10 Years Talk "Minus the Machine"
Fri, 26 Oct 2012 10:56:41
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With Minus The Machine, 10 Years continue to transfix.
The group's latest album is an undeniably hypnotic and heavy collection that highlights just how transcendent they can be. Minus the Machine elegantly balances musical moments of darkness and safety, making for a ride that begs to be taken over and over again.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, 10 Years vocalist Jesse Hasek opens up about Minus the Machine and so much more…
Did you approach Minus the Machine with one vision or vibe in mind?
Our initial vision was to create music with no boundaries. We wanted to make something we really enjoyed and felt was artistic and let it evolve into its own thing. We took it one song at a time. There are a couple of places like "Forever Fields (Sowing Season)" into "Backlash", where "Forever Fields" was originally an interlude and it evolved into a prequel to "Backlash". There are songs that turned into a two-part series. We had to decide how we wanted the tracklisting to unfold and end.
Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?
I don't try so hard purposefully. Way before I was into music, I grew up sculpting, painting, and doing art. In elementary school, my dad taught me the anatomy of arms and how to draw. From a very young age, I looked at things from an artistic angle more so than a product or something you're trying to sell. The easiest way for me to write is to write overly descriptive about the thing I'm talking about without ever telling you what it is. You paint the picture yourself. I enjoy constructing it that way.
What's the story behind "...And All the Other Colors"?
After we left the whole umbrella of mainstream, we originally weren't planning to record the whole album ourselves. As we went on, in the demo process, we put a nice studio downstairs at Brian's. It allowed us to create music at all times. Since it was in his house, he was the maestro. He couldn't stop or keep his hands off it. He was working on this piece of music. It was the verse for "...And All the Other Colors". He said, "What do you think of this?" He had the beginning of this ethereal, vibe-y song. We wanted it to kick into this old school sludge rock like Clutch. When that riff came through on the chorus, the song really unfolded. Lyrically, I wanted to go really cerebral and out-there to make a mystery so people could turn it into whatever they wanted. A little bit of insight, I love documentaries on any and everything. They intrigue me way more than reality television and other things. I watched this one documentary called DMT – The Spirit Molecule. DMY pretty much a hallucinogenic drug that is one molecule off from Tryptophan— which is found in turkey. It's found in all living things too. It's supposed to be an out-of-body experience to see the next plain of existence. The movie essentially entertains the notion that there's more to life than this physical realm.
What else influences your lyrics?
I'm all over the place. What's going on society definitely has an effect. There's a song on there called "Soma", and it's our infatuation with "The End". It's been in religion forever. We wonder when the end is coming, and we're chasing the apocalypse or the rapture. It makes great movies and television, but we live in a self-destructive manner. We don't want to be held accountable for anything, be extreme consumers, and not think about the next generation that has to grow up in this place. "Battle Lust" is about being an emotional masochist. Everyone knows couples who fight all the time. It seems like what they do best.
If Minus the Machine were a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
That's difficult. I like something that provokes thought. I'm not into the whole idea of "fast food" movies. Memento is a great one. You're trying to figure out what the hell is going on the whole time. I haven't thought about our album in those terms. In the past, I've been inspired by movies to write songs. We have a song called "So Long, Goodbye" from Division, and that was totally written on the idea of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. For this album, Vanilla Sky could be a good one. You question what's going on. Reality might not be what it seems. That movie is very underrated. I think it's incredible. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is another one that got me. It gave me the feeling that life is a short thing so don't get too pigeonholed in a safety net. Be willing to live life to the fullest. The message was really cool. Benjamin Button keeps changing because he has to. It's something humans are scared to do. We get comfortable. We live a routine that's monotonous and mundane. We don't really challenge ourselves to step out of our safety cushion. We need to.
What's your favorite 10 Years song?