Tenth Planet talks about their "Pieces" album, the Canadian music scene and much more.
From: Toronto, Canada
Sounds like: Hard Rock
1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound?
Brian: I had been thinking about buying a guitar for some time, and I read an interview with Noel Gallagher where he said that he had been playing guitar only three years before they started OASIS. That was all the incentive I needed….so in really strange irony (because I’m not a fan of theirs), OASIS are one of my most influential bands! But what put me over the edge in regards to the music I wanted to play and write, was when I heard the main riff from STP’s song “Still Remains” at a friend’s backyard party – From that second on I just knew that was the sort of music I wanted to learn and write. I bought the tablature book for that record, plus Alice in Chains’ Dirt, and essentially those were my musical bibles for the next three years – they taught me not only how to play guitar but also how to structure and arrange songs.
Nic – Music was always around in my house growing up, but it wasn’t till high school that I picked up a guitar and jamming in bands. Like most, we developed our sound by playing a lot….especially in the vein of influences from Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots…bands like that.
Glenn - I started playing in my public school symphony as a percussionist and was inspired to start my own band when we got to High School because the music program was terrible. I have been influence majorly by the likes of Zeppelin, Kyuss, QOTSA, and guys like Matt Cameron.(Soundgarden).
Thom - When I heard the GNR Lies album. That's what kickstarted my desire to be a part of a band. Later on, albums like Badmotorfinger, Jar of Flies, Grace and White Pony really inspired my aspirations.
2. Who thought of the name “Tenth Planet” and is there any meaning behind it?
Nic - Our original vocalist Martin Oullette had a list of names and this one just stuck…it happened very quickly…at the time there were officially 9 planets in our solar system, but that’s not the case anymore ;)
3. What do you want listeners to take away from your "Pieces" album?
Nic - We definitely made this album for us first. I think you hear our influences but we feel it’s relevant and diverse. It’s a true modern hard rock album. Lyrically, I think that people would connect with the current life themes that effect us every day.
Glenn - I just really want people to say that it’s a killer album. I want them to enjoy it start to finish. I personally don’t think there is any filler in there so I hope people can listen all the way through without skipping and come away with a new band they enjoy.
Thom - I'd like them to feel that they've found something new and true, and not that they just erased an hour of their lives, but invested it into something they'll grow attached to.
4. What can people expect from your live show?
Nic - I think people looking for powerful music and performance enjoy our shows. We love playing live and connecting with fans.
Glenn - When I go to a live show, I expect the band to sound like what they presented on the album. I think people can expect an energetic live rock act that won’t disappoint.
Thom - A good, honest performance. I think all of us are here for that connection you get with the audience when they're into what you're putting out there.
5. What's your favorite track to play live?
Nic – "Where’s My God?"
Brian – "Blades"
Thom - I've always enjoyed "Where's My God?". The riff, the rhythm and the lyrics for which are a metaphor for mental illness.
6. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?
Thom - Hah! Alive or dead? Metallica tops my list, Audioslave or Soundgarden.. any incarnation of AIC! And Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio.
Nic – Alice in Chains, Tool, and Metallica.
Glenn – If I could tour with anyone, first it would be QOTSA, then Alice in Chains, then Metallica.
7. Any crazy show stories?
Nic - I don’t know about crazy, but we were playing a show in Windsor, Ontario…3 songs in, Brian’s amp blows and we played the whole song just bass, drums and vocals while he struggled to get the amp going…it was a ballad so it seemed to take 10 minutes to get through, lol. Unfortunately, the amp was fried and we had to stop the show after 3 songs.
Brian - The same thing happened just outside Amsterdam back in 2007. We were doing an acoustic tour and the house PA blew up real good at one of the shows. We had to perform about 2/3 of the show with absolutely no sound other than our acoustic guitar and voice.
8. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?
Nic - Rock is still alive, but it’s not a very popular genre anymore unfortunately…you really have to dig for the good bands now, they aren’t thrown at you.
Brian - Thankfully, Spotify is great at doing daily mixes, or weekly playlists of new music based on what you listen to, so there is some great music out there, it just takes a bit of work to find it.
Glenn - Rock will always be there, I just wish there was more of a focus on it like there was in the 90's.
Thom - I think even though most forms of Rock Music have taken a real backseat to Pop/R&B and even Country music, it has been more underground now, which is kind of nice in a way.
9. What’s the current music scene like there in Canada both locally and country wide?
Nic - It’s a mixed bag. Lots of variety…I’d say Pop and Country Music is as big as it’s ever been, but that’s not just in Canada obviously. The rock bands are primarily on the lighter side.
Brian - Rock/Hard Rock tends to be more popular outside the big cities – in particular, Toronto. Go to a place like Hamilton, Ontario, which is very much working class, and it’s thriving.
10. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?
Nic - When I was younger, I didn’t think it was a big deal as we were/are all guilty of it. But being part of a band, there is a difficulty in trying to stay afloat. Not even speaking about making a living from it, but just band expenses. Everything costs money. I understand it’s hard for fans to hear “established” artists complain about the money they lose from illegal downloading, but some don’t realize how much it impacts the bands and artists that are doing everything themselves and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts just to make ends meet.
Brian - On the flipside, this is the way it is and it’s the same with way with most media nowadays, be it books, movies, or tv, it’s all essentially there for free.
Glenn - Music is all about live performance revenues at this point unless your Taylor Swift you’re not getting much back from what you spent on a album. When it comes to illegal downloading, let me put it this way....I’d much rather some poor person stealing my music that comes and pays for a show than somebody with money who steals it and doesn’t support the band.
Thom - That's a difficult question to answer. I don't do it myself, but I am a third party to it..which makes me guilty by association. However I will buy the entire album if there's at least 2 songs I like on it!
11. What’s next for Tenth Planet?
Nic – We will be using the balance of 2017 to support “Pieces” with shows in both North America and Europe.
Glenn - Shows and more shows, hopefully tour along some great acts and I personally can’t wait to get back in the studio.
Thom - We currently have enough material for 2 more albums so, as well as the shows we’ll be writing along the way. Would love to head back in the studio when time permits.
11. Any shoutouts?
Nic – We’d just like to thank everyone for all their support. Looking forward to seeing our fans at the shows!