Interview with Ten Sleep

Artful Axolotl: Upon googling your band name I quickly found that  “Ten Sleep” is the name of a small town in Wyoming known for outdoor sports. How did a town of 260 people become the namesake of your band?

Rob: Kynan and I had just started to write our own stuff after another local band we played in dissolved, so when we were looking for a name, it came down to skimming Wikipedia articles for interesting words or phrases. I had been sifting through town names in the United States and was cruising through the ‘W’ column and I saw Ten Sleep. There was something just so unique and bizarre about it to me – it was its own thing, it wasn’t bound by any ideas or thoughts of what “Ten Sleep” actually stood for and that really resonated with me. I threw it out there and the guys were into it so away we went.

AA: After hearing the multi-instrumental, complexly layered songs of your new album Suburban Lore, I was surprised to see your band is actually a duo. How did the songwriting process work with just two of you?

Kynan: We only had two of us so we obviously couldn’t play the songs by ourselves. What we did was; Rob would record a beat on his phone, bring it over, we’d plug it into my speakers, I’d play over it, I’d tell him what to play on keyboard while it plays, and we’d just go with the vibe so to speak. Usually when we had one portion that we liked, all of the rest would just settle down like they were saying hello, and we would instantly recognize that they belonged here.  

AA: How long did the process of recording take/how long had you been writing the material for the album before recording?

Kynan: Some songs took all year, some songs we changed 5 or 10 times, we probably had 20 written over the course of the year and really focused down on our favourites that we kind of harnessed their natural energy for for another 3 or 4 months before recording.

Rob: I think in total, we spent maybe 19 days in studio spanning from January to mid-March, turning it out until we thought it was finished.

Kynan: I think we’d agree that we developed split personalities only recording on weekends and listening alone at home. We kind of had help from our crazier more obsessive, alone selves, but we did also have a bit of help from our guitarist and best friend Chris, who is a god among men with guitar sound. All of the producing was done in house though, and having basically no producing experience, we basically just didn’t stop looking for the sound we wanted until we got it.  Which meant, a few 4 hour sessions looking for keyboard sounds, reverb depths, guitar tweaks.  Every sound probably took way too long to get the way we want it.

AA: Who are some of your primary musical influences?

Rob: Sugar Glyder made a big impact on me at the end of high school, so I owe a lot to that band (hey Daniel). Them and The Spinto Band.

Kynan: Local Natives, The Paper Kites, & The Beatles.

AA: In terms of the dreaded, oversimplifying genre moniker, what have you heard to describe your music? More importantly, which genre label(s) would you use to describe your music?

Rob: I’d say it’s been mostly positive comments. With our new record we’ve heard tags like “misty pop” and “indie electronica” which is pretty cool I guess. I think at the end of the day I’d just say we’re alternative pop (if we absolutely have to be categorized). Who decides these things anyways?

AA: I see you have several shows coming up in Canada, any chance of some American dates in the future?

Rob: Absolutely. We’re working on putting a big string of American dates together for early 2018 at the moment, so if you’re out there in the US of A, tell your friends about us and we’ll come play your city.

AA: Lastly, is there anything else you would like to share with your listeners?

We love you.

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