Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Which is why this song left me scratching my head. It's a serviceable, pleasant enough r&b pop song, but it seems the producers or whomever had an identity crisis and couldn't decide whether to make it a club banger or a crooning r&b jam for the ladies. Well why not both? Hence, lil' jon screaming "hey" and "do you remember" at various oddly placed parts of this song. I hear it on the radio in the morning and it just puts me off. Then again, maybe they cut a deal with lil abner/jon and had to find a place for him in the song. Maybe he's the producers cousin? I don't know but it doesn't really work. It just makes me nervous when I hear it. Quit screaming at me lil buddy, I just want to smooth out with the r&b jamz. Got it?

In many ways, little john (not from robin hood fame) reminds me of that guy in the mighty mighty bosstones who would just dance on the stage the whole concert. Hard enough work, I know. He was one of the first rock hype men. Which is really what little buddy is. Now we live in the age of the multi millionaire buddy who shouts in the background and gets paid lucratively for it. It can't last forever I guess, hence the foray into soda pop/energy drinks. Keep it up buddy, I don't think many have gone so far on so little. And besides if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have chappelle's impersonation. So i guess the world balances itself out.
As you can tell I have big ideas on the mind. On with the entertainment...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I just watched this documentary last night. Luckily, you can find the whole thing on youtube. It's about a child evangelist who started preaching at the age of 4, marrying people and whatnot, left preaching for a while in the 60's and came back to it, just to make money, which is what he was doing in the first place. Anyhoo, it's entertaining. Enjoy. Here's the first ten minutes. If you're interest is piqued, the rest is on youtube. search for "Marjoe", which by the way is a sweet combo of Mary and Joseph.

While we're on the subject, I also offer you this great entertainment that is Benny Hinn. You might wanna mute the volume as the soundtrack is "let the bodies hit the floor" but then again maybe you won't. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


It seems we've hit a time warp and we're back in 1994. Or at least that's what you'd gather from listening to the radio. Yeah, I know. You probably don't listen to pop radio. But I do. This isn't a complaint, just an observation. But we're back in euro pop/disco clubland all over again.

You don't believe me? You don't care? Either way...

Ok, so now we've got better drum machines and synths, but hot damn if it isn't pretty much the same thing. And to think you thought the tandem of Nirvana/hip-hop had terminated this stuff, or at least relegated it to the club/dance music ghetto?
Wrong. Now it's back in full force on top 40 clear channel coast to coast. Your little brother/sister is probably bobbing along in the mirror to this as we speak, if not yourself. I wonder if there's any link between europop/dance music becoming popular during recessions? Calling all sociologists.
What a joke! This will always be around. As long as there are mesh tank tops, Redbull, hair gel and Long Island, this type of music will always exist. Got any poppers/GHB?

Now's the time in Sprockets when we dance.


Sunday, November 8, 2009


This is from February 2009. Not like theres more important things to be doing, right?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I totally forgot about this. Maybe it's only for you 1 or 2 hardcore fans. We shot a commentary this summer for our "Ah La La" video for this show "The Worm" on Fuse. That's us in Derek's backyard. He's filming so you don't really get a chance to see his pretty face. We tried to shoot this several times on tour. I even asked a gal at Starbucks in Lincoln Nebraska to film us, but we just couldn't get our shit together. I don't think she wanted to do it anyway. She left shortly after I asked her, plus they were playing fucking Michael Buble really loud and no one needs to hear that shit.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Too Easy

Lord almighty, maybe I'm a sap but this trailer for "where the wild things are" is incredibly touching. Probably the best use of music in a trailer I've ever seen. This Arcade Fire song was written to be used for this. I could do without all the "inside all of us is..." advertising copy, but still I'm not afraid to say I was moved by the trailer. Of course, like many of several generations, this book has a special place in my heart. So yes, I will be going to see this movie. I'll bet almost the whole audience is 18-45. It's a kids movie for adults that, at the end of the day, dearly wish they were children. And we'll pay a nice price to feel that way again.



In an interview with newsweek, they asked "where the wild things are" author Maurice Sendak what he would say to parents who thought the movie was too scary for children.

The 81 year olds reply? "I'd tell 'em to go to hell"
I love it


Friday, October 2, 2009

ABOUT A SONG - "Running with the Wasters"

This one came about in a very unusual way. I usually write the song on a piano or guitar, with all the melodies and chords planned out and the arrangement down pat before I even start setting up mics in the basement to demo it. The original demo I did of this about 3 years ago, I just had an idea for a vibe of a song. I was probably listening to a lot of New Order at the time. I don't remember. Anyways, this one I came up with the beat first. I wanted something different rhythmically, something where the drums don't switch to the cymbals on the chorus, where all the dynamics come from the vocals or instrumentation. Almost like a drum machine dance track.
I laid down the drums and then I used my favorite setting on the keyboard, bassoon, and tinkered around until I came up with a hummable melody over the chords and had vaguely mapped out a song. By the way, I never told anyone the secret ingredient to the song, but now's probably as good a time as any. The intro do do do hook is the first three notes from that song "Pure imagination" from the original Charlie and the Chocolate factory, the "Close your eyes and you'll see a world of pure imagination. I think people subconsciously associate the melody with childhood, but that's just my psychobabble from many hours of sitting in a van.
Anyways, I wanted the song to be an anthem, something the hordes would shout along to at a football or soccer game. In fact, the original working title on my Pro Tools was "Soccer Hymn", which doesn't even make sense. Of course, the song ended up being a little too melancholy to be a successor to "ole" or something along those lines. I also had kind of a hard time singing the doo doo doo's and I didn't plan on keeping them in the song, but the guys said we had to. They were right, clearly.
Lyrically, I don't know what to tell you. I never sit down and say I'm gonna write a song about a certain subject. I usually just sing stream of consciousness type gobbledeygook along to the melody until I find a line that sends me in a certain direction. So take what you want from the lyrics.
A small last note, I had this song in the can for a while and I don't think we were gonna do anything about it. No one else in the band seemed to be very excited by it. Months later, my roommate and a friend from out of town heard the song on my computer and were appalled that we didn't play it. So I can credit them with saving this song from complete obscurity. Believe me, the songs of ours that you've never heard would make you scratch your head and ask why we didn't put this or that on the album.
I hope this has been enlightening in the most profound way.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009



How's things brah? I'm sure you're probably bored out of your mind most of the time. I know most people think your job is exciting because they've seen so many cop shows on TV. But I know your life is as far as it gets from finding a dead porn star floating in a vat of KY jelly like they do on CSI. That's just TV. That stuff doesn't even happen to homicide detectives in Pittsburgh. And as we both know, you're far from being any kind of detective, much less homicide.
It must get awfully boring and mundane, sitting in your cruiser all day, hiding behind that awful billboard for "Dick's Sporting Goods". But I guess you gotta hide somewhere. If all the drivers on the road saw you in plain daylight, they'd all slow down and you wouldn't meet your quota for speeding tickets. Speaking of, I've always thought going 5 miles over the speed limit was kinda par for the course, right? I just figured the only cops that gave tickets for going 70 in a 65 were just anal retentive sticklers or at least really desperate to meet their quotas. Maybe you could explain better broseph, cause I don't get it.

While we're on the subject, how could you clock me going over the speed limit and not the guy in the right lane driving right alongside of me in his yellow H2 Hummer. I'm pretty sure he was going quite a bit more than 5 miles over the limit. Yet you let him go. I know, I know. Sour grapes. I can dig it brah. No hard feelings, I paid the ticket already. Money order from Rite Aid for $189.50. Kind of a big chunk of change for me these days. See, I'm a musician. Which means I'm broke most of the time. It's a tough way to make a living. But I'm sure you smell what I'm cooking. You're nearly 50 and you haven't made detective yet? Were you like one of those loose cannon cops in the movies who pissed off his superiors because he wouldn't play by the rules and they'd threaten you along the lines of "IF YOU DON'T CLEAN YOUR ACT UP MAZURSKY, YOU'LL BE HANDING OUT SPEEDING TICKETS IN PITTSBURGH THIS TIME NEXT MONTH!!!"
A bit dramatic, you think? I know. Figures. I went to school to write screenplays.
Hey that gives me an idea! Whadaya say to me riding along with you next week, watching you bust the bad guys, clean up the streets, solve the down and dirty---sorry, I got carried away. What was I thinking?

"You hide behind fucking billboards all day."

Whoah! Sorry about that. Maybe that came off as harsh. Doc says I can be a bit passive-aggressive sometimes. I guess this is one of those times. Again, a thousand apologies. Well, I guess I should wrap this up. Places to go, people to see, you know how it is. Wait. You don't. You fucking hide behind billboards all day. Which reminds me of a story I once heard.

My friends dad was driving down the highway. He's about 70 years old or so. A real live wire though. Anyways, an officer just like yourself, hiding behind a Tanning Salon billboard or something akin, screeches out and pulls him over for speeding. The cop walks up to the car and asks for his license and registration. Do you wanna know what the old man said?

"I fought for this country In Korea and you hide behind a fucking billboard just to give me a ticket!"

And do you know what?
The cop let him go.

I'm just saying.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Crying Game

It's been awhile. For me at least. I'm sure you've all been coping well without any blog posts here recently. Times are changing. Flux. That's the most befitting term for what we're up to now. Everything is very much in a state of flux. But we soldier on. Just finishing up 3 bonus tracks for the Japanese release of "Running with the Wasters". They were recorded in the luscious confines of Derek's basement. You don't need a $5000 microphone to make a good record. Sometimes the cheapest equipment has the most charm. That said, the 3 songs are all very old Takeover songs. None have ever been released, unless you managed to snag some ancient demo ages ago. Hopefully you're feeling adventurous and generous and plan on buying the Japanese import when it comes out. Because you just have to have these 3 songs. All of them predate most of the songs on "Wasters". That's right, we're talking circa 2004-2005,the very beginning. If you must know the bonus titles:

STORMY WEATHER (we may possibly rename this one)

Writing those out, I just realized they all begin with 'S'.

To those of you in LA, we apologize for having to cancel our shows this month. As I said before, the current state of flux has rendered us unable to make it out for those shows, but I promise we'll make it up as soon as we can. In the meantime, tell your friends about us, burn them a CD. Whatever floats your boat. If you value our music, tell them to buy it online. Surprise yourself and us.

The dog days of summer and I've found myself reading even more voraciously than usual. I have a whole 4 level bookshelf with many many recent second hand purchases calling my name. These last few weeks I just finished several books I'd strongly recommend:

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
This ones kind of a no brainer. I've been meaning to read this since I was 14 and just now got around to it. I bought it 6 months ago, lost it, then found it last week. As I expected, it's eye opening and infuriating. I found myself physically disgusted many times while reading this. This is a book that should make you angry Studying the real US history really illuminates what's going on right now. Things change, but then again, not really. Do yourself a favor if you haven't already, and READ THIS BOOK.

What's the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank
I found this in the $1 section of my absolute favorite store in the world: Half-price books. Basically this book is about how ultra conservative republicans have captured the heartland of America and does a great job of explaining why blue collar folks time and again vote against their own economic benefit instead choosing to only vote based on a vague cultural war between the coasts and the rest of fly over America. It uses Kansas as a microcosm for the whole country. Have you ever been to Kansas. It is a 'unique' place. I'll say that. Now I know more about the history of the great state of Kansas than I ever thought one man from Pittsburgh (PA not Pittsburg KS) should know.

Wilder Times : The Life and Times of Billy Wilder
Lest you think my reading list is one sided. What can I say? I love almost all of Billy Wilder's movies (not too crazy about Kiss Me, Stupid or Irma la Douce) and this book really went into depth about the great director's very interesting life.
If you're a fan, definitely pick this up. If you've only seen Some Like It Hot then you should probably check out Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, The Apartment and Stalag 17. He wrote and directed so many great, classic movies it's unfair.

Agatha Christie: What can I say? I'm crazy for her. Especially the Poirot stuff. Does that make me dangerously close to an elderly watcher of "murder she wrote". I don't care either way. I love it.

Not a book but a mini series from HBO in 1988: TANNER '88
Robert Altman and Gary Trudeau do a mockumentary about a fake candidate running for President in the 1988 Dem. Primary. A blast from the times of Dukakis and Gary Hart and in those innocent days before any Bush was in control of our armed forces. Very funny and insightful but not for everyone.

Lastly, I'd tell you the music I've been listening to but it's mostly been demo's and recordings we're making. Nothings burning up my ears at the moment.

Check back early and often. I promise not to make you wait so long until the next time. And don't be shy. Believe it or not, we like to know someones reading these rants and raves. Even if it's only to say "Hey dude". I'll take what I can get. But I'm sure you can come up with something slightly better than "Hey Dude" unless you're talking about the wonderful Nickelodeon show.


Monday, July 27, 2009

CHARACTER ARC (click on this)

Last week we were graced with the privilege of appearing on the cover of Pittsburgh's City Paper. We had a good time working with the photographer Heather Mull on the photo shoot. Per usual, our initial ideas for the shoot were vastly ambitious and considering there was no budget, vastly unlikely. As necessity is the mother of invention, we climbed out onto the roof of Nic's apartment and Bloomfield and took some pictures. Of course, the local store Eons was kind of enough to lend us some very fine duds that came in quite handy. In the end, attached is the link for you to check out the story and some pics. I hope you enjoy the story.

Click on the title above, the one that says CHARACTER ARC or..

In case you don't see the link, here it is again:

In other news, we have a big announcement to make soon. So stay on the edge of your seat and check back early and often.


Friday, July 24, 2009


If you've ever seen the show "Extra's" with Ricky Gervais, let me say right now that it is not even remotely what it's like to be an extra in a film. Of course it's not meant to be a documentary of a day in the life of an extra. It is, however, very funny.

Watching it recently, I was reminded of a long, miserable night Nic and I spent a few years back as extras on a motion picture. Out drinking the night before, a friend told me he was going to be an extra in a picture being filmed right here in the film capital of western Pennsylvania. I was intrigued. It sounded like a different way to spend a Saturday night. Also, being a huge movie lover, I was interested in watching the actors and crew work. It also helped that the film was "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" based on the debut novel by Michael Chabon, a writer I quite enjoy. (Check out "The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay". Those Pulitzer folks liked it so much, they gave it some sort of ribbon.). One call to the extra casting director and I was hired.

The next night, Nic, my brother Greg and I arrived at a rundown warehouse in the Strip District neighborhood around 6 PM. We checked in with the casting director and were quickly ushered into a makeshift cafeteria and began what we would spend the majority of the night doing: waiting.

A few long hours crawled by before we were called to wardrobe. The picture being a period piece set in the early 80's, the clothes we got were somewhat uncomfortable, especially the jeans. Apparently, men wore their dungarees to their belly button in the ancient year of 1983. I wouldn't know. I was still in short pants back then.
Next up, more waiting. We had smuggled in quite a few cans of Sparks, a hybrid Malt Liquor/Energy Drink, recently outlawed in the contiguous 48. It was a Saturday Night after all. Sparks helped us pass the time, though I can't say the same for my nervous system.
By the time the Winter Olympics rolled around, the entire motley crew of 100 or so "day players" were called upstairs to shoot our big scene.
I'm ready for my spotlight, Mr. De-- sorry, I won't even finish it. I'm a fucking extra.

First, a little background info.
Presently, I have no delusions or ambitions of being an actor. It was a very different story when I was twelve and my goal in life was to be on "Saturday Night Live". After months of persistence my mother signed me up for acting classes along with my two brothers. As anybody with multiple siblings knows, growing up, what you do, your brothers/sisters do. Unfortunately for me, my interest in acting was only equaled by my brothers disinterest.

Every Saturday morning we would trek to the local Arts center in the Ford Taurus station wagon. I can't say if I was a promising actor, most likely not. I do remember enjoying it quite a bit at first. But it was not to be.
My dream was cut short though as A) I quickly grew bored and more importantly B) my brothers and I were thrown out of the class.
It seems my kid brother Greg slide tackled another student who was practicing acting on the phone. Unprovoked, Greg took a running start and slid into this kid's legs, sending the poor would be Treat Williams flying into the air, along with the phone and the table it had been resting on. The kid wasn't seriously hurt. But we Solomich boys were out, personas non grata. Alas, my acting dreams were dashed. Often I wonder if my life would be different now had the floors not been shiny, slick linoleum. But, I digress...

Back to the making of "Mysteries of Pittsburgh". We were meant to be the audience at a "punk club", which looked just about how a Hollywood art director would envision a "punk club", i.e. completely contrived and cliche. The three of us were lucky enough to have met one of the principals. While Meryl Streep she may not be, Sienna Miller sure is easy to look at. Her co-stars were Peter Saarsgard and Jon Foster (had to look that one up). Nick Nolte was in the movie as well, but unfortunately he wasn't in this particular scene.
Saarsgard seemed like a nice guy, joking around with the crew most of the time while the Foster guy struck me as nervous and humorless.
The director, much younger than I expected, had made one picture before, the emotional tour-de-force otherwise known as "Dodgeball". Too bad, they weren't filming that instead.

The Big Scene
"Cue "punk" music.
The extras start pseudo slam dancing-- jumping up and down mostly. After five seconds, the music abruptly stops and we continue dancing, pretending this is the most raucous 'punk' gig ever. It is a very strange atmosphere, I must say.
In the midst of the sea of awkwardly attired 'punks', the actors walk through the crowd, hammily delivering their lines. Paddy Chayefsky, this is not.

"Cut", yells the director. "Good work everybody. Let's try it again".
And so forth forevermore.

Fast forward four hours. We've finally finished our star-making performances. The casting director announcesthat while most of us can go home, they need some of us for another scene. We don't need to mull this one over. It's nearly 6 AM.

As we're walking to collect our meager pittance ($50 for nigh on 12 hours!?!) I spy them filming the next scene: a mohawked 'punk' giving a simulated blow job to Saarsgard in the "punk" clubs' bathroom. I don't need to be here for this one. I'll be in my trailer Sienna.

On the drive home, all three of us agree we would never be extra's again. It's completely not worth it. But hold on. Maybe it was. I've got the story, if you can call it that, to share with you, dear reader. That's gotta be worth something, right?

Three years later, I still haven't seen "Mysteries of Pittsburgh". Apparently it's terrible and no distributor in their right mind wants to touch it.

Still a good book though.


Friday, July 10, 2009


No, it's not a fat guy miming to a song in front of his computer and it's not some cutesy kid getting scared by his parents. It's a clip from the Dick Cavett show, from way back in 1970. I've come across many clips from his show and it makes me sad that late night shows used to be like this, with amazing guests. And look what we have now, "Jaywalking"? I digress...

This is a clip of John Cassavettes, Peter Falk, and Ben Gazzarra promoting their movie "Husbands". Obviously they're totally wasted, especially Falk. This really cracked me up, especially all the pratfalls. If you're unfamiliar with Cassavettes, do yourself a favor and check out his pictures. May I suggest "Killing of a Chinese Bookie", "Minnie and Moskowitz" or "Husbands".

The clip takes a bit to get going, but once these guys come out, it's really funny and entertaining. This is what late night talk shows should be, but they're really aren't guests like this anymore. As a bonus, the commercials are included. It's a great time capsule for a time I never knew, but seemed like alot more fun than today.

These are parts 1 and 2 out of 4 clips. Check out the rest of the episode.
Oh and just for fun, here's a clip of Cassavettes punching dear old Ronnie Reagan in a clip from "The Killers" in 1964.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


Pittsburgh, PA (Reuters)- With the untimely demise of the "King of Pop", Michael Jackson, the young, relatively unknown rock group The Takeover UK are holed up in their compound/Head Quarters here in their hometown on the edge of Western Pennsylvania. The band, according to spokesman Charmaine DeLillo, are reeling from the news. "Each member of the band has the utmost respect and regard for Michael Jackson's music. He was the best singer, the best dancer, and at one point, the best-looking motherfucker on the block. We are saddened and dismayed to hear of his unfortunate and far too early passing. We ask for our privacy at this difficult time to mourn the loss of such a revered figure", said DeLillo.
The Takeover UK first collaborated with Mr. Jackson, or Wacko Jacko as they lovingly nicknamed him, on the previously unreleased B-side "Come Get Sum", which was to appear as the flip side of Jackson's smash hit, "Black or White" released in 1991. A controversy over the lyrics and artwork to the song forced Sony, Jackson's label, to replace it with a less sexually/politically offensive number. The two artists never collaborated again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

fresh old shit

hey.. i wanna introduce myself.

I'm Derek, the new bassist of Takeover. It took me a while to post here because I wanted to feel like a member of the band first. I joined in February, I've been on a couple tours and had a few screaming matches with the guys. I paid my dues man... now I finally feel like a true member of the band. That said I wanna share a bit of myself. Believe it or not.. the guys in the band made me responsible for recording our upcoming release. I feel honored but I also hate them for it, I'll be going deaf at a young age.

So I'm not gonna lie, I'm "trying" to find optimism in the world of music. I truly believe that our current day industry is the biggest pile of horseshit in the world. I hope you are with me. At the end of the day I just want peace in my heart. I want songs with longevity. Did you notice that modern pop singles are hot when they're first released, and 2 months later it's considered "old, or outdated?" Why is that? I'll tell you.. there's no passion put into the songs anymore. All the wrong assholes are in charge of everything. We could really use some radio play but we're gonna do honest work until we get there. That means no fucking people over.. I thought of breaking the law or burning certain venues down, that won't help, it will only put me in jail and then the band won't do shit. fuck getting press for doing stupid shit. I'm over that idea.

People know me as being a close minded person who only listens to 60's girlgroups.. That's kinda true. So I guess my point is.. don't fall into an unsacred path. Here's some shit to move your soul, if it doesn't then keep watching till it does.

Here's a song that I just adore lately. it was written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin. performed by the beautiful Dusty Springfield. this crazy bitch used to throw plates back stage before performances to relive stress. I love it...

-love derek

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Drought is Over

Well, we're about 80% done with our first song("Across the Car") of what will hopefully be our next release. We've been recording in Derek's basement for the last three weeks in an attempt to get something a little more homegrown. It's sounding pretty good--and by good I mean bombastic.

It's a hell of a driving song. No, not driving guitars, I mean it's the kind of song that'll sound best with a red left arm slung out of the drivers side window, while you're on your way home from work. I'm excited to see how people react to it. We've never done anything like it before.

"Golden Age" is on deck and although we've been playing it since last Christmas, it's going to be nice to finally get it on wax. . . or silicon, or whatever. I'll keep you posted.


New SpringWidget

Monday, June 8, 2009


Not too long ago I asked you dear readers to request a song of ours on Sirius/XM radio. Well I'll have you know, you did well!
This past weekend we reached #15 on the AltNation Weekend top 18. From all of us, I'd like to extend a very sincere thank you to every one that emailed a request for "Ah La La". It worked!

Being the insatiable, avaricious lot that we are, obviously we want that #1 position. And I hope you can help again. This time, in addition to personally emailing a request for "Ah La La" by The Takeover UK, if you could email as many friends as you can and tell them to do the same. If they've never heard us, by damn, turn them onto us! I don't mean to start some shitty chain letter. Nothing bad will happen to you if you don't, I assure you. We don't wield any such magical, karmic powers. But if we could climb even higher, perhaps even to the top spot, well, life would be sweet not only for us, your humble entertainers, but also for you. Just knowing what power you hold in determining what is popular can be a mighty swell feeling. So please go forth, ye mighty power brokers of pop music justice, and request away.

Please send your requests for "Ah La La" by The Takeover UK to :

Any and all help is appreciated immensely. We're at #15, but let's get it. Let's get!!

In other news, we'll be taping a few songs for the FOX music show FEARLESS TV later this week in New York. I'll keep you posted on when it will air. Oh well, I'm off to the studio (aka Derek's basement) to record some guitars for a new song.
Keep on the lookout here in the near future for a new feature. I promise you it will be entertaining.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


The other day I bummed a cigarette to a guy on the street. He thanked me politely. As I walked away, he turned to his friend. "Usually I hate Anglo-Saxons, but he was actually nice". WHAT??!! First off, I don't think I'm even Anglo Saxon. My family is originally Irish and Russian. I'm not quite sure what denotes an Anglo Saxon. I'd look it up, but I really couldn't be bothered. Really, that's not the point. As for this wonderful fellow's ethnicity, it was wonderfully vague. Greek? Armenian? I don't know and I don't care. But I thought the whole thing was bizarre and funny at the same time. I don't know why I felt the need to share that with you. Moving on...

So here we are in New York. We filmed a video on the subway last night for "Don't Wait Up". The G line to be exact. We spent quite a bit of time rehearsing with 25 or so extras. Thanks to all those who helped out. Hopefully it'll turn out great.

As for now, I'm in the back of Monster Island, the same place we made our album. We're finishing up a song, "Hellbound and Heavensent". We started it a few weeks back while we were on tour. This song is actually the very first song we wrote together as a band. Which reminds me...

The summer of 2004: The Takeover UK has just formed. We decide to spend 4 or 5 days together in Ocean City Maryland at a friends apartment. We drive down in a Jeep Cherokee. Instead of sunny days at the beach, it rains the entire time. Rather than basking under the warm mid-Atlantic sun, we sit on our friend's porch and play guitars and sing, the rain sloshing down.
One night we head out to the honky-tonk boardwalk to busk. Within the first ten minutes a drunk runs to the ATM and hands us $80. We're ecstatic. "We're gonna make a G this week", we boast to one another. The next night we make $3.47. Busking doesn't seem to be the road paved in gold we thought it would be. But we do write a song. And we learn how to harmonize together to boot. Oh and I contracted scabies from sleeping on the friends couch. How I'm the only one that managed to contract such a dastardly thing, God only knows. That was 5 years ago. I'm much better now, thank you very much. Took care of that in one fell swoop to the doctor's office. Why am I sharing this? You don't need to know this.

Anyways, we're happy to let you know there will be loads of new songs by the end of the summer. Just get ready to enjoy yourselves.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I have something to ask of you, dear reader/music lover. The whole thing makes me a bit apprehensive, but fuck it. Here goes:
Our first single "Ah La La" has been getting some play on the AltNation channel on Sirius/XM radio. We need your help to get it into the weekend top 18. If you could please, please, please email them and request "Ah La La" by The Takeover UK, we'd be mighty obliged.
Send your requests to:

And please, tell your friends to do the same. The more people that do, the more likely they'll play our songs. The more our songs are played, the more people will hear our music. The more people hear our music, the more popular we will become. The more popular we are, the more kids, who otherwise would be left with disturbed and panic at the disco, will get into better music in general. The more young kids into great music, the better popular music will become. Advertisers follow the 18-35 age demographic. Imagine if all these young people were requesting their radio to play bands like us and the hundreds of other worthwhile bands/singers out there. The face of popular music would change. Gone would be the days of complaining about how much the radio sucks, how today's pop music is all manufactured drivel, how music was so much better in the old days.
You, the listener, hold all the power in your blog reading hands. I think most people don't even realize it.
Often times, we'll be driving in the van on the way to another gig, listening to the ipod. A song will come on that was a hit in it's day, be it the 70's, 80's, 90's. And usually someone will remark, "This would never be a hit today". And they're usually right.
If you've caught yourself lamenting the state of popular music before, you are right in every way. It IS worse today than it was ten years ago. Granted, the charts have always been filled with stupid, meaningless bubblegum balderdash. But like our politicians, the media gate keepers sorely underestimate the public's intelligence. The basic thought is: if it isn't dumbed down, easily identifiable, lowest common denominator sentiments (i.e. "I love you, I miss you, I really wanna kiss you, I like your pants around your knees") being expressed in the song, then it will undoubtedly be over the audience's collective heads.


Do you think, in the modern pop climate, "Come as you Are" by Nirvana would make it onto your local Kiss/Star FM Top 40 pop station, sandwiched in between Katy Perry and Nickelback on your drive time commute? Hmm. Food for thought.
Of course, back in '91 it was probably played in the middle of a stellar block of C&C music factory and Vanessa Williams songs. But you get my point, right? There will always be dumb pop songs on the radio, but why not make the other 40% of popular music, especially rock music, worthwhile, artistically credible music. Our standards have been lowered I'm afraid. The radio's dead, shouts the peanut gallery. It's dying, I retort. But your typical nurse or construction worker still flicks on the radio when they're driving to work, be it terrestrial or cosmic interstellar overdrive.
Now what was my original point? Oh yeah.

Please email Sirius/XM and request our song, "Ah La La" by emailing:

Just had to remind you. Lest we forget, this whole self-righteous spiel was motivated out of shameless self promotion. I too hate all those lame bands that leave you a myspace comment asking you to vote for them in some weenie battle of the bands or some or other wack contest. I hope you aren't lumping us in with all those yahoo's and actually find great value in our music. We do it for the kids, and as everybody knows, Trick love the kids.

PS Anybody can leave a comment now. You don't have to be a registered member of this site. Drop us a line. We'd love to hear that we're not shouting at the walls.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Heaven Knows You Couldn't Care Less

Tonight we decided to let our shimmering, frosted-tipped hair down, went with the old, comfy sweat pants instead of the flash new Seven jeans and became the very thing we have always despised. That's right, tonight we were a cover band. Albeit, only for 3 songs, all of which were Smiths/Morrissey ones. It was a benefit for an animal shelter in our hometown. We spent the week learning and rehearsing songs that we didn't write (though I really wish I had written "Panic" and/or "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want").
This is very much new ground for us. Many bands have a cover or two they occasionally whip out. Our humble band, however, has only played 3 covers in 5 years as a band, and that was at a friends wedding where the bride and groom requested certain songs. Nic and I have written so many songs over the years that it seems silly to learn another bands songs when we should be learning a new one of ours.
Either way, this week was a bit different for us, but in a good way. Personally, I spent the week in Smiths/Morrissey overload. In addition to rehearsing 3 of their songs everyday, I read a nearly 400 page Smiths biography, purchased quite a few Morrissey albums I've never had, and spent hours listening to them. You'd think I'd be a bit sick of Morrissey's romantic whine by now, and you'd be kind of right. However I better get over that quick as there are about 9 CD's coming in the mail next week. (I truly love getting things in the old snail mail. Fuck an email.)
In other news, we've started work on a new release. Tentatively it'll be a mini-album, about 8 or 9 songs. Hopefully we'll end up recording 15-20 and have several songs as bonus tracks for those who've signed our email list or some other exclusive, super secret fan only release.
As far as the new material goes, we couldn't be more excited. We're working in Derek's basement studio. Being the master and maker of wonderful recordings, Derek is pulling double duty, playing and engineering. I hope he knows what he's getting himself into! You can kiss your coffee supply goodbye right now! We'll be video taping a lot of the recording process and hopefully putting up on the web for you to check out our progress.
The first song we've been working on is one of Nic's. It's very much a departure from our album, but still keeping with our previous work melodically. I hope we can get it out before summer's in full swing because if there was any justice in the world it'd be the summer jam of '09. Breezy, that's all I can say right now. I hope your interest is piqued.

In random news, a nice fan from Tokyo sent us an email with this picture:

Apparently it's from a display at the Tower Records in the fashionable Shibuya section of Tokyo. I was surprised because a)I don't think our record is out officially in Japan and b)That's not our album artwork, it's the cover for the promotional copy of our record. Oh well, it's pretty sweet either way. Maybe we'll be one of those bands that's only big in Japan and unknown in the States. We'll take what we can get at this point. Maybe we'll just tour Nippon and leave those of you back home in the US to fight over who's way gnarlier, Trapt or Shinedown.
On second thought, nah, we've gotta fight the good fight in our home country. We're not giving up, not by a long stretch. I just know that the average kid in the US can do better than Nickelback, Seether or Saliva. There's another road to take, I swear. A road that isn't the soundtrack for a teenage rapist. Actually there's lots of roads to take, who am I kidding. I just wish modern rock radio didn't sound like the future line-up for the Three River's Ribs and Wings fest (where I once saw 3 Doors Down, remember them? I do. "If I go crazy will you still call me superman" or maybe that's a morrissey lyric. I dunno, my brain's fried.)
I'm rambling. That means it's time to shut it down before I do any further damage. Just you watch, next week we'll get asked to be the main support on Hinder's summer tour, then they'll read this and retract their offer. Damn it, I knew I should've kept my mouth shut.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A month or so ago I was watching the top 20 countdown on CMT (that's country music television for you city slickers) and the video for Rodney Atkins' "It's America" came on, his chart scorching ode to the stars n' stripes.
Now you probably don't know this, but I've had a keen interest in modern country for almost 5 years now. I used to watch CMT or GAC all the time. During that time I knew all the big country hits, you name it. From Alan Jackson to Little Big Town, I knew 'em all. In recent years I haven't had the time to keep up with it aside from the odd hour or two Josh and I will jam out in the van to a country station on the radio. What can I say, I just get a big kick out of how ridiculous a lot of the lyrics and sentiments are. I do genuinely like a smattering of songs, mostly by Toby Keith but that's another post entirely.
Anyway, this "It's America" song came on and it was another one of your typical flag-waving patriotic summer jams. There's at least 3 or 4 every year that make the charts. What really caught my eye was half way through the video.
Rodney plays a good ole boy car mechanic. He walks outside of his garage and comes upon a Mexican mariachi band, much like the one in our "Ah La La" video. He makes a ridiculous facial expression upon seeing them. His face says "What the Fuck" and "Oh hell no!" at the same time. Rodney is none too pleased with these foreigners. Moments later he gladly helps a white rock band with directions. Thank God they're not Mexicans!
I just wanted to point this little bit of racism and xenophobia out. I know it's not exactly a news flash that a country video would have some small minded racism in it, but I was just surprised that it got through in such a corporate age. Modern country is very sanitized. The only thing that differentiates most songs from top-40 pop songs is the instrumentation i.e. pedal steel, fiddles and obviously the twang. Ven that's out the window now with Taylor Swift.
Regardless, check out the video. The whole things pretty funny but if you value your time just skip to 2:30 and look for the scene I'm talking about. His reaction comes at 2:38, so keep your eyes peeled. It's blink and you miss it.


Monday, May 18, 2009

ABOUT A SONG - "Kill Me Dead"

I realized that our blog often times doesn't talk much about our music. That's fine though. As a wiser man once said, "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture" or something along those lines. Still, we wanted to give you, dear dear reader, some insight into what's behind our songs. That said, I present the first installment of the new feature, "About A Song", featuring the track "Kill Me Dead" from our debut "Running with the Wasters".


Before The Takeover UK existed in earnest, I failed in my attempt to start the band in Boston where I was attending college. I hooked up with a good friend of mine Lee and we recorded an album in various apartments around Allston over the course of a year. Four of the songs ended up being our first demo in 2004.
I moved back to Pittsburgh and The Takeover had it's first practice the day I got back in June. That summer we practiced like madmen in the garage at Nic's parent's house. Soon enough, we'd played our first show and many more were to follow. The beginnings of the band yielded many songs that Nic and I had written over the years and brought in to the band. The first year or so, let me tell you, we sounded much different than we do on our debut. Still, some songs made it through the years and onto the album. "Kill Me Dead" is one of them.
I'd left Boston for good, but I'd also left behind a girlfriend. I'd subleted a room at an apartment with 3 girls already living there. She had been my roommate, then my girlfriend. Normally that would be a bad idea, but I was only there for 6 months. We tried to do the whole long distance thing (LD relaash, as some may call it) over the summer, which really just entailed me calling her in the wee small hours of the morning after a night out boozing with the band. Come September, I'd booked a flight to Boston for a long weekend.
Immediately upon arriving, things were different between us. There was a distance, awkward silences and all that good stuff. We tried to go about like I had never left but that was an exercise in futility. Still, we tried to make the best of it.
She had to work one day, so I went over to Lee's apartment and we tracked a new song I'd written back at home. When we'd finished the music and it was time to do vocals I realized I had nothing, no lyrics. Not even the germ of an idea. We decided to take the night off and come back to it the next day, hoping the lyrical muse would vist in the meantime.
I went back to the girlfriends apartment. She'd gotten a new dog, and she was smitten. I'd seen girls that were all about their dogs before, but she took it to a new level. I was able to tear her away from the dog long enough to take her to dinner. When we finished she said she was tired and wanted to go lay down. It was 8 PM. I took her back home then went out to meet Lee at a bar. We proceeded to get pretty boozed up and I stumbled back home after last call. (I know this makes me boyfriend of the year, but please, hold your applause).
By the time I'd crawled back into bed, she was fast asleep snuggled up with the new love of her life. I honestly don't remember what happened next, but she woke up and was none too happy with me. (Surprise, Surprise) Words were exchanged and all of our frustrations over trying to make an impossible situation work came tumbling out.
I may or may not have threatened to throw the dog out the window.
A pile of her clothes however, went straight out the window and landed in the branches of a tree outside. I was rightly told to take my leave, which I quickly did. It was 3 AM.
I wandered around Allston aimlessly for a bit, drinking coffee to sober up. I chatted with a few homeless buddies I'd known from my years haunting the streets there. I called Lee. No answer. Doubtlessly he was fast asleep as I should have been if I wasn't so stupid. 3 or 4 hours dragged by with me sitting on the curb outside a convenience store. Finally Lee answered at 8 AM. After explaining my predicament, he told me to come over, which I quickly did.
The next night we laid down the vocals to the new song. Of course, the lyrical muse had visited me. I had some things I needed to say.
Now you know the genesis of said song. I can't say that most of our songs are rooted in specific stories like this one, but I figured it was a good song to start off our new feature. We'll be back soon with another installment.
Until then,

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We've been home for a week now. I'm just trying to get into some kind of daily routine. I'll let you know when I've found it. One of the best parts about being home is getting to watch movies, read books and overall relax. That said, I thought I'd share some of the entertainments I've been occupying myself with recently.
No shithead, I'm not talking about the Medea Goes to Jail drag queen guy. Though if you're into that sort of thing, by all means, good for you. This is a film of Euripides's' classic Greek tragedy directed by Lars Von Trier based on a script written by legendary Danish filmmaker Carl Dreyer. Maybe those names mean nothing to you. That's fine. Through some strange feat I ended up majoring in screenwriting in college and writing a mini-thesis on this Lars Von Trier guy. The name of the course was "Contemporary Scandinavian Cinema". And they say college doesn't prepare you for the real world. I digress...
Being made in 1988 for Danish TV, I was a little put off by this costume tragedy at first. However, after reading some back story about it on wikipedia, I was quickly drawn into this tale of that most sunniest of themes, infanticide. Woman's Scorn, hell hath no fury, etc. etc. This is probably the OG telling of that story. Apparently this is very hard to come by in the States. I got it from Netflix. And if this makes you think I'm a pretentious d-bag, I'll have you know I watched 2 full discs of "Girls Next Door" last night at my girlfriends insistence. As Meatloaf sang, "I would do anything for love..." You know the rest. Check this out.

I DVR'd this one a few months ago, but I just got around to watching it Tuesday. Based on the novel by Chuck "Fightclub" Pahluniakadingdong and starring the always dependable Sam Rockwell, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Not many movies can jump from absurd comedy to serious drama. I feel like they could have done more with this comically but I liked it none the less. Every body's a critic. There's some genuinely funny scenes in this movie. The whole holy foreskin plot point is a movie unto itself.

Derek played a few songs in the van and I liked what I heard so I picked up their debut album. 4 or 5 songs on here I really like. I read a few reviews but they all seemed to miss the point that at the core, these songs are doo-wop songs with digital delay all over the guitars, and Arctic Monkeys type rambling work-a-day world lyrics. The whole albums not great, sadly but there definitely one of the better sounds I've heard this year. Of course the sticker on the CD had an NME quote that said "The best band in Britain". But I'll let that slide as our first press bio has us being called "pop geniuses", which I hope we are, but maybe we should wait till the 2nd album for that one. Ha ha! Check out "Daddy's Gone" or "Go Square Go".

I also bought the new DOVES album, "Kingdom of Rust" but I've only listened to it once so far so I can't really comment. I like all their other albums so I imagine I'll enjoy this too. To what degree, I don't know yet.

I picked up ELTON JOHN'S GREATEST HITS in the used bin. It's the one with him in the white suit on the cover. This one means a lot to me. Everyone always thinks I'm joking when I say my favorite song of all time is "Rocket Man". Well, dear reader, I'm not. A little back story...
When I was just a young shitkicker my uncle got me a tape of this album on a road trip to some regional landmark. I had a little mini tape player and I jammed this all the way home. My older brother hated/hates Sir Elton and let his feelings be known. My uncle, of the fun loving variety, told me to keep playing "Rocket Man" again and again to my brother's absolute horror. I think it was the 10th time that poetic line was crooned: "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kid, in fact it's cold as hell". I had fallen in love. I still know all the words.

Finally, we're letting our hair down this coming Friday, May 22nd at the Brillobox in Pittsburgh and playing a short 3 song set of Smiths/Morrissey covers. We're definitely doing "Panic" and probably "Please Please Let Me Get What I Want". I'm very excited about this as The Smiths are one of my favorite bands. In fact I'm in the middle of reading "Morrissy/Marr: The Severed Alliance". If you're a Smiths fan, I'd strongly urge you to check it out.

Today I also bought a book I've been meaning to pick up for literally years: Howard Zinn's "A People's History of America". It's in the on deck circle, swinging a bat with the donut on.

So as you can see, I'm working hard/hardly working. We're also gearing up to start recording again and for this we're all incredibly excited. In the meantime, I gotta go. I've got some pining, miserable English lyrics to learn.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


We're a full time working band, but we've been also been known to moonlight in the comedy world from time to time.

A world premiere, just for you. Our first acting gig, on the Jake & Amir show on Pending on how it's received, we might just chuck the whole music gig and concentrate on acting.
You be the judge.

Sweet Baby Jesus Am I Tired

It's springtime in Pittsburgh. No rain today, the sun is actually out strutting it's stuff. We managed to miss a good part of the winter here at home, though it caught up with us several times on the road. 3 months of touring and we're back home. We're all keen on taking a break from one another but it won't last long. We begin recording with Derek next week. So one week off, that's all we get, but that's fine by us. Writing and recording new music is what we all live for. So you won't hear any complaints here.
The tour went by in a haze. So many "things" happen. But what to tell you, the reader? What would you be interested in hearing about? I've read tour diaries of other bands, you know, the ones that usually go something like this:

"We played Tuscon today. The show was amazing! A fan kept
calling out for us to play some older stuff, and we were
more than happy to oblige! Danny even got a chance to try
out his new jokes on the audience. Let's just say they need a little
fine-tuning! After the show, we hung out and talked with some of our
amazing fans. Always a pleasure! Later us and our tourmates,
Shining Time Station, hit up the local vegan Crackerjack buffet.
Archie ate so much brisket tofutti he almost puked! Luckily Randy
was taping the whole thing. He even caught Joey tying Jimmy's
shoelaces together! We jammed out on the new Coheed and Cambria
on the way to the Days Inn. Definitely a sweet album! I love those
guys, good friends from the Nintendo Fusion tour.

That is exactly what I don't want our blog to be. I have a big problem with how many bands talk to their audience. They talk down to them. I don't even like the word "fan". It denotes some sort of heirarchy between music-maker and listener. But where would any musician be without an audience? Even more importantly, this type of dialogue is FUCKING BORING! I don't want to hear about how awesome your life is, or the mundane habits of your wacky drummer. I want the nitty-gritty, the mishaps, the crazy shit that goes down when you're riding around our crazy-ass country in a van and frequenting nightclubs--those famous dens of ill repute. Maybe it's just us, but every night there's a different insane person getting up in our shit or at the very least unknowingly entertaining us with their crazy-talk while we load in.
Forget my made up tour diary above. I found a real tour diary from a band called All-Time Low, whom I've never heard but I have seen on the cover of Alternative Press. Enjoy:

Ooohooo So last night we celebrated two awesome occasions...well 3 since matt's molars finally grew in...anyways yesterday was Haloween and our first night of our tour with Sugarcult. I must say, it is pretty strange touring with a band who I spent the better years of my middle school life watching on MTV. Regardless of where this band has been, it definetly didn't eff with their personalities. They were all super nice to us and each came up and introduced themselves. The show went pretty well but it wasn't a good judgement of our the whole tour is going to be because Sugarcult didn't even headline, the Eagles Of Death Metal did, and the tickets for $25 on Haloween night :) I'm sorry but I would never go to a show if those were the circumstances...I'd be out expanding my collection of holiday treats. Tonight the 'real' tour begins so we will see how it goes. We are playing Washington State University in Pullman Washington. We haven't done too many college shows, so this should be interesting...anyways before we got on the road a couple days ago we were couped up in Ben Harper's (formely of yellowcard, now in amber pacific) house/studio in long beach, CA working on our new CD :). We demoed some hot licks that were going to send over to our producer matt
squire so that he can put in some input....
Much Love,

Get the point? I'm sorry for the length of that, but I didn't write it. I planned on writing up some of my most memorable moments from our travels but this blog is too long as it is. Short and sweet, I say. Always leave the audience wanting more. I'll post some stories soon, I promise.
Oh and fyi, I swear on my unborn child's life that I wrote up my fake tour diary before I even found that real one. I just googled "tour diary rock" and it was one of the first ones that came up. Apparently boring tour diaries are all the rage.

Friday, May 1, 2009


It hit me like an electric surge. We don't have any pictures up from our nearly 3 month tour of the US. Well, I'm here to remedy that, and quick. I'd like to share with you, kind friends, a few snap shots of the many, many friends and fans we've been lucky enough to meet in our travels. Thanks again to all who helped. Enjoy.

Our surly but lovable bus driver Don. They say alcohol and guns don't mix, and they're right. Here Don celebrates his beloved Minnesota Timberwolves victory over the hated Utah Jazz.

Here's Alex, our touring sax player. Definitely an eccentric, but really one of the most down to earth Scientologists I've ever met. I'm not sure what's going on here as this was taken in late March at a Home Depot outside Des Moines, but what a smile, huh?

Ah, the lovely Lisa Baumgartner, treasurer of our Toledo, Ohio street team. Poor little thing, she's all tuckered out from stickerbombing the entire west side that day. Truly, she is without peer. One of us, whose name will be withheld, was lucky enough to get to know her in the biblical sense, if you know what I mean. The random girl in the foreground really fucked up this otherwise wonderful pic. Thanks lady.

Kurt, Josh's drum tech.

I think Derek, our bass player, took this one. Don't know much about what was going on here. I think this guy was one of the drifters our driver Don picked up down El Paso way. I swear I've seen that face on the back of a milk carton before. Moving on...

The bands that open for us usually aren't so great, but this one man phenom brought the house down in Phoenix. I forget the band name. Sadly things turned ugly backstage when his manager flew off the handle about how much he was getting paid and Josh had to put the sleeper hold on him and Razor's Edge his manager. Despite the fracas, we wish them nothing but the best of luck in the future. Oh the places you'll go!

Backstage at our record release party in our hometown of Pittsburgh.

Backstage, Boise, Idaho. Some of our European radio pluggers made it out to the show. What can I say, we like to party!

Finally, some kind folks who were nice enough to let us crash on their floor in Kansas City. They even let Derek share a trundle bed with their Uncle Jerome, the kingly white-haired gentleman and a true class act. He even made us his apparently famous Lasagna for breakfast the following morning. Thank you to all the kind, gracious folks who've given us shelter in our travels. You truly are kings without peer.

Well, that's it for now. We've still got a week or so to go until this tour is over. I'll be sure to post more pics when we get home and have time to sift through the wreckage.


Not 21? Not a problem!

we realize the majority of our shows on this tour have been 21+, so to make it up to you, we have been doing acoustic shows in the parking lot of the venues. thats right, kids, send a message, or just come on down a bit early, and we'll do up our set for you, campfire style. no reason age should stop you from joining in on takeover mania.

see you on the sidewalk,


In It For The Money!!

We give our music away for free. I'm not talking downloads. I'm talking physical Cd's, the kind that are fronted by our record label whom we then have to pay back. We've been on tour since the middle of February and every night we announce from stage: "We've got free Cd's for all of you, just come over to our merch table after we play and we'll give 'em to you". Smart business plan? No. But really it's more important to us to get the music into people's hands than make a small profit. In an age where you can pretty much get whatever music you want for free, we figured why not? Instead of hoping people choose your album over a few more beers at the bar, we'd rather they go home with our CD. I know if I was in the crowd, I'd like a free CD from a touring band.
The reality is the internet is a wonderful thing. But it's also terrible as well. Music lovers are barraged with hundreds of thousands of bands, all vying for your attention. Myspace friend requests, advertisements, and don't even get me started on the tremendously lackluster bands gigging it out every night in some beer-stained watering hole every town across the country. I don't blame people for not wanting to give a band a chance. Hell, I'm like that myself most of the time. It's a tiring and grueling process, separating the wheat from the chaff. But we figured if you like pop music, there's a good chance you'll enjoy our songs. Thus we put it in your hands, no strings attached.
But Mark, didn't Radiohead give their last album out, pay what you want for it? Yes, friend they did, well the downloads at least. But they're also an arena size band that's been promoted by EMI for the bast 15+ years. This is our debut album. We're slugging it out like thousands of other bands, competing for your, dear friends, attention.
So you give your music away for free, you might say, Big deal, you could download it for free anyway. And you'd be right. That's why I'd also like to announce that once we finish this tour in a few weeks, we're gonna hunker down here in lovely Pittsburgh and record a mini-album and then...wait for it... give that away for free too. I hope no one from the label is reading this! We've got a whole slew of new songs and we can't wait to record them and get it out there to you, the world. If I don't say so myself, I think you'll enjoy it.
Since alot of our shows are 21+, we've decided to play for free for those too young or lacking fake ID's. Outside every show, we're offering to play a free acoustic set for any and all comers. Free Free Free!!! Where does the madness end?
So come on out and see us play, you'll get a free CD out of it. And they say there's no such thing as a free lunch?


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Does Anybody Actually Read This?

"Don't be yankin' on my doors"
The graveyard shift mini-mart employee, surly as can be, fixes Nic with a death stare.
Welcome to Portland Oregon. It's 2 AM and pissing down rain and we've just played a show down the street and Nic's trying to buy some beer to take back to our hotel, just around the corner. The doors to the cooler remain locked. The minimart guy ain't budging. "You think you can come in here and just yank on my doors? Get the fuck out of here!" Stupified, as Disturbed would say, Nic walks back out to the van and hands me the money, warning "Don't yank on the cooler doors. The clerk is crazy".
I go into the store, walk back to the beer cooler, gently try the door, see that it's locked and turn to the clerk. "Is it too late to buy beer?" He looks me up and down. "No"
A few seconds of eternal silence. The store is empty, save the two of us.
"How do I access the beer then?"
More silence. Then...
"You need the key"
"How do I get the key?"
"You come over here and give me your I.D. I give you the key"
This guy is pissed, fuming under his breath. I slowly walk to the counter and give him my passport. He hands me a key chained to a slop bucket. He leans over the counter and gives me the same death stare Nic told me about. "Don't be yankin on my doors". His voice is low and gravelly.
I unlock the cooler, grab the Pabst, relock the door, and take it back to the counter.
"You ain't buying this for that guy that was just in here yankin' on my doors, is you?"
"What? Nah, man. I'm by myself", I lie. He looks at me as if I might be the man that dropped him on his head when he was a child.
"Good, you better not be. Cause that guy was a douchebag, comin in here, yankin on my doors and shit"
He rings me up and I skidaddle the fuck out of this surreal minimart.
"That guy really doesn't like you", I tell Nic. "He called you a douchebag".
"Me a douchebag! That guy is seriously disturbed", Nic says in disbelief.
We drive up to the doors. The guy is looking out the window. I roll down the window and hold up the beer, smiling. Nic gives him the finger. "Douchebag!"
I've never seen a man's face turn so red in anger so fast. We peel out of the parking lot, just as king shithead comes running out of the store.
What would have happened if we hadn't left? God only knows. Despite this, I still love Portland. Just don't be yankin' on anybody's doors.


After our show in Lincoln Nebraska. Gas station. I go in to get something to drink. I need to use the bathroom, but there's and out of order sign on the door. Skinny, meth-head looking clerk rings me up as he talks on the phone. The van is still being gassed up and I really need to relieve myself. I scan the perimeter, weighing my options. I walk around the store, the clerk watching me through the window. There's a huge dumpster and a vacant parking lot behind it. Ghost town. 1 AM. Tuesday night.
The ground is wet, it's just rained. I take care of business quickly and start back to the van. The clerk rounds the corner and walks toward me.
"You just piss on my dumpster?" He stares at me with glassy eyed suspicion. I notice scabs all over his face, taking the emphasis off his rotted teeth. Give me a fucking break.
"What? Nah, man", I lie again. I seem to to say that alot, especially when accused of dastardly deeds. But actually I didn't piss on "his" dumpster, but the ground, which is wet anyway.
"I'm gonna check. You better not be lying", he says and starts off towards the dumpster. I scurry to the van.
"Can we get the fuck out of here" I tell the guys.
"Why? What happened?"
"I'll tell you once we leave, but please, let's just go. This guy is fucked up"
Happily, we prepaid for the gas and Nic has to go back inside to get our change, which he does quickly and returns to the van, looking at me quizzically.
"What did you do?"
I explain.
"Well, that guy just told me he called the cops on you"
Like I said, can we just get the fuck out of here.
Now I know my actions weren't very classy, but back the fuck up man, I'm tired and weary and the bathroom was broken and I didn't even piss on the dumpster. And besides it's not "his" dumpster. What's up with all these minimart clerks and their false sense of propriety. I worked at a bagel shop before, but it certainly didn't lead me to believe that the place was mine. Sheesh.

ten minutes later, highway outside of town. 2 police cruisers, lights flashing, the four of us lying on the wet pavement, hands behind our heads, batons digging brutally into... JUST KIDDING!

You wish,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Things I've learned So Far This Tour

1. Priceline = no more Motel 6
2. SXSW is still kind of worth it even if you play one set and it's 17 minutes long.
3. White Sands, New Mexico is incredible, especially at dusk. (Wait till we get some pics up. It looks like we're walking around in Antarctica with tank tops on.)
4. Des Moines is still my least favorite city in America--although we did meet some cool folks this time around.
5. David Cross is a swell guy, and enjoys hugs and the flavor of Mark's hand.
6. Wavves' new album is not available in Wal-Mart.
7. I need an i-Pod and a laptop right quick.
8. "The Sound and the Fury" is impossible to read while "Songs for the Deaf" is blasting on the stereo.
9. The Saltan Sea is kind of gross, but the drive from there to San Diego is beautiful. The landscape changes every 15 minutes. It goes; desert, badlands, Kenya, Switzerland, Pennsylvania, California.
10. Don't ever get your car fixed at Pep Boys. It's an auto parts store. Think about it.
11. Courtyard Marriott's have computers in the lobby.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

minivan cab driver has the same gps as us

Our van broke down last night. It could have been a million times worse. Luckily we were a block away from our friends house and in the middle of LA and not in some desolate desert hamlet. It made the most godawful noise and the smell of gasoline started pouring in through the vents, literally choking us. Everyone on the street was looking at our van. It sounded like a little mini Cessna airplane taking off. We had just left for our show at Spaceland. Nic being the only one who knows anything about cars diagnosed the problem as spark plugs and we found a nearby garage, dropped it off, and called a cab, preferrably the minivan kind. $60 cab ride to silverlake. Nic pronounced Sepulveda as Se-pull--veda, similar to Sepultura. We made it to the show, but I may or may not have lost one of my guitars. Standard fare for me. I lose everything. You'd think I'd keep better track of something like a guitar, but no, apparently I don't.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mystic Knights of the Desert

I'm at a Holiday Inn in Demning, New Mexico. We've actually stayed here before, 4 years ago on our first tour. It's one of those swanky ones, with a bar in the lobby and a continental breakfast. Of course, the continental breakfast has no bearing on us at all as we're never up and ready to eat by 10 AM. Speaking of hotels/motels/Holiday Inns, I wanna talk about the nastiest place I've ever stayed in.
An hour or so after crossing into Texas, you'll reach Marshall, Texas. Nick thought that might be where that movie "We Are Marshall" took place. I thought it was in our neighboring West Virginia. I guess I could look into it, but I can't really be bothered by some wack Matt McCauneghey?? movie. Anyways, in our quest to save money, we decided to stay at Marshall's Budget Inn. Now there are motels called Budget Inn all across the US, but I don't think they have anything to do with each other. All of them have different logos and signs and look completely different.
We should have asked to see a room before we forked over the $53 to stay there.
Remember that kids, if there is an inkling of doubt in your head that the motel you're staying in might be the kind where roaches are playing poker when you walk in, ask politely to see a room.
I can't describe the smell. Just take my word it was a godawful mixture of sulphur, BO, rancid cheese and a faint lingering dirty diaper smell!
OK, it wasn't that bad, but it was bad. Let's leave it at that. Our new bass player Derek was tempted to sleep in the van after I told him he was sure to contract Scabies if he slept in one of the beds and Scabies lay eggs in your skin. He toughed it out as did the rest of the boys. Thankfully, my recent purchase of an air mattress at Super Target in Orlando really came in handy. No Scabies here. You'd have to ask the other boys if they were so lucky.
Short story short, a screaming baby kept us up most of the night and woke us up from a few hours of unrestful sleep at 7AM. Did I mention that I love babies?
So we stayed in a flea bag motel. It wasn't the first time, and it sure as hell won't be the last. It was just the worst. So remember Marshall, Texas and Budget Inn and stear clear amigos.
In better news, we had a day off on our drive out of Austin to Phoenix so we stopped at White Sands National Park in New Mexico. You've gotta go through a government checkpoint or 2 to get there, but Sickels was wearing a Jack Daniels hat, so the guards just asked if we were all US Citizens, we said "Yes, Sir" and he waved us on. I appreciate the security, especially considering the government Missile testing ranges around there and lord knows what else.
White Sands is wonderful. Sand that is pure white and looks like snow as far as the eye can see. We goofed around a bit and filmed some stuff on our sweet camcorder and everyone offered that White Sands would be a "pretty great place to take 'shrooms". So if you're at all prone to desert mysticism or 'shrooming or our nations lovely national parks, or just white sand, check out White Sands.
I'm off now, but hopefully I'll check in sooner next time. Internet connections aren't as easy to come by as everyone would think.
So if you have a heart at all you'll go to your local record store or Amazon and buy/order it. Help a brother out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Apparently I talk in my sleep. Obviously, I haven't been aware of it, but never the less, yes, I'm a sleep talker. Much better than being a sleep walker. I recently came across the ultimate somniloquist, Dion McGregor
( Dion was a song lyricist whose only success was some Barbara Streisand song. But McGregors real claim to fame was his talking in his sleep. His roommate started recording his vividly detailed dream talk in the early 1960's. Fucking Decca Records put out an LP of him talking in his sleep in 1964. I was amazed when I found that out. That's postmodern before postmodernism really took over our culture. Of course, you don't have to go hunting high and low for this rare vinyl gem because (surprise surprise!!)Dion McGregor has his own Myspace page. I'm not saying you'll be blown away or even entertained for a long time, but it's some wacky stuff and we all could use a little Wacky D in our lives.
Moving on.
Another bit of wackiness and proof that something is terribly wrong with what we humanoids find entertaining. Imagine 2 of the most grizzled, crotchety, nastiest, alcoholic old men you can think. Imagine they were roommates (!?) who absolutely hated each other and argued incredibly loud all the time. Now imagine your apartment was adjacent to theirs. Got the picture?
Well, there were 2 such old men who had some enterprising neighbors who managed to tape record their incredibly entertaining arguments which often include one of them threatening imminent death and/or grievous bodily harm to the other and frequently telling the other to "Shut up, little man!". That's right folks, I'm steering you to listen to 2 nasty, drunken old men arguing. You can listen to them or even watch youtube videos with puppets playing the parts of the old men. Both are pretty funny. Apparently, these recordings were well known in their native San Francisco/ Bay Area in the late 80's/ early 90's, but I never claimed to be CNN.
Read all about it and listen:

Here they are, with puppets playing the old men.

and here's another just for the hell of it:

That's it for now. We'll be in Austin for SXSW, so if you're down there or going to be, drop us a line or even better, come see us play at Maggie Mae's on Friday, March 20th @ 5pm sharp.
I'm glad I could share people arguing and talking in their sleep with you. Who knew it could be so fun?


Monday, March 9, 2009

hit the road, jack.

After our show last week in NYC, we decided to take our friends offer to crash at his place in Jersey. In between New York and his house, is the wonderful, and friendly neighborhood of Paterson, New Jersey. For any of our fans who actually live there, you know just how friendly it can be.

It's 2 am, and we're at a red light under a bridge. we were also near some railroad tracks. I know what you're thinking, under a bridge + railroad tracks + 2 am = trouble.. well, hey, you're right! The scene couldn't have been anymore out of a movie, and just when i realized this, the star antagonist comes rolling up with a ski mask on. im not joking. i mean, it WAS cold outside, but even still, everything was set in place for my bandmates and i to get robbed.

Dude comes strolling past my window (i was driving, and the only sober one, so the guys didnt totally realize what was going on) giving me the nastiest, most evil, mean muggin' look of all time. Did i mention both of his hands were inside his pockets? Right then and there my instincts kicked in - RUN THIS GUY OVER! well, not really, but my suspicions of this guy being a total creep were correct, when i saw him out of my side mirror. He walked past our van, stopped, looked in the back window, and then lunged forward at my door. This is the point where in a split seconds time, i slammed on the gas, cut the wheel to the left, almost ran into the car in front of me, and went through a red light. I also possibly could've ran this guy over.. the world may never know.

Now, im not totally positive we were about to get robbed/car jacked, but given the circumstances, its highly possible. Thank God for my ongoing battle with my stomach, and its inability to consume alcohol, or we all could've been in trouble that night.


Sunday, March 8, 2009


Nightlife in Pittsburgh.
Some images might spring to mind or maybe you're drawing a complete blank. Regardless, The Takeover UK would like to share a snapshot of a night on the town in our wonderful hometown with you.
This last Saturday, a couple of us had the pleasure to check out the 'Burgh's hottest nightspot, "The Matrix" for the very first time. For the uninitiated, The Matrix is located in Station Square, just across the Monongahaela from downtown. This, my friends, is where the fun-loving denizens of Picksburgh come to let off steam, bump and grind, and drink away the horrors of the work week.
A few days home from tour and an invite to a friends B-day party gave us all the reasons we needed to throw goop in our hair, break out the silk pants and silk shirts with dragons and flames riding up the back, shell out $10 to park and drink all the redbulls and vodkas we could stomach. Luckily you, my friends, are never far from our minds. Wanting to share all the magic, we took a couple choice pics of our night and we're thrilled to share them with you. So sit back, close your eyes, and scroll through the partypeople of Pittsburgh. Maybe you'll even smell the AquaVelva and puke...

Here I am standing next to a short guy. She's off camera, but this guy was dancing with an Amazon woman who looked like she's slam dunked a few b-balls in her day. FYI- my buddy Ian and I would pretend to be posing for a pic next to our subjects while my girlfriend would snap the pic of said subject. Sneaky, isn't it? And yes, if it looks like I'm having the time of my life, that's because I am.

Ah, this is my lovely girlfriend and two Euro looking dudes. She went up to these guys and told them she worked for and asked if she could take a picture with them. After asking if it was a sex website, they happily obliged.5 minutes later they came looking for her, asking if she would delete the picture because one of them had a wife. She deleted one of them, but kept this one. Sneaky, Sneaky. PS - dude on the left is wearing our signature brand "Takeover UK Ibiza-style" sunglasses. Available at most Pac-Sun stores.

The crowd going crazy to an All American Rejects jam. Oh yeah! When we got to the club, they were playing the Electric Slide. So pending on your taste this is a step up or a step down.

A spry, scantily clad lady dancing on the bar. At least 5 middle-aged gentlemen sat on stools staring up at her like this was the Rhino Spearmint. Happily, she left with the one who had the smallest bald spot out of all of them. I'm still convinced she was an escort, but maybe it's true love.

This guy was sitting with said gentlemen, watching the gals gyrate on the bar. He was really getting into it, dancing in his seat. In fact, he was so infected by dance fever, he jumped up on the bar and started getting jiggy with it. The Matrix not being that kind of club, the DJ was none too pleased to see this young man dancing with the ladies. He proceeded to tell the young man to get down. Some words ensued and the DJ tackled this guy and manhandled him all the way to the side exit door. The whole incident lasted 30 seconds. Poor guy, my girlfriend swears she saw him dancing alone by a payhone in the parkling as we were leaving.

Another lady dancing on the bar. Me and Ian enjoying being two of the many partypeople.

This guy was a real bummer, you know, a real Debbie Downer. He slid up to my gal, roses in one hand, a Bud Ice in the other and offered to buy her a drink. He then proceeded to tell her about his exciting life. "I'm a fat black man with a car, and a house. Who gives a fuck about me? No one, that's who." She tried to soothe him by telling him there's someone for everyone but he wasn't having it. But hey man, at least you've got a car and a house. Way more than me. I'm just a 1/4 owner of 1997 Ford Club Wagon.

A few more highlights from our night out on the town.

P.S.-- there's the B-day gal herself, Lindsay, on the far right gazing at the next America's Best Dance Crew

We came, we saw, we took some choice pics. And soon, we're back out on the road again. Will I ever return to the Matrix? No. I can breathe easy and know that I'll keep that promise. But I hope this be a lesson for you all to take away. You've gotta make your own fun wherever you go. And if a friend drags you to a crowded, sweaty dance club filled with cheesy dudes and obnoxiously drunk girls, bring a camera my friend.