Artist Interview: Ten Ton Man
Tell us about yourself and your music
In 2010 when my father fell ill and passed away, I realized that life is in fact short and my need to be fulfilled in life resurrected in my passion for music and songwriting. My creativity and songwriting became my grieving and the loss created Ten Ton Man . After solid reviews of Ten Ton Man’s first two recordings, we release “Permission to Sin” in early 2016.
Our sound is best described as a noirish, gritty NYC Americana sound. A world-weary baritone that’s garnered myself to comparisons of other dark storytellers, weaving whiskey-soaked tales of lust, loss and regret.
I always say if Humphrey Bogart had a rock band, Ten Ton Man would be it!
My songs are stories written about living life for a while. Experiences you have after you’ve spent some time on this planet.
Talk to us more about your latest release
In our latest release, “Permission to Sin”, Ten Ton Man is back spinning yarns of transgression. There are no regrets for this hitman of audio noir in A Bone To Pick, and no remorse in Crazy Theory. Permission To Sin resonates musically as a dark, thematic storytelling anthology wrapped in Berlin cabaret, smoked in blues and drenched in booze. Warning: you will get caught in this musical noose.
I couldn’t describe it any better than how “Songwriting Magazine” did. Sounds ominous but I am generally a pleasant guy!
What inspired you to write this release?
I was thinking about aging and why people change or why they can’t. The first song on the album “Crazy Theory” is about my vices and they aren’t going away anytime soon. And why should they. Like I said, I’m generally a pleasant person but I’ve had my dark moments and probably more to come. I’m not proud of them but they generate great fodder for songwriting. The last song on the album “Ashamed’ was inspired by what is happening in the world around us and how people in need are being ignored, reality TV being unreal, and feeling helpless to do anything about the travesties surrounding us. There are moments of pure entertainment with “Bone to PIck” about a hit-man hired to take down his friend. That song really developed from the music I was writing. It had a nostalgic sound that created imagery for me of the old G-men and celebrity bank robbers.
Any plans to hit the road?
We had to take a bit of a break. Unfortunately our drummer past away in the late spring of 2016. I’ve taken the time to take a bit of a break and work on a new material. “Dangerous Women & A Desperate Man” is slated to be released sometime in late spring of this year. I just started booking shows to promote the new music and we are playing February 9th at Garcia’s at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester. More to come soon.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
That’s a good question. I think we are an amalgamation of a lot of styles and that relates to a lot of people’s musical tastes. But its how we do it that sets us apart. People will usually tell us that they are listening to a soundtrack and the music becomes very visual. I think its how we deliver the story in the song. I haven’t heard anyone else describe their music as “film noir” but that’s how we are described by others.
On stage I play a big hollowbody guitar and strut with a derby. That’s kind of my trademark. I feel naked without it. I created this alternative persona without really trying. Now its a statement.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I listen to a lot of different music. Most recently I’ve been enjoying Theo and the Get Down Stay Down and Courtney Barnett. Unique sounds and approach to songs. Give them a listen. I am also interested in St. Vincent and her unique songwriting and her guitar style.
Tell us about your passions
Coffee, no really I am a coffee hound and I have to time my morning cold brew every day so it brews for 18 hours for the perfect glass of iced coffee. Besides that I am an avid cyclist and raced and traveled around the states. I’m such a gearhead whether is bike gear or music gear. I think the bicycle is such an elegant machine and to show my appreciation for the bicycle I feel I need to have the chops to back up my love for the experience. Most of my free time is spent on a bike.
What else is happening next in your world?
Right now I am stepping back and re-evaluating the body of work I’ve created. How can I keep it fresh and of course fun? What drives my music? There is a lot going on in the world around us and music is a great way to express our feelings,bring people together for a common cause. I would like to take a stand and have music be the medium for that.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Paul!