Two years afternoon putting out what was thought to be the band’s swan song, Knoxville’s 10 Years have returned with another record. The album sees the return of Matt Wantland and Brian Vodinh making it something of a “rebirth” for the band.
Tomatrax caught up with Brian Vodinh, the band’s lead guitarist, to talk about their latest work.
You’re just about to release album number eight, how does it feel to have it finished and ready to go?
It feels great! This album is full of songs that are really made for the stage, so we have been anticipating getting the album out so the fans can get to know the material so we can play them live.
You’ve said how with your previous album that you thought it was going to be the last, what changed your mind?
The biggest aspect that changed from the last album is that we made the tough decision to let go of a long-time member. The band dynamic was toxic and unhealthy before and if we did not make a change we most certainly would have just ended the band after the last album. We weren’t happy, we weren’t playing well as a band, it just wasn’t working anymore. But now, with this particular lineup change, as well as the opportunity to ink a deal with our new label, Mascot, we feel we are playing better than ever and we are refreshed and excited again. It’s like being a kid all over again!
Where did the album title How to live as ghosts come from?
The album title is a play off of the last album title, which was From Birth To Burial. We are now ghosts rising after the death of the last chapter of the band.
What made you pick ‘Novocaine’ as the album’s single?
Novacaine is a really straight-forward rock song that I think really gives you a kick in the chest from start to finish. We wanted something to come out first that was a little bit different from a lot of our historical material as well. This song is 10 Years, but has a little bit more of a stripped down and abbreviated approach that we thought would be great for a first single.
This time round you brought in a producer, what made you decide not to self produce the record?
I really wanted to have a set of outside ears on this music. It’s very easy to lose perspective when self-producing.
What was it like to work with Nick Raskulinecz?
Nick’s like an extra band member when he produces. He was heavily involved in every aspect of the process and he was very hands on. He played a major role in helping us rearrange songs and get outside of our own heads. He was great.
You used PledgeMusic for pre orders of the album, what inspired you to take this approach?
Pledge Music is a great way to offer fans a unique album buying experience. It’s easy to go online or on iTunes and just buy an album digitally, but Pledge Music gives bands the opportunity to offer the fans something tangible and unique. Things like album bundles that include several different signed items, old gear the band used on tour, drum heads with custom art on them, hand-written lyric sheets, etc…
Did you get any unusual requests as part of the pledges?
Typically we determine the pledge bundles ourselves before launching the pre order process, so we just make a list of all the potential ideas for packages and then implement the ones that seem like the fans would like them.
Do you see sites such as PledgeMusic as the future for funding records?
I think it’s definitely possible. I know some bands already use sites like Go Fund Me and various other crowd-funding sites to fully fund their recording process. We are living in a very quickly changing digital age where it’s almost difficult for bands to keep up with the ever-evolving trends and possibilities.
After 7 albums and over 100 songs, is it hard to keep coming up with new material?
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with new/fresh lyrical content. After writing about so many different subjects over the years, we feel like sometimes we have to make sure we aren’t recycling ideas on accident! It’s kind of easy to almost rip yourself off without even realizing it. But, as we get older and gain more life experience, we usually have new things that come up that give us inspiration.
Where did the name 10 Years come from?
10 Years was the name of a song we had back in the very early days of the band (1998/1999) and we liked that title so it became the band name.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
We don’t listen to our music a lot but we certainly do sometimes. Especially before we start a tour. We like to make sure we remember how to play the songs correctly!
What other music do you listen to?
The band listens to a wide variety of music. I am into film scores and really love all the Hans Zimmer stuff, as well as classics from my youth like NIN, Metallica, Tool, Deftones. The other guys are into bands like Brand New, Thrice, and some others. We are into a lot of different stuff.
Now that the album is about to be released what do you have planned next?
Lots and lots of touring. We hope to have a large international presence on this album as well so hopefully we will be touring all over the world for the next couple of years.
Check out 10 Years’ website to find out more!