Knoxville, Tennessee rockers 10 YEARS have released a new single, "The Shift". The track is taken from the band's upcoming album, which was recently recorded at West Valley Recording Studios in Woodland Hills, California with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson, who previously worked on 10 YEARS' 2010 effort, "Feeding The Wolves".
The gold-certified alternative hard rock trio — Jesse Hasek (vocals), Brian Vodinh (guitar [live] / drums, bass, backing vocals [recording]), and Matt Wantland (guitar / synth programming) — progresses as a unit once more. Embracing heightened vulnerability, elevated songcraft, and sonic adventurousness, the band continues to evolve forward.
Hasek shares: "We don't ever try to recreate what we've done in the past. We knew we had to challenge ourselves to see what we had in us. If it's not stressful, you're not challenging yourself to grow.
"From the beginning, music has always been therapy and an outlet. We let ourselves enjoy the process, be vulnerable, and talk about those emotions.
"We got back to why we love music with the maturity of where we're at in our lives. We were able to harness that love of creating from a wiser and more developed perspective.
"While in the studio last fall, we were looking at the state of the world as we wrote 'The Shift'.
"As a society, we're so distracted that we're not united. When the pandemic happened, it became so important to finally see the positivity of humanity. We've realized we're all in this together. You can pick a side, but we're sitting in the same realm."
Vodinh adds: "Lyrically, it's about the polarization of society and the human impact on the earth itself. We were thinking about how humans can be a virus to the earth. It reflects the state of divisiveness in the world. Everything is so political. Everyone is angry at each other. We're better when we come together."
Jesse concludes: "After all of this time, 10 YEARS is a brotherhood. I've spent the better half of my life accomplishing what I never thought was possible with these guys. It's been an unexplainable, crazy, and awesome journey since Brian first asked me to join the band on his 19th birthday. We've beat the odds and continue to live life.
"It bothers me when people don't try to push themselves to enjoy what life has to offer. Life is beautiful, if you really go for it and try. It can show you beauty — and that's what this band has shown me."
Vodinh spoke about the band's decision to re-team with Benson during an interview last month with Wes Styles of the Rock 96.7 (WIHN-FM) radio station. He said: "Howard, when we did that record ['Feeding The Wolves'] originally, there were a lot of things going on with the band and with our relationship with the label at that time that kind of made it a semi-unpleasant experience. But we kind of grew past all that stuff and then talked about who would be a good fit for the next record.
"Howard just had a way of helping us realize these songs in a way that we couldn't have done ourselves that I think really benefited the songs," he explained. "Every producer has such a different ear and such a different way they work with bands, but Howard really does a good job with Jesse [Hasek, 10 YEARS singer] on vocals too, so that was another main reason why it was, like, 'Okay, we've gotta try that.'
"This experience was certainly a challenge, because we showed up to Howard with 20 or more songs ready to go, and the first couple of days, he listened through to everything and cut probably 75 percent of what we showed up with," Brian said. "And then we found ourselves in L.A. living in an Airbnb with no record. And he was, like, 'Okay. Go back and start writing.' So we ended up writing half the record or more there with him, basically, because he pushed us that way. So, at first, we were shellshocked, and we were, like, 'We're screwed. We don't have a record. What are we gonna do?' And then somehow he magically pushed us in the right direction and we wrote amazing songs.
"I'm so proud of the new record, and I think, song-wise, it's some of the strongest stuff we've ever done. So I definitely have to give him credit for scaring the crap out of us. He pushed us all the way to the ledge but didn't quite kick us off, and then we were able to get back on our own."
As for a possible release date for the new 10 YEARS album, Brian said: "It is such a weird time that I think that from now, the album release date is going to be kind of to be determined at this point. I mean, who knows where we're gonna be five months now? And that was kind of the main thing when I was talking to the label about how we roll things out. We were all kind of, like, well, no one's ever had to A&R an album through a global pandemic, so we're not sure exactly the best way to do it. Typically, a lot of times, the album releases are based around touring and the exposure that we're gonna have directly with the fans from being out there. And you build a whole universe around the touring and the album release being married to one another. So now with the fact that we're not really able to get out and tour like that, it's forced us to look at this a different way."
Vodinh also talked about 10 YEARS' musical evolution, telling Styles: "I've been the primary writer since the beginning, and I've just been writing so much material over the past few years, whether it's for myself or for my other side project or for other artists. So I've just been so immersed in the world of writing that I feel like this album really reflects just an upward movement in songwriting quality. Between the little nuances that we added in these songs that give it atmosphere and emotion, those have always been there since the beginning with us, but this has more foundational power, I feel like, than probably any of the other albums. It's not that it's super heavy, but I feel like the songs are powerful and the tempos are aggressive. And not to get too guitar technical, but the whole album, this time, we wrote on baritone guitar, tuned down to B, which is something different for us, 'cause we've never really done that before, and it just makes the songs feel a little bit thicker and a little bit heavier."
10 YEARS' latest album, "(How To Live) As Ghosts", arrived in October 2017. The disc was helmed by Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (ALICE IN CHAINS, FOO FIGHTERS, DEFTONES, KORN, MASTODON).