CelebMix Exclusive Interview: Taken

Irish boy band sensation Taken – made up of members Ste Barron, Eoghan Mac Mahon and Richie Power – have made quite an impact on the music industry. Since the band formed a couple of years ago, Taken have not only supported many artists, but have also embarked on several of their own headline tours. Currently, Taken are supporting The Vamps on their ‘Up Close And Personal Tour.’ Tickets for this tour can be bought via Ticketmaster or AXS.com.

CelebMix had the opportunity to speak to Taken about their musical influences, favourite lyrics, what they have planned for the future and more. We even got some of you guys to send in questions to ask them. Check out the interview below.

You are currently on tour with The Vamps, supporting them on their ‘Up Close And Personal Tour.’ How is that going?

Richie: We’ve only done one date (Birmingham), but they were two shows, so we got a good feel of The Vamps fans. They are crazy! Both shows have been unreal. Birmingham is always a good city, we think that’s a good start. We’re all loving it. 

Eoghan: We agree with that wholeheartedly, it was amazing. 

What is your favourite aspect of touring?

Eoghan: Probably just being on the road, seeing all the different towns and cities.

Richie: Meeting different people and seeing different sights. 

Eoghan: It’s just the fun of being on the live show thing. Normally, you’re sat in a studio somewhere.

Richie: It’s good to get out and see what people think of you rather than what you think of yourself in the studio. 

Eoghan: We had the show yesterday and there were a few people who knew some of the songs we have released. It was great, because normally we are the only people singing and there were other people singing with us! 

Prior to going on stage, do you have a ritual?

Richie: We decide the setlist quite late, we see the vibe and atmosphere in the place. 

Eoghan: We do this thing where basically, before we go on stage, it is actually pretty stupid this thing we do, I don’t know why we started doing it. But we do this thing where we all stand looking at each other and we try to clap at the same time. It’s pretty stupid because you can see when the other person is doing it, so it’s pointless. It just gets us on the same thing. 

How did the three of you meet?

Eoghan: Our manager found us on social media and we hit it off then. It took a while, but now we’re best friends I think. I hope. 

If you weren’t in the band, what do you think you would be doing?

Richie: If I wasn’t in the band, I did one year in university before the band. I was doing Irish and Sociology and Maths, boring stuff. I think I was planning on being a teacher but I don’t know if that would have worked out. I’d probably be doing nothing right now.  

Eoghan: I was supposed to be going to college and study Law, but I decided that would be a terrible thing to do and I would much rather be where we are: on the road every day, which is a lot more fun. 

Ste: I was doing Film for a day – it was Induction day. Then I got the hell out of there and now I’m happy. I was just doing college because everyone else was doing college, I didn’t want to do college. I just felt like I had to do it and I really didn’t want to. Now I don’t have to do it, it’s great. 

As a band, who are your musical influences?

Richie: I think we all have different ones, but I think one that we would all agree on would be Coldplay. 

Eoghan: They all seem to be similarly linked by soul music, that’s where they have a root. We like Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, Wiz Khalifa, U2, Coldplay obviously. We like everything. All of it has proper soul music roots and a lot of Irish people went over to America and mixed with black music. We love all that, we just love melody as well. 

Ste: It’s all about harmonies as well, we like to mix it with a rock and R&B vibe, but also have that pop sound. It’s a mixture of everything and whatever we think sounds good and we think that other people will like – we just kind of go with it. We are all about harmonies though, we spend hours working on harmonies. 

If you were to sum up your style of music, what words would you use?

Eoghan: Unique. 

Richie: Different, because it’s always different. 

Eoghan: Music that has an effect on people. 

Ste: Effective. 

Eoghan: Melody-driven, soul music with a hint of dance pop. I’m just joking, I don’t know – we don’t really like to be hemmed in, we just like to make music that people will like to listen to and because it has an effect on them that they like. 

Ste: Unique, different and real. 

Richie: It’s good that it’s not always the same sort of stuff, because you go through different times in your life and you feel different each time you are writing a song. It’s going to sound different each time and as we said, we don’t want to get stuck down to one style, one certain genre. We just go with whatever we feel at the time, just do it normally. 

Which of your lyrics is your favourite, and why?

Ste: We have a lyric ‘we believe in one another’ – it sounds cheesy as hell. Also the lyrics ‘so far, so good,’ those two lines are what drives us as a band and what has kept us going the last three years. A lot of bands stop and fall out and don’t keep going, they let other things get in the way. With those two lyrics, they are a drive to keep going. 

Eoghan: ‘Losing Game’ is the new single we will be putting out there and there’s some lyrics in that. We worked on that for a while. We like some of the lyrics in that because it’s about whatever it is – it’s about you. But to us, it’s a metaphor for the band, us trying to make it the whole time and how we enjoy that. It’s a hard one, but it’s like we love this losing game. Sometimes you know, you try really hard in a relationship, in life or whatever it is. It doesn’t always work out and you just hope that it will work out. It’s about the hope of things working out. 

Richie: But you still love the journey, even though it might not end well, you still love the process of it. 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

Richie: As a cover, mine would probably be Swedish House Mafia ‘Don’t You Worry Child.’ It’s always at the end of the set, everyone goes crazy and it’s just a good way to finish off. For an original one, mine would probably be ‘Losing Game.’ We have just performed it a couple of times and we enjoy it each time. 

Where is the dream place that you would love to perform?

Richie: Obviously, there are the big ones such as Glastonbury, Wembley, Croke Park. But there is one that I would love to play and that would be Anfield in Liverpool. That would just be unbelievable. 

Eoghan: Somewhere like on the Space Station. 

Of all the places/venues you’ve played, where has been the most memorable and why?

Richie: For me, it’s probably Vicar Street in Dublin. It was the first place I ever went to see anybody perform – it was a band from Dublin. It was the first concert I went to and I just remember looking up and thinking that they were good. When I went out and all my family were there, it was a good feeling. It took me back to when I was younger. 

Eoghan: My favourite one is probably the first UK gig that we ever did. We played in a little place in London. It was our first own headline show in Putney, London. It was the first venue I think that U2 and The Rolling Stones played. It was cool that it was one of our first venues as well. It was nice, there were pictures of them on the walls and stuff. There’s not pictures of us yet, but maybe!

Ste: I thought Trafalgar Square was pretty sick. We played that for Pride last year. None of us knew the size of the crowd. We got there and we couldn’t see behind a wall. We just ran on stage. Literally, we just soundchecked for our own show in London and then we had to run off to Pride. When we got there, the crowd was just a sea of people. Our manager was at the very, very back – it was just so big and unexpected. It was really cool.

What would you say has been a career highlight so far?

Richie: There are probably two shows for me, London O2 Forum around this time last year and then the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, which was one of our biggest headline shows. 

Eoghan: Probably when we got to announce doing The Helix in Dublin. That’s our biggest Dublin date and it’s on October 7th. Also, the time when we did our first tour, our first headline UK and European tour. It was amazing and it was great to see so many people coming down and supporting us. 

Is there anything in particular you would like to achieve in the future?

Ste: Play arenas and just keep on getting bigger and bigger, just taking over. Starting our own company and being bigger than we thought we ever would be. 

Eoghan: Sing at every McDonald’s in the UK, like every single one. We want to do that as well! We are big fans of McFlurry’s and mayonnaise. 

Aside from touring, is there anything you can tell us about what you have in store for the rest of the year?

Richie: As we were saying, we have a new single that comes out soon enough, called ‘Losing Game.’ We have the tour coming up in October, our own headline tour. We have a couple of European dates too, with some more to be announced. It’s just tours and singles and as I said, the next one will be really soon so it will be exciting to get that out. 

Do you have a message for your fans?

Ste: Keep doing whatever you want to do in life, don’t let someone tell you that you can’t do it. If you really believe you can do something, then just go fully at it. Don’t waste time going out – if you want to do something and stay in on a weekend or something, just put your head down and if you’re in school and you’re worried about what you’ll be able to do, don’t worry. Everything falls in to place and things come to you. Don’t stress. 

Richie: A massive thank you to anyone who has ever come to a show, shared a post, downloaded a song or video, anything that they have done to help us, we just really appreciate it so thanks very much. 

Eoghan: Sometimes our fans say that they have some problems – with school, with college or with life in general. Music is something that helps a lot of those fans. Without people showing that support to any band, regardless of who it is, they wouldn’t be there. Thanks to you guys for keeping music going. 

To see a full list of tour dates and to buy tickets to Taken’s headline tour in October, click here.

Make sure you are following Taken on Twitter to stay up-to-date with them: @TakenOfficial.

Written by Rachel Dempster