Music

Epic ambitions

Edmonton’s Ten Second Epic want more than just 15 minutes of fame

The five guys in Edmonton’s Ten Second Epic are an inspiring example of
how much a little hard work, dedication and talent can accomplish. While many
bands have moved to bigger cities to seek their fame and fortune,
they’re living proof it can still be done right here. Since day one,
the bandmates have happily skipped out on work, school, friends and family to
rehearse and play while aggressively promoting themselves. “You never
get anything handed to you,” says bassist Sandy MacKinnon. “You
have to work your balls off to get something happening.” After selling
copies of their first two demos and a slew of shirts at their huge sold-out
show at Red’s to celebrate the release of Famous Last Words, Ten Second
Epic reinvested the cash in One More for the Road, their first release on
local label Farway Records. Recorded by engineer/co-producer Real Cardinal at
his home studio Nocturnal Productions, One More shows a rapidly maturing band
quickly coming into their own. “A lot of our songs pertain to growing
up and your response to growing up,” says lead singer and lyricist
Andrew Usenik. “Change, conflicts, everything you can think of. We
write what we know and what we know right now is that we’re in that
stage where life is changing.” Guitarist Craig Spelliscy says Cardinal,
who normally records electronic music, had a powerful influence on the
band’s pop-laden punk tunes. In fact, the relaxed atmosphere Cardinal
created—working out of a studio control room that doubles as his
bedroom—perfectly suited the band’s DIY ethic and helped them
make the most of the time they had. “It was nothing fancy,”
Spelliscy says, “but I think if you have the right know-how of your
gear and you have well-written songs, you can do wonders in the basement.
That’s kinda been proven in Edmonton. No one’s going to these
huge studios, everybody’s recording with friends or in basements and
it’s cool to see that.” The band—which is rounded out by
drummer Patrick Birtles and singer/guitarist Daniel Carriere (who will sit
the show and the tour out due to recent surgery on a fractured
finger)—are obviously excited to get the new disc in hand. But they see
it principally as a tool to attract people to the meat of the matter, their
live show. “It’s great we can make CDs,” Usenik says.
“It’s awesome to listen to our stuff recorded, but at the end of
the day we play music because we love to play live. It’s the best thing
in the world. There’s nothing that can replace the energy between you
and the people listening to you. No studio will ever be able to replicate
that energy.” The band promotes itself with the same tireless energy:
they blanket the city with posters every time they have a show to get the
local crowds out, while Usenik has harnessed the power of the Internet to
raise their profile nationally and internationally. Usenik’s campaign
to get the band’s demos posted throughout the web scene in North
America has especially paid off; not only did their songs receive thousands
of hits, but a talent scout for American management powerhouse OMG Universal
stumbled across them on a Chicago-based site as well, and helped make them
the first Canadian band on their roster. With their help Ten Second Epic are
about to embark on a two-month voyage throughout the States and Canada.
“The whole reason we’re going on this tour is because of
[OMG],” Usenik says. “I mean, if you’re a young band
without a release out yet, who’s gonna book you down in Texas? No one
even cares about you. There’s so many bands in this city right now with
so much talent, but because of how difficult it is to tour extensively, they
can’t tour. We’ve been given this amazing opportunity, so
obviously we’re gonna seize the day and take it.” V Ten Second
Epic CD release/tour kickoff With Ender, the Girls Club and the Pasty Whites
• Red’s • Sat, May 1 (all-ages)

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