Home Music Ten Second Epic make 10 years together look like child’s play

Ten Second Epic make 10 years together look like child’s play

by The Concordian November 26, 2011
Walking into La Sala Rossa on Nov. 23 to see Ten Second Epic, I had a mental image of what to expect, but even as a seasoned indie concert-goer, the show exceeded my expectations.
The Edmonton-based band is on tour promoting their third independent album Better Off, which was released Canada-wide on Sept. 20. They made sure to throw-back to every album, including songs “Old Habits Die Hard” and Much Music favourite “Every Day,” which features fellow Canadian singer Lights.
Ten Second Epic has been performing live for about ten years now and touring for about seven, but the bandmates go much further back than that.
“Me and Craig grew up together, so we started jamming together when I got my drums and he got his guitar,” explained drummer Patrick Birtles. “Then I started going to high school with Andrew [Usenik]. Him and I met, and he knew that I was playing music, and he said that he could sing. And then Craig [Spelliscy] went to high school with Sandy [MacKinnon], and sort of the same thing happened. And then Sandy and Dan [Carriere] grew up together. It’s all super organic.”
Their acoustics and comfort level on stage made their history obvious, and really showed how the guys have been following their passion together for a long time. Usenik often took a few steps backward, singing close to Birtles, and made a few jokes about Sandy MacKinnon’s ability to speak French and his “cultured” side.
Despite the amount of time they’ve been in the game, touring never gets old. “Every show is different,” explained Birtles, but he said that one of the highlights of touring for him was going to Japan, as a result of their second album being released internationally. “It felt like we were playing on a different planet. I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit of a sensory overload.”
The band’s success has also been marked with a 2010 Juno Award for New Group of the Year, and many MMVA nominations. They’ve even gained enough recognition to record their most recent album in legendary singer and songwriter Dave Genn’s Vancouver studio.
The band says they find inspiration for their songs through everyday experiences, and their performance at La Sala Rossa really drove it home. The intimate atmosphere sent some girls into hysteria and left the rest of the audience, comprised of both men and women, visibly satisfied.
“Five or 10 years down the road, I sort of expect to be doing similar to what we’re doing now,” said Birtles. “I don’t expect to change a whole lot in terms of what we do and how much fun we have. I definitely hope that in five or 10 years, it doesn’t feel like work. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Wearing an Edmonton Oilers cap, his hometown pride was clear and like a proud Canadian, Birtles said he’d love to tour with Our Lady Peace someday.
He and his bandmates are huge hockey fans, so naturally, I had to ask who his favourite new star was: Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle? “Eberle,” Birtles said, after some hesitation. “When I grew up playing hockey, I was never anywhere near as talented as him, but I kinda played a little bit more of his role. I was a bit more of a set-up man than a finisher.”
Ten Second Epic will return to Montreal in April 2012.

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