An Interview with Takers Leavers

AMPLIFY. had the pleasure of interviewing California-based rock group Takers Leavers (comprised of David Baqui, John Gee, Karem Idrees, and Robby Friend) in support of their latest EP, Break & Bloom, which you can listen to by clicking here. Read on, friends.


AMPLIFY:  What’s something people wouldn’t necessarily know about Break & Bloom just by listening to it alone?

Takers Leavers: It marks the first project that we wrote together as a unit. Our first EP was mainly Karem and Baqi, done on a whim and seemingly disconnected. A lot of the lyrical themes are greatly inspired by several forms of media – anime, video games, movies, etc.

AMPLIFY:  How would you describe the band’s artistic evolution?

Takers Leavers: It took us a long time to nail down our sound. We’re still in the process of balancing heavy/intricate elements, while still having a “less is more” approach at the same time.

AMPLIFY: If you could select any artist – living or dead – to have worked as a guest session musician on “Break & Bloom,” who would you have selected and why?

Karem: Anthony Green

John: Jason Butler

Robby: Anthony Raneri

Baqi: Dustin Kensrue

All these artists have invoked heavy emotions via melodies, lyrics, or delivery in us and continue to inspire us with whatever they do.

AMPLIFY: A majority of our readers are based in Chicago. What’s something unique we should know about the music scene in Costa Mesa?

Takers Leavers: The Southern Californian music scene is wonderful because it isn’t concentrated in one city but contains many pockets. Our favorite part is that we all try to pull each other up; almost every band that calls this place their home gasses each other up and it’s so tight.

AMPLIFY:  Describe Break & Bloom using three movie titles

Takers Leavers: The Lost Boys, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Superbad

AMPLIFY:  If you could change one aspect of the music industry as it exists today, what would it be and why?

Takers Leavers: Probably wouldn’t change it at all. No desire to spend the mental strain on how much of a bummer it is, would rather think of new ways to adapt.

AMPLIFY: Let’s say you meet someone who has never heard of Takers Leavers before, and they ask you to send them a link to one of your songs: what do you pick? In other words, which track do you feel best serves as an introduction to your body of work?

Takers Leavers:Every one of us thinks “Fist to Wall” is the most cohesive TL song. It contains all the elements that we love in our own music and the response from our fans, old and new has been unanimous.

AMPLIFY: Which aspect of your creative work are you most proud of?

Takers Leavers: The quality of recording done by our close friend Adam Sisco. He really made us shine and guided us through some difficult decisions in making each track what they are now. Otherwise, it’s more of the work outside the music. We’ve all matured and leveled up our work ethic. There is so much to being in a band aside from just making music and playing shows. Our ability to connect with and help people has truly made us proud of what we do.

AMPLIFY: Lastly, what’s coming up next for Takers Leavers?

Takers Leavers: Once we get let our EP grow into new ears, we will be booking some tours and continue to write.

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