The Long Island Music Hall of Fame proudly announced their list of 2018 inductees at The Space in Westbury including alternative rock band Taking Back Sunday, legendary hip hop group EPMD and an array of musical performers and industry leaders that made an impact on the Long Island music scene.
Long Island is “such a diverse place, you get a little bit of everything. If you’re looking for great hip hop, it’s here. If you’re looking for rock and roll, it’s here. If you’re looking for heavy metal, it’s here, it’s everywhere. If you’re looking for great original bands that are growing, it’s here,” said Hired Gun Honoree and Billy Joel lead guitarist, Tommy Byrnes.
EPMD, a hip hop group from Brentwood, sold over 10 million albums and had 21 consecutive number one albums before they broke up. “We had to be better because the city was screaming,” said Erick Sermon, from EPMD. “Because of the laid back atmosphere and vibe, we felt we had to work that much harder because everyone was like Long Island is soft, you can’t keep up,” said Parrish Smith from EPMD.
EPMD popularized sampling by using rock and funk breaks in their songs which gained them attention from the mainstream media. “Long Island had a different type of swagger […] our music was musical,” said Sermon. In October, EPMC will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame joining past hip-hop honorees Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepper, and Run-DMC. “Hip hop would be kind of empty without Long Island,” said Sermon.Taking Back Sunday emerged during the Long Island punk rock and emo scene in the late 90s and early 2000s. Local bands played shows together at VFW halls, small clubs and bowling alleys. “A bunch of bands united and played together, Eddie Reyes (founding member and guitarist of Taking Back Sunday) started that scene,” said Mark O’Connell, drummer for Taking Back Sunday. The healthy competition between local bands motivated Taking Back Sunday. “That competitive nature was really important to the Long Island hardcore scene, that helped us sustain as a band and made us better musicians and better song writers,” said Cooper.
O’Connell reminisced about the first time the crowd went crazy moshing for Taking Back Sunday. “Cute Without the E was the first time when we were playing we saw rumbling in the crowd, it looked like a rumble,” said Mark O’Connell.
Taking Back Sunday continues to evolve with their ever-growing fanbase. “I think we never stray too far from what our fans want […] I think that’s just naturally in us,” said, Taking Back Sunday bassist, Shaun Cooper.
However, O’Connell is currently working on a fun side project with Cappadonna from the Wu-Tang Clan, Young Dirty Bastard, Adam Lazzara, and Shaun Cooper. “I’m just trying to do something creative right now, I don’t know if I’m going to finish it but when and if it does, it’s going to be cool,” said O’Connell.
When asked if there is any Long Island venues on their bucket list to play, Cooper and O’Connell both agreed that Taking Back Sunday wants to play at NYCB Live Nassau Coliseum.
November 8, 2018 is the 7th Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Awards Ceremony and Fundraising Gala. Follow @LivingLocal247 on Instagram for the inside scoop.