Ten Second Epic
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Ten Second Epic


Band Pop Rock


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"Ten Second Epic continue an epic year"

Friday, October 10, 2008
Edmonton's Ten Second Epic are touring Canada with another band of jokers, Hedley, through until November.

EDMONTON -- It was an epic year for Andrew Usenik.

He sang the national anthem at an Edmonton Oilers game. He finished his engineering degree at the University of Alberta. His band, Ten Second Epic, and their single, Count Yourself In, was nominated for a MuchMusic Video Award and a Canadian Radio Music Award.

Not the types to rest for more than 10 seconds, Usenik and his pals recently finished up their third album, Hometown, due out Jan. 27. They're now on tour with Hedley, and releasing a four-song teaser, The Virtual EP, through iTunes on Tuesday.

Judging by their first single, "Life Times," and their EP, the Edmonton band wasn't afraid to venture outside the city limits of explosive pop-rock.

"Life Times" is uncharacteristically soft and sweet, while the EP features two bold remixes of previous tunes -- a campfire redux of "Boys Will Be Boys" and a "space jazz odyssey" of "Suck It Up Princess."

Usenik took a few minutes to answer some questions about TSE's new songs, hair, and touring as the opening act for Hedley.

Q: "Life Times" is your softest song yet. What inspired the track?

A: I think we got a little too far into a comfort zone when we wrote (our last album) Count Yourself In, and that resulted in writing a lot of songs that were similar in speed and feel. This record, we really wanted to challenge ourselves by making a full album of songs that were all over the musical spectrum but still sounded like TSE. In the end, we have the fastest/slowest/softest/heaviest songs we have ever written, and everything in between. They all still sound like us, though, just a lot better! Life Times was written on an acoustic guitar, and when we turned it into a full-band track, we just like it come together naturally instead of forcing a certain "sound" on it.

Q: How'd you convince Sandy (MacKinnon) to play the guitar? (He's the band's bassist.)

A: Sandy played guitar on the "Boys Will Be Boys" remix. When we recorded Hometown, we made a rule that Sandy was not allowed to drink while he was tracking bass. He had a bottle of whiskey in the freezer with a note on it saying that it would be his reward for when he finished. Well, when it came time for him to record, he busted off 12 songs in one day and was drunk before midnight. (Producer) Garth Richardson and the entire team couldn't believe how perfect he nailed it. I guess motivation can make you do some amazing things. Based on all of this, we felt like Sandy owed us a little more work in the studio, so we made him play guitar on that one song. He resisted at first, but then we offered him a case of beer. . . . The resistance stopped pretty quick.

Q: Ten Second Epic is a band of practical jokers. Hedley also strikes me as a band of practical jokers. How are you surviving the tour?

A: You know, I don't really look at us as practical jokers. I think we just like to party a little too hard for our own good and that usually puts us in situations where we wake up the next day with a lot of stories to tell. So far, Hedley hasn't tried anything on us, though, because they know it's a long tour and we are the kind of guys who will strike back. A few weeks ago, we all went to the bar after a show and certain members woke up separated in different cities. That was a long day. Ha ha.

Q: Who has pulled the best prank so far? What was it?

A: None yet, but I would love to prank Hedley and switch our show payment cheques.

Q. When are you and (drummer) Pat Birtles going to start growing out your hair?

A: I think Sandy, Craig, and Daniel (Carriere) collectively have enough hair for the entire band. I haven't styled my hair in about six years, and keeping it short keeps the streak alive! Maybe when I can grow a beard I will reassess. Patrick has grown his hair out before, and after a certain point it just becomes an out-of-control blob. We aren't really good with the whole image part of being a band; we just look however we want and hope people like our music enough that they can stand our faces. - Canada.com


"Count Yourself In" Release Date: October 8th 2006
"Hometown" Release Date: Jan 27th 2009

"The Virtual Ep" Release Date: October 14th 2008

"Suck It Up Princess" ( Video - Medium Rotation on Much Music)
"Count Yourself In" (Video - Heavy rotation for 16 weeks on Much Music, nominated for a Much Music Video Award / Radio - nominated for a Canadian Radio Music Award, peaked at #39 on rock radio)
"Old Habits Die Hard" (Video - Heavy rotation on Much Music, peaked at #19 on the Much Music Countdown)
"Avenue Days" (Video - Medium rotation on Much Music)
"Life Times" (Radio - currently #60 at rock radio in Canada)



Describing any concept, art work or song as a ten second epic is an oxymoron, and makes one ask exactly what the hell a ten second epic is? Patrick Birtles, drummer for Canada’s TEN SECOND EPIC has a quick and straightforward answer, “You don’t need to wait years for something epic to happen in your life, you can make it happen in the next 10 seconds. You can start to make anything you want to happen right now”.
You can? Yes you can, as proven by a group of young guys from varying musical backgrounds coming together in their teens and starting their epic just like that.

The desire to play came very young to guitarist Craig Spelliscy and drummer Pat Birtles who were already making music together as early as grade 5. Fast forward several years and you’d find the two at different high schools but still great friends with an even greater desire to play. Craig brought in classmate and bassist Sandy MacKinnon to the fold who then introduced a pinch hitter in classically trained jazz guitarist Daniel Carriere. Finally, and somewhat surprisingly, the epic would round out and begin with a vocal addition in singer/music class dropout Andrew Usenik. As Andrew recalls, “I failed out of grade 7 music class because I was forced to play the bassoon... the bassoon! Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly where I saw my love of music going”. But with no love lost, if anything it pushed Andrew to search out his true musical roots, the boys came together and knew they had a dream to start.

After selling nearly 4,000 units of their independent disc One More for the Road, playing every single date of the Canadian leg of the 2005 Warped Tour, selling out 1800 capacity venues, and being voted “Best Band In Edmonton” by SEE Magazine, TEN SECOND EPIC were planning to head in to the studio last December when the fates conspired and their producer dropped out of the project. A blow to the band but a blessing in disguise as it prompted TSE’s management to send the disc to Canadian super producer GGGarth Richardson (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Mudvayne, Hedley) and while touring in Toronto early in 2006 they got a call that would change them forever, “GGGarth Richardson called and said he wanted to record with us and he needed us in the studio ASAP… like tomorrow “. The guys immediately jumped in the van, headed west, and ended up spending the next several weeks, save one week to play Taste Of Chaos, recording at GGGarth’s Farm Studios in Gibsons, British Columbia. When remembering TEN SECOND EPIC’s time at The Farm Usenik describes the mentorship the band received under GGGarth as pivotal in helping them realize themselves and their sound on the new record Count Yourself In, “GGGarth taught us so much. He taught us the difference between a song and a great song. He taught us that everything in the song has to matter, every single part has to have a reason for being, and nothing is filler”. Andrew mentions one of his favourite tracks on Count Yourself In being Old Habits Die Hard for just those reasons, “It’s such a dynamic song, the verse sets the tone and the chorus blows you up! Every part of the song has been built to intensify every other part. It’s like a perfect balance for me between chaos and control”. In fact, Usenik states that is the goal of Count Yourself In as a whole to achieve that fine balance between technical and simple, that tightrope of pure enjoyment and pure skill, “You don’t have to be experienced musicians to understand what we are trying to do… you just have to want to be involved”.

Now on the heels of the success of Count Yourself In, which has sold 14,000 copies in Canada, the band is gearing up to deliver another blow to the minds of its fans and the music industry with their follow up record entitled “Hometown”, due out January, 2009.