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?