Interview: Point Taken
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
- (Evan) I’ve always felt drawn to music and it’s been there for me at many important times of my life. I’ve always had an interest in how things work, and music is an almost infinite rabbit-hole to go down as far as how it works. If I hadn’t gotten into music I think I would have found a similar field to pursue, some sort of structural or electrical engineering maybe.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
- (Evan) I play a lot of games usually as I like the interaction they provide. More recently, I’ve started drawing as a way to release some energy. Not for display or to show off, just for myself. I think it’s allowed me to be more loose with my creative output. I have a tendency to agonize over small details and sometimes it’s better to just let it flow.
How long has your band been around? - (Evan) The three of us have been close friends for many years. In 2019 after all of our separate creative projects collapsed around the same time, the thought finally occurred to make music together as a group. A few impromptu jam sessions quickly turned into regular meetings. We released our first single in 2019, our first EP in 2020 and are gearing up for our first Album launch later in 2021
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music? - (Jared) We're based out of Limerick, a small, working-class city in the Mid-West of Ireland. We're lucky to have a thriving music scene that helps put us on the map. Limerick gets some of the highest rainfall of any European city, 300 days a year on average. Needless to say this creates a palpable sense of disdain to everyday life here and that definitely bleeds into our music. As a city we're often not taken seriously and ignored in national policy matters, so that definitely influences us as well.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you. - (Jacob) Evan was the one who originally came up with the band's name. We had been going back and forth between ideas for a while until he said it in passing and it just stuck. We initially loved the attitude that came with the words ‘Point Taken’, it's got a sense of hostile acceptance about it. It also stands for our convictions, that we're always willing to listen, but we're not always willing to change.
Tell us about the best and worst shows you've played. - (Jared) Our worst show was a pub gig in my hometown just as we were starting to play together. Far too small for a band, a busy Saturday night in rural Ireland. It was like a tin of very unhappy sardines. Our best show was probably our last gig before the Pandemic, a charity gig on Valentine's Day where we played the main support slot. The crowd were super excited and we got to share the stage with a bunch of friends.
Tell me about your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't played already? - (Jared) The Record Room in Limerick is one of our favourite venues to play in, it's intimate and has a 'New York Jazz Club' vibe mixed with an old-school Grunge aesthetic that we really enjoy. We'd love to get up to Dublin for some gigs in venues like the Button Factory. It's a stunning venue in the heart of the capital that always pulls in an amazing crowd.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket? - (Jacob) That’s tricky! There are so many local and international acts we all love. Fangclub and us to kick off the night and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes to headline so we can all just go nuts and enjoy it.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band? - (Evan) There’s a lot of work involved. Trust your bandmates. Don’t be precious about your ideas, more minds can usually greatly improve them if you just let go. Remember to have fun, it doesn’t always have to be serious, and above all, practise!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be? - (Jacob) Practise, practise and practise some more! Being super tight is just one limb of the music industry now and it needs to almost be an unconscious action underneath everything else. I would also say to not be fearful of self-belief and investment early on. You’re not always going to be told you’re on the right track by someone else, so stay the course if it feels right to you.
Of your songs, which one means the most to you and why? - (Jared) Of the songs we've currently released I'd have to say our latest single "Lullaby for Leeches" means the most to me. It marked a step in our journey where we were brave enough to try a heavier tone, despite Hard Rock not being too popular in our city. It's also the first song we've released that was fully created by ourselves, from writing and recording to mixing and mastering, it was really gratifying to know we had the skills to pull it off.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most? - (Jacob) I love to play “Quicksand Highrise” from our first EP “The Static Windup”, its got this glassy opening guitar riff and when you nail it live, it feels great. The song just kind of explodes from there. On our upcoming album I’ve had a lot of fun with a track called “SuperN0va”. It has a couple of tempo changes and has some really honest moments.“Deep Six”, our first single, often gets requested the most. It’s a dark, riff-driven track that just rocks when we play it live.
What's the creative process for your band and what inspires you to write your music? - (Jared) Usually the process begins with either myself or Jacob writing a guitar or bass riff before taking it to the other person and fleshing it out into a more full piece. Then we bring that to Evan to layer in some drums, and finally we all sit down together to come up with lyrics. We usually get inspired by periods of isolation, by trying to adapt the music we're interested in, or by playing our instruments in challenging ways.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music? - (Jacob) It depends on the track really. Each one often comes from a very unique starting point. I hope that when people listen to our music that they get the message: even if you feel crazy right now or feel that the walls of a room feel too small, someone else feels the exact same way. I want it to connect all that craziness between us into something empathic and understanding, something positive. On the lighter side of what we do I just want people to feel how much joy we have for making music together and go crazy with us.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them? - (Evan) I would be worried if we didn’t to be honest. We’re all pretty strong voices when it comes to our creative process and I think we all care about this project a lot. At the same time, we all have the same way of looking at things, and I’d like to think our ego doesn’t get in the way that much. Usually we just debate the pros and cons of our potential ideas and we will usually all come to an agreement by the end of it. We all just want to make the best music possible.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up? - (Jared) We're currently working on a fifteen track album to be released later this year. Hopefully when it launches restrictions will have eased enough to allow us get our music out to our fans through some live shows. We'd love to tour around the UK and one of our biggest goals is to collaborate with some local acts through our independent record label 'Bare Marsh Records'. We've just launched our new single "Lullaby for Leeches" which can be found on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/album/1JOJmmLXWfwtKvmo2zx2qz?si=ybEaiXjXQSerl-WNgyv2mA Or on our bandcamp at pointtaken.bandcamp.com/track/lullaby-for-leeches