Introducing Ten Kens, a new addition the ever eclectic FatCat family. Cat On The Wall’s Jo Whitby caught up with band member Dan Workman for a quick chat about the upcoming new album ‘For Posterity’ and how they came to work with FatCat…
Cat On The Wall: For those of our readers who have yet to discover Ten Kens could you tell us a little about yourselves? How did you all meet? Is there a meaning behind the name ‘Ten Kens’?
Dan Workman: Well, the band was conceived in 2006 with a clear vision of what we wanted to accomplish. We simply wanted to catch the energy and spirit of 90’s alt rock, and throw it into a blender. The goal was simply to extract the songs that had been floating around in our heads, and make them our own. This all began as a labor of love and curiosity. We’re all from Toronto, and found each other in the most typical of ways…through friends, departures, auditions, and a shared musical affinity. As for the band name…I’m afraid that must remain a mystery.
COTW: Your forthcoming album ‘For Posterity’ is out at the end of the month, are you excited about the release? What was the creative process as a band when making the record?
DW: Couldn’t possibly be more excited. We worked hard on this one. Lots of trials and tribulations along the way. We lock ourselves away when we make a record. No outsiders, no distractions, no sunlight. It’s taxing, but effective. We all contribute creatively to each others parts. Every idea and every opinion matters. Again, it doesn’t do much to speed up the process, but it’s been a very effective method of creating.
COTW: How did you come to work with Fat Cat Records? Is having label representation important to you?
DW: We sent them a finished demo, they loved it, and signed us on. Just like that. I imagine this is what happens the least in this business, so we certainly feel fortunate to have found such a reputable label so quickly and so easily. Having label representation isn’t important to us, but having the right label representation is. It’s hard to get noticed in the ever-growing sea of indie bands. A good label can do a lot for a band’s exposure, as we’ve seen first hand. If they believe in what you’re doing, they’ll work hard for you. We couldn’t be happier with our home at Fat Cat.
COTW: The album artwork on ‘For Posterity’ is really great, who is the artist? Do you have much input into your visual output regarding promo materials such as artwork, photos and music videos?
DW: The artist is a friend from art college named Cameron Tomsett (www.tomsett.com). I was so taken with that particular piece the first time I saw it years ago. When it came time to develop the artwork for our album, Cameron’s piece just popped into my head and I made the call. The piece is titled ‘Half Asleep’ and extends throughout the entire length of the booklet. It looks fantastic and we couldn’t be more pleased with the way it came out. We are definitely a band that takes the lead on their visual output. We design almost everything ourselves and oversee every visual project. We’re artists, and the creative process doesn’t stop just with making music.
COTW: Is a tour of Europe in the pipeline (have you already toured Europe?)? What aspect of performing live do you enjoy the most?
DW: Tours are always in the pipeline. We’re discussing our future European plans, and hope to jump the pond at some point in the near future. We’re going to do things a bit different this time however, and tour extensively in Canada and the US before we head to the UK. We were fortunate enough to tour the UK with A Place To Bury Strangers during our last campaign. It was a successful tour and a fabulous time with an epic band. I’d have to say that connecting with the audience is probably what we cherish most about playing live. If you can dive into someone’s head and leave a mark, or dive into their body and make them shake, well, there’s nothing quite so satisfying.
COTW: What are you listening to right now?
DW: Currently listening to Tobacco’s Maniac Meat. Love it. Also listening to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s Before Today. Love it just as much.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
DW: Touring…and touring.