ten things i hate about you - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview ten things i hate about you. We discussed how they formed the band, the writing and recording process for their new album, their favorite gear, the easiest song they wrote and the one that was the most challenging to finish, favorite lyrical and musical moments on the album, and more. Check it out below. 

Can you tell me how you formed the band for those who may be unfamiliar? How did you initially become interested in music?

Erik Oseto: It was like leftovers of. Soon, right?

Seth Hover: Well, like, Earl Grey songs. And then, like, members of Soon. Oh! I remember, so we were in Soon and then we kind of went on a hiatus when COVID hit, but you and I didn't want to stop playing music, so we were going to start another hardcore band.

EO: Mm hmm.

SH: And then I think you were just "hey I have some other stuff, too. You want to check this out?" and it was like old Earl Gray stuff.

SH: And we were both just like -- I think I needed that more at that point that another hardcore band

EO: I think it was like things that I've just been compiling for so long. Also, it was just like, I need to just get it out.

SH: Yeah. And then Will joined in to play second guitar. And then the first EP that we wrote, I recorded the bass on and then we had Erick come in.

Erick Melanson: How long after you did that recording did I come in?

SH: A couple of months, maybe.

You recently released your new album. Can you tell me about the writing and recording process?

SH: [The full-length] was the first time we went into a studio to record. Because we do a lot of work on our own, so it was nice to record with Ed because he is into this kind of music and had like good suggestions. Like, he kind of did a little bit of production as well as just recording and engineering.

EM: Nice. And the writing process is pretty much like somebody coming in with a skeleton of a song. Like pretty fledged out too. I feel like whenever somebody is coming in with a song, it's basically we just play it and come up with our own parts around what's been written already. Like, the structure is pretty much there. It's just like small nuances or everybody's kind of adding their own flavor.

SH: Oh, yeah. I think like we have branched out from that a couple of times. I feel like with I like Red is a good example, but there's no like really recorded version where we've done that. It's another one.

EO: I feel like it's sometimes like you send us a recording and then we jam it out and you're like, Oh, but I want to change the drums, you know, like something like that.

SH: I think you guys are right, though. It's like the structure of the song is pretty much there. And then we just kind of work out what we find we want to actually make it sound good.

EM: And smooth out, like, interacting together musically.

SH: We didn't set out to write a full length album. Like almost half the songs were songs we had already released as demos. And then we continued to write those songs kind of here and there. But then they ended up coming together and we were able to put them into an album, I guess the flow ended up working out.

EO: Right.

SH: So we got lucky that was not intentional.

EM: Very cohesive for an unintentional album.

Can you tell us more about how you got the sound for the album and more about the gear you used? 

WA: We used a Sunn amp on the album for the bass and the lead guitars. I know the Costco lead was on the Sunn amp for sure.

SH: I do remember that I did set up one cymbal that I only used for the little right hits in a Hallmark like, halfway through the verses. I only use the ride cymbal for those two hits in that one song.

EM: You don't just ride it every? Use it as like, a crash kind of thing?

SH: I usually just use my regular ride as a crash, but I had that one was my old one with the giant bell, but it was super broken from the maui trip so the bell still sounded good, but crashing or riding on it did not sound good.

WA: So the fuzz factory, that's one of the main ones for me. And my fuzz clone alllllll the way up.

EM: I feel like I used a lot of fuzz, too. I feel like I was doing a lot of gain staging for playing bass, honestly. Like, I was doing a lot on those recordings, specifically -- that I think I kind of stopped doing eventually. But I was playing my DOD Bifet clean boost and [Moor] Green Mile Overdrive, and my Big Muff and just kind of (clicking noises) as parts got louder, I was engaging all those, but pretty dirty bass, think.

WA: Yeah, for that rolling fuzz in the song that like, it comes in super thick? What song is that?

EM: The grey one?

WA: Oh, yeah, that's it. I use the Wooly Mammoth. That's typically used for bass guitar, but I use that for that. And that's what I so thick.

EO: I use a tube screamer.

WA: Tube screamer? I barely.

EM: And your Ibanez Les Paul thing.

EO: So the Ibanez lawsuit era Les Paul, whatever.

WA: The noodle letters.

EO: What were you using Will? The Gibson?

SH: All American II? I know. I did the lead on Costco with that guitar.

WA: Yeah. Then I think that's when we busted it out. But before that, I was using my Gibson SG

EM: I think I've seen a photo of that. I think that was a session before I was there.

WA: Or was it the Epiphone ET-270?

EM: Oh, here's a photo of you with two of those guitars you just mentioned.

WA: It was probably the Epiphone ET-270.

EM: Cool I played the Aerodyne P Pass and on a later session the Bronco which perhaps by that time you might have already modified to have the Seymour Duncan] Hot Rail in it with the push/pull pot. But I don't think I played my Guild X-702 at all on the recordings, but I really like how that sounds for all that stuff.

Have you been pleased with the response you’ve received so far? How is it for you now that it’s out?

EM: Very pleased.

EO: Surprised.

SH: Yeah it's cool. It's really nice to put out an album during COVID, with nobody ever having seen the band before and have as many people as there have been, like, excited about it.

EM: Yeah, for only ever having like a handful of songs out before the album, which the album also came out after the show we played a few months ago. It was really tight to have people for the whole course of the band so far, like be kind of aware of it and excited to hear new things and come out to a show and you know, be stoked. Even though they only could have known like two or three songs pretty neat.

What was the easiest song to write on the album and on the opposite end which one was the most difficult to write?

SH: I don't say this in a bad way, but I don't think that we really like were trying to challenge ourselves, technically a lot in this band, it was more about just like writing songs. I felt good to play and hopefully to listen to.

EO: I think Alone was the hardest, lyrically, to write for me. Like all the other ones just kind of came out real easy compared to Alone.

SH: I kind of feel like with Alone too, we experimented a lot more with some like pop punk dynamic shifts, like there's that buildup thing and like that. mid-point bridge, that's kind of like the intro to the song.

EO: The intro is fun. Yeah. I feel like that was a little more like we changed that one quite a bit.

EM: That one does feel kind of involved where also then we were playing that other song - the Alice DJ song Better Off Alone, where we incorporated that cover as a bridge at one point. We were thinking with that one for sure.

EO: Yeah, we were like having fun with it.

EM: I think otherwise for me, the most challenging part that I wrote was not even really technically difficult, but just to come up with that one part in Chamberlin Field, the little turnaround there. Because I was just having a tough time timing it out and like figuring out what the chords were when I was trying to learn it and then how to remember where they change and how to make that sound cool. That was the only part that I like sat down and, you know, really worked on. Everything else I feel like kind of just happened. I just watch the chords you guys are playing and riff around from there.

SH: I feel like there are probably a good half of our songs where I play pretty similar drum patterns. But like another half of the songs, like Giant Camera. I change it up more than a lot of other songs, in Hallmark, the verses are like a drum riff, basically.

EM: I really like to play those parts of the verses in Hallmark.

SH: I like how the bass and drums work together on that song.

EM: That's what I go hang out with you.

SH: Yeah, but I guess maybe none of the songs were easier or harder to write from a musical standpoint. Like of all of us getting together and putting the songs together, some songs we just maybe spent a little more time on developing them or trying to give them a little more than just being like another pop punk song.

Do you have a favorite lyrical or musical moment from the album?

WA: The part where we're all singing "singing alone." I like that part.

EM: That's good. Very clever.

SH: I think like all of the cool little turnarounds and like things we did to branch out of just being like a straightforward pop punk song like Alone. I think that whole song is just like really fun to play. It's more dynamic than some of the other songs.

EO: One of the first times we wrote -- Giant Camera --I felt like that random part where it's (sings guitar part from second verse) I like that.

SH: That too.

EM: I like that part a lot.

EO: eah, me too. And it was just like totally random. And we never did it ever again

EM: It just happens once. I like that stuff when it. Yeah, just like where it happens once and it's like an interesting little thing. I like the part in the first song where Will's fuzz, the wooly mammoth fuzz part comes in.

SH: Don't forget the glockenspiel on that one.

EM: Oh, yeah, the glockenspiel when I that was so sick to, like, hear the recordings because I don't think that stuff was there when I was recording bass because I know that you kind of went and hung out with Ed and like rerecorded some parts or something. And then so when he gave us the mixes, like months later was the first time that I heard that and just a bunch of little things like that, like swirly feedback kind of stuff and like the glockenspiel and stuff like that.

SH: Yeah. It was just sitting next to the drum kit, like on Ed's synth shelf. And I was like, Ooh, what's this? Can I play this? And then I started figuring out the little main notes of the guitar riff.

EM: That's so cool.

WA: That's cool as heck.

EO: It's funny because I thought when we were when you're playing it, I didn't think we were really recording it.

SH: I was like a few beers deep at that point. I don't remember if we, like, discussed recording it or if Ed just like started recording while I was playing it.

You released cassettes for the new album and they’ve been available at shows. Will they be available online as well? Is there any chance that you’re working on a vinyl pressing?

EM: We're selling the tapes via DMs on our band's Instagram page (@tenthingsHNL) until we run out of the first round and then we'll consider a second round that we would set up like on Bandcamp for sale. And we have a vinyl release in the works with a small label out of Texas that we're super stoked about!

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks for taking the time to interview us! We appreciate all the kind words and feedback that people have given us; it's been a pleasant surprise. Stoked to see what the future brings for this project.

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