Fans of the alternative/modern rock band 10 Years, rejoice! The group is back and will be releasing their newest offering Feeding the Wolves on August 31st. The band has two singles that have been certified Gold and their song “Wasteland” reached Number 1 on the Alternative and Billboard Modern Rock charts. I recently chatted by phone with guitarist Brian Vodinh about the new record and band’s plans for the upcoming year.
Now that your brand new CD, Feeding the Wolves, is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Brian: We are extremely satisfied with the outcome of Feeding the Wolves. Creating this album was so inspired and simple. We went into the process with such a clear vision that it made it easy to make this record come to life.
What was the writing process like for Feeding the Wolves? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Brian: Writing for this album happened a few different ways. In the beginning of the process, we all just sit at home and start coming up with ideas. Our singer Jesse and I ended up taking a few trips out of town to get away from friends and family and work in solitude for a while. Finally, at the end of the writing process when we arrived in Los Angeles, our producer Howard Benson suggested we lean towards writing a few heavier, aggressive songs. We definitely found inspiration in this request and ended up writing a few songs at the last minute that made the album.
You worked with Howard Benson, a very well known well respected producer. How did you get in touch with him and what was it like working with him?
Brian: Our manager, Bill McGathy, has a history with Howard and that is how we made the connection. We had recorded a few demos that everyone in the 10 Years camp was really happy with, so Bill e-mailed Howard a couple songs of ours and did not tell him which band it was. He just simply wanted to get Howard’s initial, honest reaction on the songs without having any idea who the band was. Howard apparently loved the songs and said that he wanted to do the record! At that point he had no idea that it was 10 Years! It is pretty funny how that worked out.
Howard was great to work with. He inspired us to work harder than ever on our songwriting and his sometimes brutal honesty was refreshing. If Howard didn’t like a particular idea, he would tell us and we would go back to the drawing board with it. Also, Howard was a mad scientist with vocals! He was great at getting amazing performances out of our singer Jesse and helping create harmonies and things like that.
Give us some insight into the record Feeding the Wolves and the meaning behind its title.
Brian: The title comes from a lyric in the song “Shoot it Out.” That song is about how the music industry is totally based on hit songs, trends, and singles nowadays and a major lack of artist development. Record companies just want bands to shoot out singles, hence the title, “Shoot it Out.” Bands like us become reliant on the industry for our livelihood. When all of a sudden your musical hobby becomes your means of paying your mortgage payment and feeding your children, you unfortunately get caught up in the machine and have to face compromise and sacrifice. Feeding the Wolves is a metaphor for musicians having to feed the music industry machine. In order to gain success in this industry, everyone must get their back scratched a little. It’s an unfortunate truth.
What can fans expect when they pick up a copy of Feeding the Wolves?
Brian: Fans can expect a different sounding album from 10 Years. Our albums are just a snapshot of our inspiration and emotional status at a particular time, so each album is definitely going to be different than the last. We felt this time around that we needed to explore a heavier, more aggressive side, so that’s exactly what we did.
Feeding the Wolves seems a bit heavier and edgier to me than your previous material. Do you think about distinguishing the performances and sounds from release to release?
Brian: Yes. We are a band that is always trying to redefine who we are. 10 Years has a very consistent and solid root structure that we will always hang on to, but we feel that we are always growing as writers and musicians. Finding new ways to express ourselves has been fun and keeps this career interesting.
Are there any tracks on Feeding the Wolves that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Brian: I personally love “Shoot it Out” and “Fade Into (the ocean).” I feel that “Shoot it Out” is such a great song to represent the band in this moment in time. It captures an aggression that we have been wanting to express and also has a special energy to the song. The song “Fade Into (the ocean)” is another special song. It’s just an abstract musical piece that is something we have been wanting to do for a long time now. We didn’t consider the traditional aspects of songwriting while composing this song and that feels liberating and great.
What kind of touring plans do you have in support of Feeding the Wolves?
Brian: We are going to tour until people stop buying this album and stop coming to the shows! We are currently on the Carnival of Madness tour and will be touring with Sevendust in the Fall, so touring is going to be pretty relentless in the next year or so.
What’s been your most memorable of your long-lasting career as a member of 10 Years?
Brian: Honestly, when our first single ever, a song called “Wasteland,” went to number 1 on the rock charts, I think we were all a little shell-shocked. We wrote that song as an unsigned band and at that time we never in a million years thought that song would eventually turn into one of the most played rock songs on radio in 2006. Life is full of surprises and the music industry never seems to let us down in that department.
Any closing words?
Brian: We always want to thank our fans. We are still trying to win over new fans with every album and every performance, but we have the most amazing core set of fans that have been with us from the beginning and I cannot even explain how much that means to us.