After hitting the charts with a steady stream of anthems, Los Angeles’ hip-hop assembly Black Eyed Peas checked out for a little hiatus in 2011.
“We shouldn’t have took a break, but we did,” Taboo told Sammy Jones.
“We all did individual projects...”
Solo material was released, will.i.am became a familiar face on the small screen in The Voice, and so on, and so forth.
But in 2014, Taboo’s creativity ground to a halt with a devastating diagnosis; he had testicular cancer.
“I pretty much fought for my life. I was doing chemotherapy and was not in any condition to even care about music or work.
“I was basically trying to stay alive to take care of my wife and my kids.
“Sometimes when you are doing chemotherapy you feel like you are alone, because you start seeing changes in yourself - it happened to me.
“I lost my hair, I lost my eyebrows, and started getting skinny, pale and yellow,” he says.
“When you are doing chemo five days a week, six hours a day, it’s very fatiguing and mentally draining.”
It was a long and hard battle, but one which, thankfully, he won, and today Taboo is standing up and speaking out to help others.
“It’s one thing to have a doctor talking, and another to have a survivor speaking on ways to help people get through it, and prevention, especially with the youth, because I am part of pop culture.
“I would especially like to talk to the youth and let them know that it’s important to get checked.
“Even if you catch the first benign lump or mass, you are able to take care of that so that you don’t have to have a testicle removed, or go into chemotherapy the way that I did, because it was already too late.”
Thankfully, the band are now back in play with their first album in eight years; Masters of the Sun is fresh to the racks.
“We said to ourselves, since we are celebrating our 20th anniversary, why don’t we have this hip hop based frequency that is very reminiscent of our earlier work.
“That’s how we shaped and moulded the album.
“We wanted it to be an album that was sonically warm and pleasing to the ear,” Taboo says.
Work on the opus took time - three years went into the making of the release.
“We are proud of it. Emotionally, we tapped into a social consciousness with songs like Ring The Alarm, Get It, and Big Love.
“Then you have those throwback songs; Like Constant, Vibrations and Back to Life.”
Plenty has changed on the political landscape since BEPs were last an active force, and the band has responded accordingly: “We felt like we had to change that frequency that we were so used to, because the climate in the United States is not really a party climate right now.
“Now is not the time to be jumping around and toasting champagne like I Got A Feeling was.
“That was a very celebratory moment, we were going to clubs and partying.
“Right now we are not living that party life, and we are going through some serious issues in this horrible climate that we are living in...”
The Peas have lots to talk about, but when they rock up in Milton Keynes this Saturday night?
The party vibe will be live and swell.
“It is energetic, thought-provoking, socially conscious,” Taboo says.
“Let’s party and have a good time, like only Black Eyed Peas know how to do.
“We will lead with love,” he promises.
To book tickets visit www.livenation.co.uk