MIRP: Thank you Brian for taking the time for this interview. Self produced “Minus the Machine” was done at your recording studio, Kashmir Recording. How was the writing and recording process at your studio versus previous studio experiences?
Brian: For this process, we would write and record simultaneously which really brought out an amazing level of creativity for us. Typically we would write 20 songs or more, then sit with a producer and pick which 10 or so are the strongest, then dive into recording them. We decided that this time, as we would come up with ideas, we would just immediately start recording them. I loved the process.
MIRP: You have just recently released your own record label, Palehorse Records, and “Minus the Machine” is the first album. Do guys have other bands under Palehorse Records that you are excited about, or it just for 10 Years?
Brian: As of now, this is just for 10 Years, but we are keeping our eyes and ears open to new talent that may be out there.
MIRP: Jesse had mentioned in another interview that “the true fans who buy our albums, not just the singles, understand that our singles, for the most part, misrepresent the entire album.” I totally agree with this because the ‘non-single’ songs are what show cases 10 years’ range as a band. I don’t think people realize how diverse and talented you all are. Some of my favorite ‘non-single’ songs are “Dying Youth,” “Don’t Fight It,” “Focus,” “Dead in the Water,” “The Recipe,” “Drug of Choice,” and “At a Loss” – haha, just to name a few. Is there a “non-single” song that you are most proud of?
Brian: I really love “Birth–Death And All the Other Colors,” as well as “Tightrope” and “Writing On the Walls”
MIRP: I’ve heard people compare 10 Years’ music and style to Tool. How do you feel about that comparison?
Brian: I think you can hear the influence that Tool has had on us, but we are not trying to be them. They are an elite and legendary band and we just grew up in a time where they happened to have a major impact on us and the music industry.
MIRP: While you are all very talented musicians, each member seems to excel at other things. For instance, I know Jesse did the art work for “Feeding the Wolves,” and Brian, you play multiple instruments. What other hidden talents or interests do you guys have that we may not know about as fans?
Brian: Random things from to mini golf to comedic improve — In no particular order.
MIRP: Do you want some Harry Potter Jelly Bellies? hahaha that video was funny!) You guys seem like you have a lot of fun on the road! Are there any other major or favorite pranks you have done to each other or to other bands you have toured with?
Brian: Jesse and I used to share an apartment in Los Angeles while the other three members at that time (Lewis, Matt, and Tater) shared a different one. Those guys would always steal our remote control for our TV, so as retaliation, Jesse started putting mayonnaise in Lewis’ facewash. Lewis is absolutely terrified of mayo and freaks out if he sees it, so he ended up washing his face with it for a month or so! Matt started sharing Lewis’ face wash and they both ended up getting really bad breakouts and stuff. It was really funny.
MIRP: My favorite music videos for you guys is “Feeding the Wolves,” “At a Loss,” “Beautiful,” and “Knives”. When recording a music video for a single, can you explain the process? Who comes up with the concept and how hard is it to translate visually what you’ve written musically?
Brian: The process can vary. The idea can come from the director, the band, or whoever. We try to come up with the ideas on our own, but in a lot of cases the director of the video might write a story line and we can help tweak it.
MIRP: What is the story behind the “hummingbird” image?
Brian: A good friend of ours came up with that design. It was an image that he felt represented our music and we fell in love with it.
MIRP: Brian, you and Tater have been with the band from the beginning. I think the current 10 Years lineup works really well. How are you feeling about the current lineup? How have the lineup changes altered 10 Years’ sound over the years?
Brian: We are very happy with the current lineup. Since Jesse and I write most of the material the sound has not changed at all.
MIRP: Seems like you guys are always touring. What is the hardest part about being on the road? How do you stay connected to family/friends while touring?
Brian: I have a daughter. Being away from her is the biggest challenge. Luckily we have FaceTime and Skype and can utilize tools like that.
MIRP: Is there something that you absolutely have to bring with you on tour from home?
Brian: I used to always bring photo albums but now everything is either on my phone or computer.
MIRP: I have personally seen you guys with KoRn, Fair to Midland, Flyleaf, and Shinedown — along with others. Who haven’t you guys toured with that you would love to share the stage with?
Brian: We would love to tour with Incubus, NIN, Foo Fighters, Deftones, Tool, and probably a slew of others that I am not remembering right now.
MIRP: Have you guys ever thought about doing collaboration with another artist? If so who? Or how about another cover song? I know there is a Cyndi Lauper cover song out there that you guys do….
Brian: We have never done a cover song actually. We have thought about having Chino from the Deftones do guest vocals on a song before. The schedules didn’t work out, but that would have been really cool.
MIRP: Are there any rituals you guys do either pre or post show?
Brian: We don’t really have any rituals. On the last tour I would listen to jazz and clean the bus after the shows, but I’ve strayed from that ritual on this tour.
MIRP: I feel like the lyrics and the emotions that you guys put forth in your songs, speaks directly to me. Especially songs about the fear of growing up in “Dying Youth,” and the observation of our society in “Chasing the Rapture.” The messages are strong and thought-provoking. Do you go into the writing process with a predetermined concept for the album? When lyrics are written, as a group, do you discuss the tone and topic of each song?
Brian: We never really enter into the album making process with a predetermined theme. The concept is born naturally and it’s honestly never really discussed. We write until the concept is glaring at us in the face and it’s obvious. And lyrics are never really written as a full group. Just 1 or 2 of us work on them at a time and if 2 people are working on them together then it’s discussed.
MIRP: Thank you Brian again for taking the time to do this interview. This was my first interview! I don’t usually do the interviews for MIRP but since you guys are one of my all-time favorite bands, my colleagues allowed me to do this interview!