Taken by Cars

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Taken by Cars
Taken by Cars
Background information
OriginManila, Philippines
GenresIndie rock, post-punk revival, alternative dance
Years active2006–present
LabelsParty Bear Records
Warner Music Philippines
Associated actsSandwich (band)
WebsiteTaken by Cars on MySpace
MembersSarah Marco
Isa Garcia
Bryce Zialcita
Siopao Chua
Bryan Kong
Past membersBenny Yap

Taken by Cars, usually referred to as TbC, is a Filipino indie rock band composed of Sarah Marco on vocals, Bryce Zialcita on lead guitar, Derek "Siopao" Chua on rhythm guitar, Isa Garcia on bass guitar, and Bryan Kong on drums and sampler. They describe their sound as a mixture of electro, shoegazing, and new wave.


Formation (1998–2008)[edit]

Zialcita, Chua, Yap, and Kong, who have been friends since elementary school, formed a rock band in 1998 when they were high school sophomores.[1] In an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer, Zialcita said that their only goal was to play gigs in saGuijo, a café in Makati City, Philippines, which caters to indie rock enthusiasts. They performed during their high school and college days under different names like "Kung Fu Benny," "Mexican Rice Bowl," and "Morning Wood" until finally deciding on the name "Taken by Cars" because of its association with the concept of movement and that they "listened to a bulk of their music in their cars."[2] They also tried out several music genres before settling into its "classic rock-modern indie vibe" when Marco joined the group in 2006. However, after just one month of gigging in small audiences using original materials, the band took a hiatus due to what they described as "personal reasons." They made most out of this idle time writing and recording new songs in preparation for their return.[1] Without a major record label to promote them, the band uploaded their music on MySpace, where they garnered fans from different parts of the world.[3]

Taken by Cars returned to scene in early 2007 and have become notable in Manila's indie rock scene that fans began to compel local radio stations for them to play the band's first single, "A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition)."[3] On February 2007, the band submitted a demo copy of the single to NU 107, a rock music station in Pasig City, Metro Manila, for its segment "In the Raw."[1] Despite its less-than-perfect audio quality, "A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition)" received heavy radio airplay and has even reached the top spot of NU 107's daily countdown. Their next single, "Uh Oh," also reached number one in the station's charts.[2]

In early 2011, as the band prepares to release their second album, Time Magazine has named Taken by Cars as one of the five new bands to watch for that year.[4]

Endings of a New Kind (2008–2011)[edit]

The band's appeal has gotten noticed by Warner Music Philippines, which signed the group to a distribution deal. Their debut album, Endings of a New Kind, was released in early 2008 under the production of Mong Alcaraz, who is also behind the music of Sandwich and Chicosci. Endings of a New Kind was received warmly by critics and fans. Entertainment writer Diego Rosano P. Mapa reviewed that he "can hear Bloc Party, CSS and New Young Pony Club in their music, but they are doing something that sounds different and refreshing. The drums party like a drum machine, the riffs are shimmering, the basses distorted like an analog keyboard, and Sarah Marco's vocals are gonna rip all the men's boxer shorts to shreds." The album also includes a download card that provides access to remixed versions of its tracks.[5] They also released a mashup version of "Uh Oh" entitled "Uh Oh It's Electro," which was collaborated with house DJ Funk Avy.[6]

Dualist (2011–2016)[edit]

Taken by Cars 2011

The band released their second album, "Dualist", in April 15, 2011. The 11-track "Dualist" features a more personal and mature approach on TbC’s signature dance rock sound, which encompasses all the highs and lows the band has gone through over the past three years.[7]

Nearly a year after the release of "Dualist", the band received an invitation to play at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, United States. They were the first Filipino band to perform at the festival.[8]

Plagues (2017–present)[edit]

Taken by Cars returned to the studio in 2015 and released their third album, "Plagues" digitally in March 2017 and in vinyl in September 2017. It was recorded in Kodama Studios, engineered by Shinji Tanaka and produced by Raymond Marasigan. It was mastered by Grammy-award winning Mandy Parnell in the UK. The album explores slower tempos, moving into the shoe gaze territory, with certain tracks still nodding at the band's distinct dance-rock anthems.

"If you look at many bands that came up during the New Wave era, for many of them, for their third album, they ditched the old sound in favor of something different yet was arguably their best.

“Plagues” falls into that same category. Taken By Cars doesn’t live in their past and strikes into a different sound without sacrificing their identity. It’s an introspective album where lyrically, the band is at a crossroads. It revolves around themes of conflict, faith, and life, lead singer Sarah Marco sings of wanting to be free of something (Soothsayer), wanting to belong (All Nighter), wanting to get somewhere (Nomads), and looking to have more faith (Turn of the Tide).

Musically, the band doesn’t deviate from its Alt-New Wave roots. “Soothsayer” reminds me of something out of Slowdive’s majestic “Souvlaki”. “Crowes” takes me back during my New York City days frequenting the rain-swept streets of the Bowery with the music of an early Interpol playing in my head." -- Rick Olivares, ABS-CBN.

Track 01: Floods
Track 02: Turn Of The Tide
Track 03: All Nighter
Track 04: Neon Dreams
Track 05: Soothsayer
Track 06: Plagues
Track 07: Crows
Track 08: Truce
Track 09: Threshold
Track 10: Nomads


Year Album title Record label
2008 Endings of a New Kind Party Bear Records, Warner Music Philippines
2011 Dualist Party Bear Records
2017 Plagues
Year Single title Album
2007 "A Weeknight Memoir (In High Definition)" Demo/ Endings of a New Kind
2008 "Uh Oh" Endings of a New Kind
2008 "December 2 Chapter VII"
2008 "Shapeshifter"
2009 "Neon Brights"
2011 "This is Our City" Dualist
2011 "Unidentified"
2016 "Soothsayer" Plagues
2017 "Turn of the Tide" Plagues
2018 "Neon Dreams" Plagues
Year Music video Director
2008 "Uh Oh" Nico Puertollano
2008 "Uh Oh It's Electro" Pancho Esguerra
2008 "December 2 Chapter VII" Pancho Esguerra
2008 "Shapeshifter" Quark Henares
2009 "Neon Brights" Wincy Aquino Ong
2011 "This is Our City" Quark Henares
2011 "Unidentified" RA Rivera
2017 "Turn of the Tide" King Palisoc
2018 "Neon Dreams" Caloy Soliongco

Awards and citations[edit]

Year Award Category Title/ Member Result
2008 NU Rock Awards[9] Album of the Year Endings of a New Kind Nominated
Best New Artist Nominated
Bassist of the Year Benny Yap Nominated
Drummer of the Year Bryan Kong Nominated
Producer of the Year Mong Alcaraz and Taken by Cars Nominated
Junksounds 2008 Regional Music Awards Album of the Year Endings of a New Kind Won[10]
Biggest Star Power Aaron Joseph Nopre 2nd Runner-Up[11]
2009 MYX Music Awards Favorite New Artist Nominated[12]
AVIMA (Asia Voice Independent Music Awards) Best Dance Act Nominated
Most Mind Blowing Music Video December 2 Chapter VII Nominated
Best Overall Female Vocalist Sarah Marco Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "Taken by Cars artist profile". MTV Philippines. Archived from the original on 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  2. ^ a b Diaz, Tals (August 3, 2008). "The Next Band: Taken By Cars". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on September 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  3. ^ a b Valisno, Jeffrey (June 27, 2008). "Taken with Taken by Cars". BusinessWorld. Retrieved 2008-08-04.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Leese, Samantha (January 31, 2011). "Five New Bands to Watch". Time Magazine.
  5. ^ Mapa, Diego Rosanio P (February 9, 2008). "Taken by Cars takes Manila by storm with their debut CD". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  6. ^ Music video of "Uh Oh It's Electro"
  7. ^ Matute, Miggy (April 7, 2011). "Taken by Cars Dualist Album Launch". AtTheWomb.com.
  8. ^ Rago, Tony (March 8, 2012). "Taken By Cars and the road to Austin". BakitWhy.com.
  9. ^ "The 15th NU107 Rock Awards Official List of Nominees". Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
  10. ^ Freeform Sdn Bhd. "Junksounds 2008 Album of the Year". Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
  11. ^ Freeform Sdn Bhd. "Junksounds 2008 Biggest Star Power". Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
  12. ^ "4th MYX Music Awards slated for Feb 26". Philippine Entertainment Portal. January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2009.

External links[edit]