The ED Pub spoke with Matt Wantland, guitarist for the Knoxville-based alternative metal band 10 Years, to get some insight on the band’s eighth studio album “(How to Live) as Ghosts.” Their track “Burnout” is being promoted to strip club DJs and is available for FREE download via StripJointsMusic.com!
THE ED PUB: “(How to Live) as Ghosts” is your seventh studio album in a two-decade career. Where does this album rank within your work, as far as the how it relates to your last album (“From Birth to Burial”) and the rest of your catalog?
WANTLAND: This new album was a return to form because I had been out of the band for almost nine years. I started touring again with the band in 2016 and we ended up getting Brian (Vodinh, guitar) to come back later on in 2016, and me and Jesse (Hasek, lead vocals) and Brian were the original writers, so we’ve pretty much come full circle. Jesse thought “From Birth To Burial” was going to be the last album because we were all gone and it was hard for him. It was still 10 Years but not quite the same, so this new album is a return to form.
THE ED PUB: Can you talk about the specific track “Burnout”; reading the lyrics, it seems like the song could be about religion, fame or both. Who are the song’s writers, and what is it about from your perspective?
WANTLAND: Jesse and Brian and I and a guy that was with us for a while, Chad Huff, wrote that song, I wanna say probably around November of last year, and it’s about someone who has everything they ever wanted in the palm of their hand and still isn’t happy. It’s honestly about our old guitar player Ryan Tater Johnson because he was very hard to deal with and he caused our band circle to be very unhealthy and unhappy for a lot of people, so it’s basically about us having to let him go because he wasn’t working with anybody.
THE ED PUB: It is obvious that the music industry has changed dramatically from the time when 10 Years formed to today, over 15 years later. As a band who has seen all the ebbs and flows of the internet and how it has affected the music industry, what role do you think the internet (social media, streaming, etc) plays in your careers today? Is it more of a positive role today than, let’s say, a decade ago?
WANTLAND: It’s a double-edged sword because it’s really nice to be able to immediately reach fans with something that you want them to have, but it’s also very easy to get lost in the shuffle because everybody, even people who probably have no business doing, this are doing it, so I think it’s weird because you can’t sell records anymore. I like to be able to immediately reach people, so if we have an idea we can immediately just jump on it instead of having to wait the whole turnaround that a label would have back in the day. It was a lot of time and money, and now we can kinda skip some of that. But it’s harder to make a living, I can say that much. At this point we own our own bus, we just switch turns driving it. I own a merch company so I do all the merchandise for all the online stores, we just cut out all that fat. When we were young and doing this in 2005, we didn’t think about all dollars and cents and where they were going and now we’re just … you know, everything we can cut back on and keep us alive, we just do ourselves which is a lot more satisfying in the long run, too, because when you let too many people get their hands in the cookie jar, you start losing control of your own machine.
THE ED PUB: StripJointsMusic services music to over 2,500 gentlemen’s clubs in the U.S., so do you guys have any good gentlemen’s club stories?
WANTLAND: We used to get into a lot of trouble, we used to go be in strip clubs quite a bit in the earlier days and it doesn’t happen much now because most everyone’s got wives and kids and we’re just tired when we get done. But there’s one place called The Lumberyard that’s up near Des Moines, Iowa. They always let us in there and just kinda run amuck. We’ve been to (the late) Vinnie Paul’s club The Clubhouse in Dallas a few times, and you get treated nicely down there. At some point on the Family Values tour in ’06, it was us and Korn and The Deftones and Stone Sour, all on the same tour, and they just pulled the damn buses right up to the strip club. There were some bottles and they roped it off and pretty much just let us take over. We’ve definitely had our share of fun in strip clubs!
THE ED PUB: Can you remember the first time you walked into a strip club and heard them playing one of your songs and how you felt when you saw a dancer up there on the pole dancing to it?
WANTLAND: Honestly it was one of those things where it was a little embarrassing because I was probably 25 years old and it was our song “Wasteland.” It was a hometown strip club, and we walked in and I guess the DJs knew us and started just playing it, and of course all the friends that were with us, not all of them were in the band, they had to tell all the girls in there that that was our band. So then they just start giving us over-attention and it was like, I don’t like to be the guy that’s like “Oh yeah, that’s me.” But it’s always interesting to hear your song anywhere. I think if you ever get over that feeling, you are losing touch with why you do this kind of thing.