10 Years is a fitting band name at the moment, considering the band has been on the mainstream scene for approximately a decade. During that time, the band has unleashed a number of hits to rock radio that has spawned a sizable and loyal fanbase, one sure to turn out in droves on Saturday at Woodlands Pavilion for the Bud Light Weenie Roast.
The annual summer fest features quite the bill this year. Along with 10 Years (who will hit the stage at 6:30 p.m.), the lineup features headliners Stone Temple Pilots (with Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington), Blue October, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, and Semi Precious Weapons. So, yeah, it's going to be a hell of a show.
Before the tour hits Houston, I caught up with 10 Years frontman Jesse Hasek to talk about building and sustaining a career in the music business, doing it his own way, and when we can expect new music from the band.
CH: You guys have been going for over a decade now. How has the music and industry changed during that time?
JH: It has certainly changed. It's mostly a case of just trial and error and learning what not to do. Age is knowledge ... Back in the day, you'd get with a group of people, write music and record it to represent your band as best you can. You'd submit it to labels and all that. But those days are over. TV and radio still have an impact, but with the Internet being what it is, for DIYers with that mentality, you can have success without involving the corporate side so much. The problem on the other side is if you want to be a big mega-star through the mainstream corporate business, those days are kinda gone. I don't think we'll see another Metallica; there isn't going to be another Michael Jackson.
CH: What can fans expect from the Bud Light Weenie Roast?
JH: Houston has always been one of the greatest cities to us over the years. The crowds have been there for us every time we go to Houston. From city to city it changes, but Houston shows up early and watches every band. When you're on this type of bill, it's a cool vibe from start to finish.
CH: The show is going to be headlined by STP and Chester from Linkin Park. It's an interesting pairing for sure, but it seems to work.
JH: I have to give a lot of respect to someone like Chester, who was once pigeonholed with the whole rap-rock thing. At that point, you can either try your hardest to get out of it or became a caricature of yourself. You can do the Adam Sandler thing and make the same thing over and over - no offense to Adam Sandler. But Chester has managed to break out of that ... He really surprised me with how well he pulls it off. He has the frontman presence. They're still playing STP songs, but Chester brings a whole different vibe. You feel like he's gotten comfortable instead of trying to be (former STP frontman) Scott Weiland. You can't try to mimic the other guy.
CH: When can we expect new music from 10 Years?
JH: This Houston show is the first show of the tour, so we've been at home for over a month in the studio, working on doing another record. We've stepped away from the major labels and brought it back to before we were signed. It's been really refreshing to get in the studio and shut the door and make music because you love making it. That's what's kept us around. We're always trying to make new music.
CH: What's the transition from major label to non-major been like?
JH: Well, our last major release was "Feeling the Wolves" ... That record was called "Feeding the Wolves" because this was the first time the labels wanted us to seek outside writers, go to the hitmakers, and make hits. We were sort of forced to do that, because it was the only way we could open up the budget to make a record. Our back was against the wall. Looking back, only 25% of the record - maybe 3-4 songs - were that way, but I hated the experience so badly. I told myself I would have to quit the industry before I do that again.
CH: It definitely seems like today's mainstream focus is on more pop-oriented music.
JH: Everything comes in waves and recycles itself. Right now, what's being sold on pop radio is the party. Everything is a dance party, very live in the moment. That's cool, and it appeals to the youth. But we grew up in the age of the hangover. Grunge killed hair metal, and hair metal was pop. Grunge was emotional; you had heroin addicts that were rockers, people wearing their emotions on their sleeves. That's what I grew up with. It was deep, honest emotion, instead of the party. But it will come around. Party music is cool, but it's not my thing.