Photo by OlyKaz
I can’t recall how or when exactly I first heard this tremendous L.A. duo, it was recently though, that much I remember. Since then I’ve been fiendishly listening to their music and watching their videos. I do remember as I pressed play for the first time on their self-released debut EP Volume 1, I felt like I was curiously peering inside a dark barrel, unable to see the bottom and when the music started it felt as if something suddenly jumped up, grabbed me by the face and pulled me in at reptilian speed. The first song I heard called “Scene” is such a hook filled garage rock n’ roll monster of a tune and I was all in it, completely submerged and basking in all of its thundering glory!
Interview by J Castro
Let’s start out by telling me who’s currently in the band:
ADAM: It’s just the two of us. Adam Bones and Rikky Styxx.
How did you two meet and decide to play music together?
ADAM: Rikki and I started performing in my previous solo project band. We played in that band for about a year and when that just didn’t seem to be working out I asked if she’d start a new project with me. Just the two of us. Luckily she said yes!
What band or musician would you say has had the biggest influence on your life? Tell me a bit about the first time you heard him or her and how it made you feel:
ADAM: I think the biggest musical influence on this band is the Ramones. When I was first introduced to their music, I loved it, but wasn’t obsessed just yet. I was fortunate enough to have actually gotten to see them live as a kid and that changed my life. After that night, it was all Ramones all the time.
I was really surprised to hear The Two Tens have only been around a year and you have already released 4 EP’s and your sound, as odd as this may seem, sounds to me very confident, not a lot of shaky ground in your songs. Did you have this particular sound in mind for the band when you two started playing together?
ADAM: It’s because we kick ass, ha, ha. J We actually had a good idea on how we wanted things to sound from the start. Also, we’re both experienced enough to know how to make things sound good.
And speaking of your EP’s; from what I understand you recorded them all together with some pretty heavy hitters Bruce Duff producing, Paul Roessler engineering and Jim Diamond mixing. What was it like to work with all these guys?
ADAM: It’s great. They’re all really good at what they do. We’re pretty fortunate to have worked with them. I’ve known Duff for years. We’ve turned each other onto music for a long time. He understood what we were going for. Bruce brought us to Paul’s studio to record. Paul was a pleasure to work with. His easy going demeanor made the recording experience pretty great. And his musical input was very helpful as well. Jim brought it all together and made it sound exactly like how we wanted it to sound in the end.
Photo by Zb Images
Personally, I love music videos. I grew up on MTV and I feel there is something really powerful about coupling images with song. You’ve released a video for one of the songs from each of your EP’s. Even though MTV is no longer what it once was, do you feel music videos should still be a priority for rock n’ roll bands?
ADAM: Living in a content driven world, having videos is important. It’s too bad that there isn’t a good video platform for videos to thrive on television, like how MTV was. But people discover new music on YouTube all the time. So having videos is a good idea. Plus, nowadays, anyone can make a video with their iPhones, so it can be done easy and cheap. Also, making our vids were just a lot of fun.
Your band has received a lot of positive press, everything from the Los Angeles Times to The Huffington Post. One thing I’ve noticed is how a lot of people comment about how great you sound for being a two-piece band. Did you set out being a two piece band originally and do you feel more exposed playing live on stage with it only being you two up there?
ADAM: The one thing that people almost always say to us after seeing us perform is that we have a big sound for just two people. When I approached Rikki about starting the band, I wanted it to just be the two of us. Mostly because I just wanted to be in a band with someone that I liked hanging out with. The less band members the better. And it’s great be because we have the same work ethic, taste in music and humor. As far as the live show, we don’t feel more exposed. We both know how to command the stage.
Even though you recorded all the songs on your EP’s in the same session, Volume 4 for some reason to me seems darker. What sorts of things typically inspire you song lyrics? Are there any subjects you purposely try to stay away from?
ADAM: I get inspiration for lyrics mostly from life experiences and how I’m feeling about things. In this band I’m actually trying to not stray away from any subjects. I’ve limited myself in the past and I don’t want to do that anymore.
You recently did a tour of the Southwest U.S.. How do you feel it went and tell me about some of the highs and lows you experienced when you were out?
ADAM: We’ve done two tours now in the short time we’ve been a band. First was in March making our way to SXSW. More recently we went on the road with our friends, Turbulent Hearts, up to the Pacific Northwest and back. We’ve had a lot of fun on the road. Plenty of stories. We also learn a lot when we’re on the road. How to tour better next time around, we try to mix up our set lists, play some new songs and get them down.
Where can people go to listen to or get your music?
ADAM: We’re on iTunes, Spotify and anywhere else. We have a Bandcamp page as well (https://thetwotens.bandcamp.com/). Or just go to our website www.thetwotens.com.
What lies in the near future for The Two Tens?
ADAM: We have a lot of really great shows on the horizon. We just got added to Echo Park Rising, we’ll be playing Aug 15. Then we’re playing the Hi-Fi Rockfest in Long Beach with Dead Kennedys, Street Dogs, The Sonics, Naked Raygun and a bunch more bands. Then we’re opening for The Misfits on Nov 13 at the Glass House in Pomona.
Try to keep up with the Two Tens here:
We’re keeping busy!