Tonawanda News — The Internet has become a vital tool in the music world for sharing and promoting new artists, but it isn’t often that one associates the World Wide Web with the actual creation of music. But that is exactly how North Tonawanda resident Phil Ewing used it.
Ewing was part of a Judas Priest forum when he met some fellow members who were also musicians. In 2006, they decided to get together and record some material for a Judas Priest tribute album at Ewing’s house in North Tonawanda.
“Once we completed that project we started talking about how it would be a neat idea to do a CD based on this Internet relationship,” said Rick Scott of Somerset, Ky., a singer from the forum. “Phil would write and send me music, I would write the lyrics, melodies and background vocals, then I’d email him files of the songs.”
Thus the band Takken was born. They consider themselves to be a classic metal band that is heading in a more progressive direction, drawing much inspiration from bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.
“We never intended for this to go any further than that right there,” Ewing said referring to the hard copy of the music. “Just a recording, a for-fun thing.”
With Scott in Kentucky, making an album was no easy task. Ewing began to record guitar and bass tracks. Meanwhile Scott and new drummer Doug Collins recorded their own parts and sent them to Ewing, who mixed them to create the final product.
Takken’s self-titled album came out in 2010 and is available on iTunes. The album gained popularity in Norway, where it gets regular airtime on the radio and also in Kentucky.
Takken was invited to play at the Generations of Metal concert in Kentucky and according to Ewing, this is when they realized they wanted to play live. They recruited guitarist Phil Buchanan and Collins’ son Corey to play bass for the show.
Ewing describes the event as a fiasco; parts were forgotten and the soundman was drunk. Afterwards, it became clear that if Takken was going to continue to play live they would need to be better prepared.
“We decided to form the band, the musicians, here in North Tonawanda, and (Scott) would come up for the shows,” said Ewing.
Gary Biondo joined the band on drums and, after quite a search, they added bassist Mike Scapillato. Takken has since played at NCCC and the Evening Star, a bar on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
“They were actually really good shows,” said Biondo. “The sound and the mic guys at both places were fantastic and we had a great crowd. It worked out well.”
The members of Takken decided to play out more often than the three or four times a year that Scott was available to travel to North Tonawanda.
“I could hear how badly (Phil) wanted to play and I knew I was holding him back,” Scott said. “I just said hey, if you feel like you need to find another singer because you want to play out live, don’t let me hold you back, go ahead and do it and I’ll support whatever you decide to do.”
Early this year, with Rick’s blessing, Orlando Alvarado became Takken’s new lead singer.
Takken members say they are working to break out of the bar scene and are looking to push their sound in a heavier and more technical direction.
Takken’s next performance will be at the Exposure Concert 3.0, a three-day benefit to help victims of domestic violence. Takken will close up at 12:50 a.m. on Friday night at The Cove in Depew.
They will also open for White Wizard and Icarus Witch at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 at Broadway Joe’s. Go to www.facebook.com/
takkenmetal for more information.