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, shoegaze, andnew wave.
Zialcita, Chua, Yap, and Kong, who have been friends since elementary school, formed a rock band in 1998 when they were high school sophomores. 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.” 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. 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.
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).” 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.” 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.
Endings of a New Kind (2008–present)
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 riffsare 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. They also released a mashup version of “Uh Oh” entitled “Uh Oh It’s Electro,” which was collaborated with house DJ Funk Avy. They are working on their second album, which will be released in late 2009.