Fri, Dec 2
Doors: 6:00 pmShow: 7:00 pm
10 Years – Knoxville, TN
Growth transpires over a lifetime. The process never stops. Rather, it ramps up as time passes. 10 Years accelerate this cycle on their ninth full-length album, Violent Allies [Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group]. The gold-certified Knoxville, TN alternative hard rock trio—Jesse Hasek [vocals], Brian Vodinh [guitar (live) /drums, bass, backing vocals (recording), and Matt Wantland [guitar / synth programming]—progress as a unit once more. Embracing heightened vulnerability, elevated songcraft, and sonic adventurousness, they convert the push-and-pull of their collective creativity into a cohesive, clear, and cathartic body of work.
“We don’t ever try to recreate what we’ve done in the past,” explains Jesse. “We knew we had to challenge ourselves to see what we had in us. If it’s not stressful, you’re not challenging yourself to grow. From the beginning, music has always been therapy and an outlet. We let ourselves enjoy the process, be vulnerable, and talk about those emotions. We got back to why we love music with the maturity of where we’re at in our lives. We were able to harness that love of creating from a wiser and more developed perspective.”
“We were hard on ourselves,” admits Brian. “It was more intense than during records past, but it was worth it. The outcome was exactly what we wanted it to be.”
For nearly two decades, 10 Years have quietly pushed themselves and modern rock towards evolution. Building a formidable catalog, the group’s gold-selling 2005 breakthrough The Autumn Effect yielded the hit “Wasteland,” which went gold, infiltrated the Billboard Hot 100, and clinched #1 at Active Rock Radio and #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart. They landed three Top 30 entries on the Billboard Top 200 with Division , Feeding the Wolves , and Minus the Machine . Most recently, 2017’s (How to Live) As Ghosts marked a reunion between Jesse, Brian, and Matt and achieved marked success. Not only did the album bow in the Top 5 of the US Top Hard Rock Albums Chart, but it also yielded the hit “Novacaine.” The single ascended to the Top 5 of the Billboard US Mainstream Rock Songs Chart and tallied 16 million Spotify streams, alongside 29 million streams across all dsp’s. The cumulative total for all track streams from repertoire on How To Live (As Ghosts) exceeds 51 million plays. Along the way, they sold out countless headline shows and toured with everyone from Korn, Deftones, and Stone Sour to Chris Cornell and Linkin Park. During 2019, these three musicians headed to Los Angeles, rented an Airbnb in Woodland Hills, and spent five weeks recording with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer and Feeding the Wolves collaborator Howard Benson [My Chemical Romance, Halestorm, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace].
When talking to the band members they share, “Time spent in the studio or simply collaborating on our vision was a catalyst in reaching creative clarity like we’ve never had before. It reminded all three of us that this bond created over the last two decades is best served when individual voices becomes collective vision. It was fun, because we were back to being brothers. No matter how frustrated we might get, once we looked out at it, the energy was unexplainable. Our mission was to really connect with the songs, break them down, and build them back up.” Brian adds, “The younger versions of us would’ve been going to Hollywood every night and partying. It was different. We actually came up with a lot of ideas, melody tweaks, and had really good brainstorming sessions in the car on the PCH. The whole vibe contributed to what the record is.
All we cared about was writing and recording the best songs we possibly could. We felt like we had something to prove, especially to our A&R guy and the President of North America for Mascot Ron Burman.”
They prove it on cuts like the first single “The Shift.” Melodic guitars slide across a caustic beat before a rush of distortion ignites the refrain, “We are a violent virus, without a remedy.” “Lyrically, it’s about the polarization of society and the human impact on the earth itself,” states Brian. “We were thinking about how humans can be a virus to the Earth.”
“While in the studio last fall, we were looking at the state of the world as we wrote ‘The Shift’,” Jesse reveals. “As a society, we’re so distracted that we’re not united. When the pandemic happened, it became so important to finally see the positivity of humanity. We’ve realized we’re all in this together. You can pick a side, but we’re sitting in the same realm.” Airy keys echo through “The Unknown.” It builds towards a sweeping celestial chorus. “We’re in a wide-open world we’ve created, but we have to step back and look at where we are and adapt,” continues Jesse. “We’re all in the unknown right now.”
A clean riff snakes past the verses of “Without You” before a hypnotic hook unfurls. The instrumental “Planets” interludes thread the album together with soft piano and acoustic as a counterpoint to the explosive energy of “Cut The Cord” and “Start Again.” There is a broad, dynamic range of repertoire on the new album as exhibited by the lead single “The Unknown”’ and its opening with ominous yet hopeful piano notes alongside Jesse’s lamenting uncertain times in the vocals, to the heavy drums and distorted guitars on “Déjà vu.” Everything culminates on “Say Goodbye.” The conclusion’s cinematic soundscape and poignant lyrics bid farewell to Jesse’s late grandfather and emphasize “the band at our most vulnerable,” according to the frontman.
Meanwhile, the title speaks to an overarching theme. “We came back to this quote, ‘There’s a strange power in the joining of unlike things’,” remembers Brian. “There is something incredibly special about how we create. Violent Allies is the perfect way to summarize it. We go through hell facing all challenges head-on, but the final product is worth it. Simultaneously, it reflects the state of divisiveness in The World. Everything is so political. Everyone is angry at each other. We’re better when we come together though.”
In the end, 10 Years keep growing as Violent Allies. “This record wasn’t just another record,” Brian leaves off. “It’s the result of working hard to improve on all levels. There’s a lot to dig into. It’s a graduated state for the band.”
“After all of this time, 10 Years is a brotherhood,” Jesse concludes. “I’ve spent the better half of my life accomplishing what I never thought was possible with these guys. It’s been an unexplainable, crazy, and awesome journey since Brian first asked me to join the band on his 19th birthday. We’ve beat the odds and continue to live life. It bothers me when people don’t try to push themselves to enjoy what life has to offer. Life is beautiful, if you really go for it and try. It can show you beauty—and that’s what this band has shown me.”
One of the most crowd-thrilling bands to burst onto the national scene in recent years, Giovannie and The Hired Guns have pushed the boundaries of rock-and-roll and country to forge an irresistibly gritty sound all their own. After building a massive grassroots following on the strength of their explosive live show, the Stephenville, Texas-based five-piece ascended to new heights with their smash hit “Ramon Ayala”—a 2021 release that climbed to #1 on the Active Rock Radio Chart and the Alternative Radio Chart, marking the first time in over 15 years that an artist’s first career-charting radio single reached the top spot on both tallies. Fueled by the enormous success they’ve achieved as an entirely independent act, Giovannie and The Hired Guns have now signed to Warner Music Nashville just in time for the release of their third full-length, Tejano Punk Boyz: an immediately vital body of work cementing their status as an essential new force in redefining the possibilities of Texas music.
The start of a bold new era for Giovannie and The Hired Guns—vocalist Giovannie Yanez, guitarists Carlos Villa and Jerrod Flusche, bassist Alex Trejo, and drummer Milton Toles—Tejano Punk Boyz expands on the wildly catchy brand of guitar-heavy alt-rock they first honed back when Yanez was working the counter at a local pawnshop. Like their self-titled 2020 sophomore effort, the 10-track album finds the band joining forces with producer Taylor Kimball (Koe Wetzel, Read Southall Band, Austin Meade), fully harnessing the band-of-brothers chemistry that makes their live set so exhilarating. In addition to delivering songs in both English and Spanish for the very first time, Tejano Punk Boyz doubles down on the culture-bending sensibilities that have long guided the band, fusing elements of everything from Red Dirt country to post-grunge to la musica norteña. “We didn’t want to hold back at all with this album,” says Yanez. “We all come from different walks of life, and we wanted to mesh those influences together and come up with something that feels really free. Because of that, I feel like we created something that’s completely true to us, and like nothing else out there right now.”
With its title taken from an inside joke between Yanez and his cousin, Tejano Punk Boyz infuses that free-spirited energy into every song, ultimately embodying a more joyful mood than their past work. “‘Ramon Ayala’ really set the tone for the album,” says Yanez. “Songwriting is an outlet for me, and on the last record I was going through some dark times in my life. But ‘Ramon Ayala’ came from thinking about my family and the music we love to listen to when we’re all partying together, and that sort of carried over into the rest of the album.”
Along with “Ramon Ayala”—a track that spent five weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Rock & Alternative Airplay Chart and earned acclaim from outlets like American Songwriter, who hailed it as “a cathartic anthem for the underdogs and rejects of society”—Tejano Punk Boyz features more emotionally raw offerings like the album-opening “Overrated.” Rooted in the band’s signature collision of combustible guitar work and unforgettable melodies, the sing-along-ready track serves as a prime showcase for Yanez’s reflective yet down-to-earth storytelling (from the chorus: “I’m such a freak/I love the way she hates it”). “At the time I was fighting with my girlfriend, so it was the perfect moment for that kind of song,” he notes. On “Numb,” Tejano Punk Boyz shifts into a darker tone as Giovannie and The Hired Guns channel the ache of disconnection, amplifying the track’s moody urgency with serpentine rhythms and brooding guitar tones. “Recording ‘Numb’ was probably the most fun we had in the studio—we didn’t try to force anything, we just let it all out and put everything we were feeling into the song,” says Yanez. And on “The Letter,” Giovannie and The Hired Guns share one of the album’s most vulnerable moments, a heart-on-sleeve love song that slips between English and Spanish as Yanez bares his soul with brutal honesty. “I’d always wanted to sing in both languages, but for some reason I was always too scared,” says Yanez. “When I was writing ‘The Letter’ it just happened naturally, and it instantly felt right.”
Originally from the Northern Texas town of Mineral Wells, Yanez first explored his unfiltered approach to songwriting at the age of 17 (“It pretty much started right after the first big heartbreak,” he notes). Around that same time, he began performing at local dive bars while holding down a job at a rock quarry. “I’d go play gigs and be out till about three in the morning, then get up to go to work at seven—it was a struggle for a while, but I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life,” says Yanez. Not long after landing his job at the pawnshop, Yanez crossed paths with Trejo and soon began assembling the Hired Guns lineup, then pushed forward with an equally grueling gig schedule. “When we first started out it was always, ‘Hey guys, can you play a four-hour set with two breaks? Here’s $200,’” Yanez recalls. As word got out about their can’t-miss live performance, the band began selling out shows all across Texas, in addition to sharing stages with the likes of Read Southall Band and Kody West.
With the arrival of their self-released 2017 full-length debut Bad Habits, Giovannie and The Hired Guns offered a first glimpse at the unbridled eclecticism that now defines their sound: Toles, for instance, brings a soulful intensity informed by playing music in church as a kid, while Flusche’s background includes session work with such prominent country acts as Sam Riggs & the Night People. Another independent release, Giovannie and The Hired Guns featured standouts like “Rooster Tattoo,” a slow-burning track that quickly amassed millions of streams on Spotify thanks to word-of-mouth buzz. As they set to work on Tejano Punk Boyz, Giovannie and The Hired Guns landed on Amazon Music’s 2022 Artists to Watch list, then later inked their deal with Warner Music Nashville in a partnership with Warner Music and Warner Music Latina.
With their career highlights to date including opening for platinum-selling country star Jason Aldean to a crowd of 36,000 at Globe Life Park stadium, Giovannie and The Hired Guns have spent much of the band’s lifespan on the road, delivering an electrifying show that invariably leaves audiences sweat-drenched and ecstatic. “At this point my house is mostly just a place where I collect mail,” says Yanez. “We’ve played an insane amount, but we love getting out there and connecting with the fans. The craziest thing is when they tell us that our music has saved their lives, because I’ve had that happen to me with the music I really love.”
As their following continues to grow far beyond the borders of their home state, Giovannie and The Hired Guns have found their sense of purpose ineffably deepened with each new album they create. “To me making music is a godsend,” says Yanez. “I generally don’t tell people what’s on my mind or how I’m feeling; I hold it in and then get it all out by picking up a pen and paper or strumming my guitar. So the fact that our songs might end up helping other people in some way just makes it all even sweeter.” And with Tejano Punk Boyz dropping in the midst of another extensive tour, Giovannie and The Hired Guns look forward to strengthening their extraordinary bond with their audience. “The goal for the live show is always to take people away for that hour and a half,” says Yanez. “Whatever problems they’re dealing with, whatever they’re going through or whatever’s happening in today’s world, we want them to forget all about it for those 90 minutes. If they want to get sad and cry, then I’ll cry with them. If they want to let loose and have fun, I’ll do that too. We just want to feel connected to everyone, because we truly are—we’re exactly the same as every single person out there in the crowd.”