Epic performance gets crowd off the bleachers

September 28, 2008 by  

Andrew Usenik of 10 Second Epic. (Nick Major photo)

Andrew Usenik of 10 Second Epic. (Nick Major photo)

Ten Second Epic, the Edmonton rock-and-roll band, got the crowd off the bleachers with songs from their album, Count Yourself In at Kwantlen’s Cram Jam Friday. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you should count yourself in.

With three music video’s getting airtime on MuchMusic, performing on Much on Demand and MTV in Canada, Ten Second Epic is ready for more. Their new album, Hometown, will be released in January.

The band started six years ago. Patrick Birtles (drummer) met Andrew Usenik (singer) at school. Birtles lived in the same neighbourhood as Craig Spelliscy (guitar) and they grew up playing music together. Spelliscy went to a different high school and met Sandy MacKinnon (bass) who knew Daniel Carriere (guitar.)

Everyone thought “we work, we get along, and we can write music together,” said Patrick Birtles. “This is going to happen.” And it did. Ten Second Epic are now full-time working musicians.

Birtles remembers the first time a Ten Second Epic song was played on radio. He sang along and air drummed to the beat while driving in his car. “I felt kind of like a tool celebrating my own song so much,” he laughs, “but you got to do what you got to do.

“Every milestone becomes its new highlight,” said Birtles. “Whether it’s hearing your song on the radio for the first time or seeing your music video on TV for the first time. It just sort of trumps the radio thing and then you have an interview live on MuchMusic. It’s even one more step.”

Ten Second Epic currently tours in a van and they’ve learned to stay out of each other’s way, but they’ve also learned “how to piss people off really easily,” he jokes. When the band fights, it’s mostly about who gets to ride shotgun. “It’s always really stupid things and we always feel dumb for doing it.”

The band member’s girlfriends are understanding of life on the road. “You come home from tour with a pretty high phone bill but that’s about the worst of it,” said Birtles.

Without their friends and families support, Ten Second Epic doesn’t think they would have accomplished what they have.

Success does have its downfalls. “My friends are proud of me, but it’s tough because I’m on the road so much,” said Birtles. “It’s almost alienated myself from some of my friends. I feel bad, but it’s something I’ve committed myself to.”

Ten Second Epic has just finished recording its second album and, Birtles said, “it’s simpler” but didn’t come easily at first.

They wrote and recorded the whole album and scrapped it. “We felt like we achieved the same we already experienced, and we wanted to go further than that,” he said. They rewrote the album from scratch and think it’s bigger and better. “It’s an experience I wouldn’t change for the world,” said Birtles.

Through their six years together, and their latest album, they’ve “learned to play together as a band,” said Birtles. “A cohesive unit, as opposed to five different members just contributing to a song.”
Ten Second Epic gets the crowd moshing with their high energy show. MacKinnon and Spelliscy bang their ’80s rock-and-roll hair to the beat, while Usenik bounces around the stage, belting out every lyric without running out of breath. Birtles claims that he still gets nervous before every show, but you can’t tell.

It is clear that Ten Second Epic lives up to their reputation of a band headed for the spotlight. “I’d love to be famous. How can you hate some random person coming up to you and asking for an autograph?” Birtles said. “It’s like, the greatest feeling in the world.”


Feel free to leave a comment...

For details on how we handle comments, select "Our Comment Policy" from the "About" drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Note: All comments are moderated and must be approved before they are published.