10 Years Biography
RYAN "TATER" JOHNSON-Guitars
Republic/Universal Records recording group 10 Years is a band with more than music on its mind and the band’s debut album, The Autumn Effect, testifies to that with a selection of songs that takes on society’s ills in no uncertain terms. From the propulsive "Waking Up," "Fault Line" and the first single, the prophetic "Wasteland," to the mysteriously forbidding "Empires," "Prey," "Insects" and "Paralyzing Kings," 10 Years’ music is mythic in scope, cosmic in reach and spiritual by intent, without sacrificing its archetypal primal metal rock sound.
Produced by Josh Abraham (Staind, Velvet Revolver), The Autumn Effect touches on radical values, with an ethic that tries to make sense of this troubling universe through words and music which touch on the apocalyptic while still making room for hope and transcendence. Raised on a combination of Axl and Slash, Mozart and Beethoven, 10 Years’ music is based on equal parts provocative lyrics and massive sounds. Their influences range from Nine Inch Nails and Deftones to Simon and Garfunk and Tori Amos. The backgrounds of the band’s five members are as diverse as their musical influences-they include an artist, a tennis champ, a rich kid, an outcast and an introvert. It’s up to you to find out who’s who.
"Humanity is slowly shutting down," says the band’s frontman Jesse Hasek, who points to the current rock scene as a prime example of this lack of community. "Music is supposed to be about intensity and feeling, but there’s no thinking behind the music that’s out there today. We want people to think, to feel emotions again. We’re always plugged in, or connected to something, part of the machine, but the more we plug in, the less human we become."
10 Years may call Knoxville, TN, their home, but they speak with a voice that is universal for music fans all over the world, the unquenchable thirst for artistic freedom and personal growth. The band has arrived just in time to counteract that cynicism, and to take heavy music to its next logical destination. With The Autumn Effect, 10 years has announced with conviction that the future has arrived. "Wasteland," the first single, has been #1 phones at Knoxville station WFNZ for almost four months, while their 14-track indie release, Killing All That Holds You, topped the sales charts at Disc Exchange in their hometown.
The band has crafted an album filled with not only heart and soul, but contradictions, questions and answers, created with a perfectionist’s ear and a craftsman’s hands. There’s a hidden meaning behind every musical corner, a seismic shift in scale from below, and an indirect glare from above. It’s not about the power of the music, it’s about the thrust, and 10 Years propel their sound with the precision command of a shuttle making its transition in and out of lingering orbits. They embrace their hard rock roots, then seamlessly stretch them, morphing into a progressive realm far beyond the scope of modern flash-in-the-pan comparisons.
Formed little more than three years ago, 10 Years has evolved from a wake of high school metal bands, to the more melodic, heavy fusion of The Autumn Effect. "Less is more," the band says of their sound, and nowhere is that more apparent than on "Wasteland." Swaggering with a warm embrace and reverberating girth, the track is universal in its simplicity, stripped down to a cerebral minimum as it resonates through the body and echoes through the brain. The title track swirls as an intrepid soundscape with an influx of modern aggression, an emotional juggernaut that builds from wallowing calms, to harrowing crashes, from a whisper to a scream, from sturm to angst and back again. Sledgehammer riffs propel the cosmic "Empires," while the sun-drenched "Prey" builds into a heavy metal gape, the perfect combination of breezy pacing and humid undertones. Melody marches through "Waking Up" and "The Recipe" is an exhilarating blitz of frenetic energy, while "Half-Life" kicks the ears in, each track exhibiting a new, distant depth of 10 Years’ gravitas ethos, melodic demeanor and rhythmic progressions.
"I write about the personal experiences of life, but I write about them ambiguously, so that everyone can relate," explains Hasek about his music. "If people can get a feeling from a song, then that song has accomplished its goal. The songs are about life’s ups and downs, the battles and rebuilding. Everyone deals with these things-we may not share the same problems, but we’ve all been through the same experiences. Each of these songs are like houses-we can all see the pictures of the house, but we don’t know what it’s really going to feel like until we walk through the inside."
Take a walk through that portal, and 10 Years’ music resonates with very specific themes. "Prey," for instance, was inspired by the band’s move to Los Angeles to record their debut album, and Hasek’s observation that people in L.A. drive cars worth more than some of the houses in their Tennessee hometown illustrates the band’s more universal approach to life that truly makes The Autumn Effect resonate as much lyrically, as it is musically. There’s a point of view about the hypocrisies of society and the world around them that distinguishes them from their peers, a cutting glance at the things that make us less than human... and at attempt to raise the bar by setting us on a divine path.
"Whether we’re talking about love, substance abuse, technology or whatever, all the songs are about life, and the emotions that we all go through," says Hasek. "Life is an organic process of growth and decay, and it is unavoidable in nature. We try to force shit with technology, and it makes us less human with every passing day. Our relationships aren’t even with people anymore, but computers. We need to learn how to be human again, and the songs on this album are about those emotions and experiences that make us that way."
As mind-boggling as The Autumn Effect is, the concert stage is where the band ultimately thrives. Over the course of the past year, 10 Years has opened for the likes of Velvet Revolver and Sevendust, more than holding their own, while making new fans all along the way.
10 Years offer more than just music and words, they deliver a mission statement... Just call The Autumn Effect the soundtrack to our new and improved lives, a signpost to a future where we’re more than just cogs in the machine, but vibrant beings that can touch the God within.