I had the pleasure of interviewing Dann from Ten, to talk about the band, the music world and the new album Gothica:
- What inspired the name of the band, and what are your influences?
When the original members were coming up with names they were all given a piece of paper and wrote some ideas down. The name Ten was written down by 2 different members so that became the name. My early influences were Rush, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Ozzy and Judas Priest. More recent ones were Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater, Journey, Vinnie Moore.
- Could you talk through the process of recording Gothica? Which tracks should listeners watch out for?
The process was the same as the last two. Gary gets to the stage where he has the songs and I usually have them for about 2 weeks, listening to them a lot, when I’m in the car or just at home. I always like to sing what the solo should be when I’m listening at first and don’t have the guitar with me. Then during the next 2 weeks I’ll put some ideas down. Although for the final takes I record them with Gary so he can listen back and we can make any little changes. The Grail is probably the heaviest song on the CD and Travellers uses some different sounds for Ten. Welcome To The Freak Show is also different. I think the album as a whole has a different sound from the others, which isn’t easy due to the amount of albums Gary has made.
- How has the band’s approach to writing and recording songs changed over the years?
Its been the same for the 3 albums I’ve been on by each member being able to record parts at home after Gary has sent out the demo. In the earlier days it would have been like most bands, recording the entire tracks in the studio.
- Do you think the music industry has changed since you started?
Although I’ve been playing for a long time I’ve only been involved in 3 CDs and with Ten for just over 3 years, so I’ve got into the current state quite late and not got a great deal of experience yet. One way it has changed is that it’s easier to get your music recorded and out there. When I first started that wasn’t so easy and it was very expensive to record in a top studio to get a really good demo. With the internet now, the contacts, the advertising and the way to promote your band is so different from when I started.
- Is there a place you particularly like playing live, or a song you love playing live?
I don’t have a particular favourite place or song really. I just enjoy the challenge of playing well at gigs, which can be tough. The Ten set has lots of different style songs which is good. Trying to play the songs/solos like the original is always a tough task.
- What plans do you have for the future?
I plan to stay with Ten as long the band continues and make more albums. I also hope to improve as a player. I would also like to record some of my original songs eventually. I’m in the process of building a new space for my recording set up that should make all of my plans a lot easier.