Taken By Cars Gearing Up for the Global Stage

"It was just a joke," said drummer Bryan Kong. "Then lo and and behold, we got an e-mail two months after."

The invitation was for South by Southwest (SXSW) 2011. At the time, Taken By Cars was recording their album, so they had to decline.

"So we're not just the first [Filipino band] to get invited, we're also the first to decline SXSW," Bryan added in jest.

This time around, when the invitation came, the band was ready to embark on the journey to one of the largest festival of music, film, and technology. SXSW Music is the highly-anticipated music festival gathering music aficionados, upcoming acts, and established artists from all over the world!

As previously reported, Taken By Cars will be performing along with artists from 57 different countries. This annual cultural event draws thousands of performers, filmmakers, artists, attendees as well as talent agents, making it a good platform for aspiring artists looking for a break in the international music scene. This year's SXSW Music runs from March 13-18.

The band's journey officially kicked off last night with a send-off party, "Abduction," at Republiq.


When asked how they were funding the trip without a record label to shoulder the cost, bassist Isa Garcia was quick to reply, "With sweat, blood, and tears!"

"With a lot of heart," vocalist Sarah Marco added.
"... and liver." (Isa)
"... and a lot of connections." (Sarah)

In addition to the easy banters and finishing off each others sentences, the band was upbeat and optimistic during the event where they performed a solid set backed by impressive production -- a taste of what the "First World" is going to get at SXSW 2012.

Regarding the lackluster sales performance of the music industry globally, Sarah said, "Some people tend to make those connections because they just sit there and watch things happen. For us, we've always believed in taking big steps, and without even knowing it, there'll be an outcome."

Added Bryce Zialcita (lead guitar), "People just have to go out and watch the bands. Support the bands. And if you can, buy original music... You can help ignite this huge firestorm of possibilities."

The band flies to United States on March 9 (Friday). Their trip will be documented by director Quark Henares. For updates on their SXSW trip, you can check their official Facebook page.

From the pages of Time to the global stage, we'll definitely be watching for their next big step.

(Photos by Mervin Manuntag)