Influential Orange County melodic hardcore outfit, Taken, marked their return last week, with the release of “Regret” - the band’s first new music in fourteen years. “Regret”, which premiered this morning with The Alternative, stays true to the bands roots with vocalist Ray Harkins emotive vocals finding a home over a soundscape of propulsive percussion and turbulent guitars. It is the first single from their upcoming With Regard To EP, which will find the band partnering once again with Other People Records who released Taken’s entire discography, entitled Carry Us Until There Is Nothing Left in 2014. You can stream “Regret” now, and be sure to look out for With Regard To on April 27th.
With Regard To is thematically centered around the battle with a rare form of cancer that vocalist, Ray Harkins’, wife Kate was able to push through and is now soundly on the road to recovery from. Kate’s diagnosis in November of 2016 came just as Taken was recording their new EP. As a result, Ray decided to trash the entire set of lyrics he had prepared for the EP and write specifically to what his family was dealing with at home. As Ray puts it, “I knew I couldn’t sing about anything else while this was swirling around me. I focused on my experience in watching someone I love deeply fight for their life and how that impacted me”. Musically, this EP has been a long time in the making. The songs started to take form upon the reformation of the band in 2008 and slowly came together as the band played shows sporadically across the world over the following years. The music came to the members of Taken in spurts - culminating in a weekend spent locked in a rehearsal studio. Of that weekend, Harkins adds “We had attempted to write over the internet for a few years and it came to a point where we had to be in each other’s face to refine the ideas and hammer these songs home”. Once written, the band would turn to producer Beau Burchell (Moose Blood, Senses Fail, Saosin), who played a pivotal role in helping the band finish the songs that they would ultimately record in his Los Angeles studio.
Vocalist Ray Harkins had this to say about “Regret”: “I can’t believe we are here with the release of new Taken music with the help of Other People Records. This song and entire EP are about my mental journey with my wife’s diagnosis of cancer. This song in particular is about that moment when I picked myself up off the ground to be a better version of myself for my wife and family. I could have let this news bury me and my wife, but after soul searching nights I gave that thought process up and moved forward. This is a universal truth that we all must face; when life hands you a situation you can’t fathom, what will you do?”
Taken built their cult-like international following largely on the back of their explosive live show. As a recent interview with Harkins in Decibel Magazine noted “Their road dogging was so much so that I would run into the band three or four times a year in various locales, seeing and hanging out with them often more than I would my so-called friends at home.”. The band has been playing small runs around the world since reforming in 2008 and haven’t lost a step in terms of moving an audience.
In celebration of With Regard To, the band will play a hometown EP Release Show at Chain Reaction in Anaheim on May 12th with support from Less Art and Wanter. Tickets for the show are available now and look for additional tour dates to be announced as we get closer to release date.