MANILA, Philippines ? Like a cross-border road trip shimmying from frenetic city to mountainous, twilight-bathed expanse, the music of Taken By Cars soundtracks landmark mood swings. Since the band?s debut in the local scene in 2006 with two hit singles and the much-raved about first album ?Endings of a New Kind,? it has become quite the wünderkind among music disciples, playing to packed crowds and winning praise praise even among some of the more discriminate fans.
And to think it all started with just a simple wish. ?We just wanted to play gigs in Saguijo. That was our only goal!? laughs guitarist Bryce Zialcita.
That kind of unpretentious, no-nonsense, guys-next-door vibe pervades the fivesome, composed of Sarah Marco (vocals), Benny Yap (bass), Siopao Chua (guitars), Bryce Zialcita (guitars), and Bryan Kong (drums/sampler). One glimpses that self-effacing mindset as they recall the long history of band names that never made the final cut, back when they were jamming in their high school and college days―names like Kung Fu Benny, Mexican Rice Bowl, and Morning Wood. They finally committed to the name Taken By Cars, which had to do with the concept of movement and the fact that they ?listened to the bulk of their music in their cars.?
They first made blips on the scene?s radar when they submitted a demo recording of ?A Weeknight Memoir? to NU107?s ?In The Raw? radio segment. The heart-ripping piece soon topped NU?s daily countdown. Soon after, they hit back hard with the hella catchy, dance-rock tune ?Uh Oh,? which also zoomed to number one. Having been together since 2nd year high school, the group sees their rise to success as a happy accident. Raspy-voiced vocalist Sarah Marco even has a penchant for describing their experiences as ?surreal.?
Make no mistake, however, the band?s many-layered masterpieces that cross global preferences deserve every bit of praise and the music industry?s emphatic bearhug. Currently, the group is fueling up, writing songs for their second album, which will be released at year?s end. ?We hope to play in the NU Rock awards,? confesses bassist Benny Yap, then jokes as an afterthought, ?And, well, it would be great if we could play in Coachella!? Looks like it?s gonna be quite a ride. Tals Diaz