Where exactly does one draw the line defining the ‘Axis of Stoopid’ between cool
hard rock and cheesy hair bands? How much musical leeway really exists in the nebulous
triangle between Nickelback, HIM and Reamonn? Let’s be honest: There aren’t exactly
worlds between them. The cheese factor on Planet Rock is decided beyond the realm of
the stage, where the real decisions are made about whether choral hooks, irresistible
melodies and driving grooves strike a chord with the normal fan on the street or on the
bank accounts of coked-out egomaniacs. Credible rock flourishes close to the real lives,
concerns and celebrations of those who listen to it. Maybe these are subtle clues as to
why tAKiDA have managed to become genuine shooting stars in the shortest possible time
in their Swedish homeland – without any 7-figure budgets blowing open the doors to the charts.
Fact is, these are five guys who focus all their attention on writing great songs instead of
on demographics-tailored images. tAKiDA recorded their first demo in 2000, and the 500 copies
featuring a handful of songs were gone in no-time flat. The band takes its name from the
Japanese manga “Silver Fang”, a hugely popular figure in Sweden known and loved by
every Swedish child in the mid 80s. Since those early days, tAKiDA have tended their series
of successes like a farmer tends his crops, not like a stock broker, plowing the fields of
the Swedish rock clubs with sweaty hands. Another four EPs followed, then a self-financed
album, all 10,000 copies of which were equally snapped up in a flash. “We’re definitely a
hard rock band with a certain degree of pop influences”, explains guitarist Tomas Wallin.
“This broadly-defined genre can certainly produce some pretty embarrassing bands,
but it’s also produced acts like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, the kinds of bands most of us
grew up with.” tAKiDA’s single ”Losing” entered the Swedish charts in 2006 straight in at No.2
and stayed in the national Top Ten for weeks on end. The album it was taken from,
“Make You Breathe”, was a massive success, ultimately becoming the best-selling rock album
in Sweden in 2006. 2007 saw the follow-up album “Bury The Lies”, for which the song material
was written under unimaginable pressure in only two weeks. “We learned two important things
back then”, remembers Tomas. “First, that we can still work really well with each other
even under those circumstances. And secondly, that even during stressful periods,
we don’t lose the plot and we still manage to get along with one another.”
“Bury The Lies”, meanwhile Platinum, even went one step further with both the album and the
single “Curly Sue” rocketing straight to the respective No. 1 spots on the Swedish charts.
In addition, the single stayed at the top position on the national radio charts for ten weeks,
making it the most-played radio song in 2008 – little wonder then that the band was nominated
for two Grammys. “Sure, it’s the songs like ‘Losing’ or the ballad ‘Curly Sue’ that open
the doors for us upon first listen. But lots of people are surprised when they hear the
rest of the album. All in all, our sound is much harder”, declares Tomas.
This is also reflected in the plethora of live shows these Scandinavians play throughout
Europe: “We see girls in the audience who know us from the radio standing next to Meshuggah
fans and old rockers who’ve been at it since the Sixties. Apparently, we really do appeal
to all age groups”, states the guitarist with some obvious pride.
Now “Bury The Lies” is also set to conquer Germany with its hit-laden, solid rock, that often
bears elements of trademarks reminiscent of veterans like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Queen.
“We’re down-to-earth guys! Before our success with tAKiDA, we all had completely normal
jobs as builders, office slaves or permanent students. We’re not likely to change our
looks much, regardless of how many sales we have or paparazzi who cross our path in
the future”, laughs Tomas.

Snaki *Band Score 8.0/10*
For BeRock Radio MiniZine (2011

Release Year: 2011
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