INTERVIEW: Takers Leavers Talk About Connecting With Others With Their New EP, "Break and Bloom"
For California post-hardcore group, Takers Leavers music is all about connection. Be it the bonds they’ve made with one another through shared experiences and learning about each other while writing together or the connections they’ve made with fans who find solace in their music, Takers Leavers strive to find that common ground between themselves and their listeners. On their latest EP, Break & Bloom, this openness and vulnerability can be heard more than ever.
With Break & Bloom out now, we caught up with Takers Leavers to discuss their journey as a band so far, the EP and plans for the rest of 2018. Read the full interview and listen to Break & Bloom now below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Takers Leavers for anyone who might not be familiar?
We are a 4-piece rock band from Orange County, CA. Our music is thematically centered around mental health the effect of its neglect. We are inspired by many arts, including books, video games, anime, movies, etc. Almost all of us are hooked on ice cream.
I want to talk a little bit about your name and the inspiration behind it - Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. What was it about this novel that really struck you and inspired the name Takers Leavers? What do you hope fans take away from it?
When I (Baqi) was in middle school, I saw the book lying around one of my brother’s room. Something about the cover reached out to me, so I dove in. As a kid, the statements on our culture and how we have strayed floored me as none of my teachers/school were teaching me this stuff. The dichotomy of “Takers” (so-called developed, popular/modern culture) and “Leavers” (3rd world, tribal culture) really made me think about where I stood in all of it. What I always loved about our name was everyone else’s interpretation of what it means. At the end of the day, I just hope people see the importance in the balance between the two.
As a relatively young band, were there any major goals you had in mind when you first started playing and writing together? What did you want to accomplish with this project when you were first starting out?
When this started, we really just wanted to write cool music that we loved together. As we grew together, we built a bond that exposed our own scars to each other and realized we’d been hurt in similar ways. This unity made us realize that we can help others expose and connect, and thus we found our “mission statement.” Aside from the selfish things like gaining a fan base, selling cool merch, and touring the world, we’ve discovered something more that helped us connect to our music even deeper.
You just recently celebrated the release of your new EP, Break & Bloom. What inspired this release?
We all had a pretty rough winter of 2017. The experiences we went through helped shape the music lyrically, whose inspiration also came from the Fullmetal Alchemist and Bioshock series.
Lyrically, were there any subjects you wanted to tackle on Break & Bloom?
Daddy issues, dealing with loss, heartbreak, and dependency. Sometimes, hearing/watching someone else’s account of this type of decent and ascent can give us a blue print for our own path.
What are you most excited for fans to hear on Break & Bloom if they haven’t heard it yet or are listening for the first time?
All the cool ass tones and musical sections! We love so many genres that we tend to blend alternative rock with post-hardcore directly into indie. It’s fun to hear people’s reactions to them!
How do you feel you’ve grown as a band with the writing, recording and release of Break & Bloom?
Tremendously. We have fused together, musically, a little more than we ever have. As a team, we are able to communicate with each other so much easier. And as a family, we try to help and impress each other even more.
With the album out now, do you have any plans to hit the road soon?
Absolutely! Currently working on a week long run in December and an even longer one early Spring.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you or anyone you know ever feels like breaking mentally, physically, or anything in between, please reach out to us. We have been stuck in that prison before and will probably be stuck again. We need you as much as you may need us. Thank you <3