10 Years - new record, new attitude

10 Years - new record, new attitude

10 Years returns with a brand new record, Minus the Machine, which is set to release near the end of July. But talking with vocalist Jesse Hasek, this is more than just a new collection of music.

According to Hasek, the band departed with Universal Republic and recorded on their own under their own label — Palehorse Records. This is a follow up to their 2010 hit Feeding the Wolves.

“Backlash” is the first single that can be heard off Minus the Machine and can be purchased on iTunes. I’ve had the luxury of listening to an advance copy and I’ll tell you right off the bat — it’s the best 10 Years stuff to date.

Yes, that’s hard too imagine since the band gave us “Wasteland,” “Through the Iris,” “So Long, Good Bye” and my personal favs “Actions & Motives,” “Fix Me” and “Beautiful.”

Here is the track listing for Minus the Machine:

1. Minus the Machine

2. Battle Lust

3. Forever Fields (Sowing Season)

4. Backlash

5. Writing On the Walls

6. Dancing With the Dead

7. Sleeper

8. Soma

9. Tightrope

10. Knives

11. Birth-Death

12. …And All the Other Colors

We spoke with Jesse about the new record and why this particular album means so much to the band. Catch 10 Years on tour now including a date in Houston on Saturday, June 30 at Warehouse Live.

Let’s talk ‘Minus the Machine.’

It’s very easy to say we changed a lot of things compared to the last album. This is the first one we’ve done off a major label. One of our fans brought this to our attention: our album titles have actually told a story. With ‘Autumn Effect,’ we had no pressure on us, no cooks in the kitchen. After you are successful, these guys tell you what to do. Then came ‘Division.’ With that record, as a band, we were very divided on our success and goals. ‘Feeding the Wolves’ felt like we just got to the point where were giving them (record label) more and they were taking more. Like we had to feed them to keep them at bay. With ‘Feeding the Wolves,’ the record label tried to control that album the most. Minus means we are leaving the system and doing this on our own. It paints a picture that way.

Do you have a favorite track?

Music is emotion to me. Our music is our therapy. Something that is eating at me or bothering me ends up being in songs. There are several on this record that have a close meaning. This album in general has a different close feeling. We were free. We didn’t have to think about all the songs being done in a certain time frame because of radio. We didn’t think about writing a hit, or if it had the right hooks. It felt like we were teenagers again.

So I guess that mean less pressure?

Yes and no. It was less pressure off the writing, but a double edge sword with the fact we have our own label (Palehorse) through Indy Label Group. The other side to the coin, we have pressure to prove to everyone that we can do it ourselves. We worked harder on making a piece of music instead of a ring tone or a hit single. We want to take you on a journey.

Right before the final track, ‘…And All the Other Colors,’ is an instrumental piece ‘Birth-Death.’ What is the story behind that?

It originally was the beginning of that song. We felt like we wanted to split them apart. The lyrical content is diving into ideas of afterlife and the meaning of the purpose. Birth and death is inevitable. All the Other Colors are the details that need to be paid attention too in between — diorama of life. We get into who’s right and who’s wrong in life. I was raised religious and have my own beliefs, but I’ve traveled the world and came back with questions. Why are we the only ones right and everyone else is wrong? It changed my thinking. We need to stop fighting. We need to be a good person on just the sake of being a good person.

Why was ‘Backlash’ chosen as the first single?

We felt like it had high energy. It sounds so much different that what we’ve done before. It’s very risky and ballsy, so we wanted to make a statement like a shock value for a first impression. In the beginning we wanted a producer, but our guitar player/drummer Brian Vodinh has built his own studio in house and we started doing demos and it sounded great.

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