration duh.

[ Custom OBEY x Emo Night Vintage Military Jackets ]

Here are some of our favorite moments from the night

Check out the full album from the night here

– Shop the OBEY x EMO Night Collab –

Interview // Ayumi Hanaoka

Photography // Gil Riego