Ten Seconds To Go
Posted Mar 21, 2007, by Josh Snider.
Hi John, do you have time to do an interview?
haha. yeah, sure
Allright here we go. Your myspace is www.myspace.com/tensecondstogo do you have any other websites?
What are your names and what do you play?
John McCrary - drums //
Isai Garcia - vocals //
George Contrades - guitar //
Ryan Young - guitar //
Chris Rojas - bass //
Who got you interested in playing rock music?
Just something we've all grown on over our lifetime. We all listen to different music, so we try to bring that into our music and create our own little twist on rock. I don't think we could honestly play anything else, cause we love it so much. It's more than words can describe
How did you come up with your band name?
We happened to be listening to At The Drive In during a certain song, that had a countdown it. It just happened to say Ten Seconds To Go, and it stuck out for us. We love ATDI
You had your trailer stolen before you went on tour last year, what happened, and how can other bands avoid this kindof thing?
So we had parked our trailer in front of our bassist' front yard, which is a complete no no. We were all at work during the day when it happened. They broke off the locks and hitched it up to a vehicle, and we spent the better part of a weekend looking for a trailer and equipment we'll never see again. Bottom line is just to keep your trailer in a more secure area, no matter how comforting home may be, someone out there wants your stuff more than you know.
That's such a loss, how did you guys go about recovering everything?
We've never fully recovered. I mean we lost it all. We have been spending our time, even just before tour, sacrificing to get new equipment, buy new stuff, new cases, everything. It's been super difficult, but somehow we've managed to survive and stay somewhat relevant.
If the theafs ever read this interview, what you want to say to them?
We may never get our stuff back, so please take great care of the equipment you stole. Things have a way of working themselves out though. I just hope the people actually know how to use the stuff in the first place. We're just taking it in stride now, it's part of growing, not just as a band, but as a person.
That's a good way to keep thing positive.
Yeah, it's just such a bad way to learn and grow from it
Have you been in any other bands?
I used to sing for a band back in the day, but I left cause it just wasn't fun, plain and simple. I wouldn't be playing if it wasn't fun. I'm not worried about making it. i just want people to enjoy themselves, as much as I do, when I'm playing drums now. Anyhow, I quit my old band, got a call to play drums for a short bit, and 4 years later, I'm still playing for this band.
How was your first show?
Our first show was at a friends house in Canoga park, CA. Good 'ol fashioned backyard show. Us and two other bands. We all sucked it up that night, but I look back at those photos and realize how much you grow, again, not just as a band, but as people, both musically, and personally. It was fun though, and I wish more bands just took the time to not be so serious, and just have fun. It would make the scenes of all music a lot easier to deal with, and crowds would actually be supportive, cause everyone is so concerned with looking proper and not having fun.
What city or area has been the best to play?
Aside from our home venue in Canoga Park, we've had some great shows in Anaheim at Chain Reaction, the Trilogy out in Victorville, and everytime we head out to Phoenix, AZ. at the Phix. I highly recommend the Phix to any bands looking to play a show in Phoenix. Amazing staff, especially when it comes to the people over at Dyspunktional Records. They hook it up, and care about the bands.
That's good to hear.
What was your best show of all time?
We've had two very different experiences at the Trilogy Theatre. Our first show there was in front of 800+ kids. That was simply amazing. The second show we played there was with the Suicide Machines, which to play with your idols, is just an energy overdose. You just want to play so good that they might say "come on the road and tour with us." We were proud to play with them before they disbanded.
That's totally awesome.
Yeah, they are simply put the most under-rated, most high energy band I've ever seen, hands down.
What makes you want to be heard?
The opportunity. Meeting people, seeing places, touring and just doing and seeing things you would never be able to do, or even think about going to. I would never go to some of these cities, had it not been for being in a band. I can't think of a better thing in life to do than play music and travel. I definitely would love to have security of a good job and all, but you can't replace memories and people. There is no price on that.
Do you know what inspires most of Isai's lyrics?
Just personal trauma. tragedies and personal lows in his life. I've always loved the way he uses a metaphor, in a not to typical way. He gets his hurt out a lot of the time, and deep down, he really hates what he sings about, cause it bothers him so much.
That's good that he's writing about things that are real and even tho things can be tragic, it's not just the flavor of the week. I notice that when I'm listening to you.
Yeah. Lyrics can become so cliche' but if you really get to know the person deep down, the content becomes more than a song, it's more of an escape. I can honestly say he's the only man I'd ever love, cause of his heart.
A couple of the guys left last year, was it time to move on for them? Did you have people picked out who would be the new members, or did you search for a while? How do you like the new guys? Do you ever feel like sometime will ever be time for you to move on from this band?
I've had my chances to leave, and I've never really seen myself away from this band, cause I want to see it suceed on so many levels. Every person doesn't and won't feel the same way I do, as far as playing music fulltime, or dedicating more time from their lives. Some people left to pursue the security of a career. Some people have left for the pursuit of family, and some have left for money. Deep down, some people are just still trying to figure out what we really want. I'm proud of everyone that's been in this band, no matter their stay and legnth. I love our newest members. Basically Ryan, being the newest, with George and Chris around the same time. We're all still trying to become a cohesive unit, but these are things that take time. Not every band can achieve instant chemistry. We are all different personalities, a love for all kinds of music. So we're trying to do what we want, and just hope others will enjoy it too.
Do you have any advice to starting bands?
Stick it out. You'll spend money on all sorts of stuff, especially gear. No matter what, just stick it out, stick to your gut and play what you feel you would buy. You can't go wrong by not compromising your ideals and your self respect. The more people tell you they hate you, the more people will just push you to want to suceed, and that should be a catalyst for your creative energy. Their hate is your creative fuel. The most important thing, is don't ever sell yourself short. If you want to do something, just go out and do it.
What do you want to see happen th music?
understanding. Just for people to get a better understanding of themselves, and not worry about making a statement all the time.
Do you feel your progressing those ideas?
At times. It's abit harder when people are unwilling to listen, to try though. I don't like being preachy, cause I wouldn't want to push my objectives onto someone so unwilling. It just has to happen naturally.
Any funny or interesting stories?
I'll keep it short so people can use their imagination on this one. We played a show in Amarillo, TX. This past December and we stayed with these awesome dudes in this band called The Cherubium Seat. Anyhow, Danny, our merch dude, got wasted with their roomate, bet on Madden that the loser get his buttom signed by the entire room, and the Californian's one that night. It was awesome. A lot of beer, though me being the only straight edge guy, was a bit too much for me to watch after awhile. Thats definitely something for the DVD in the future, haha.
What do you think about UFOs?
Hopefully they exist. It's a big galaxy, and it'd be a shame to have all that room to ourselves.
What do you guys do for work right now, other than playing music?
Isai works at Coca Cola bottling your favorite drinks, Chris works for Nintendo as a repair technician, George is a longshoreman in San Pedro at the docks, Ryan works on mixing and editing TV shows, mainly VH1 stuff, and I (John) work as a warehouse Clerk at a hospital.
How do your jobs work with you touring?
we've been lucky enough that our jobs give us the time to tour cause we love it so much. I guess we're just good at our jobs that they'll take us back, haha.
What were some of your favorite bands growing up?
Me personally, I got eclectic taste. Elton John, Boys To Men, Mariah Carey, Green Day, the Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam. Still varies to this day.
What would you say to a kid who has no faith in himself?
Wake up. There is no reason to be down, cause no matter how bad you feel, someone out there has it much, much worse.
Anything you would like to say to your fans reading this interview?
Just be supportive of your favorite bands, and stay true to what you believe in.
How many tours have you been on and how did they go?
Every tour has been so different for various reason, but the one coming up this July, will be our fourth. Our last one was extremely difficult, with little to no press, borrowed and last minute bought equipment, and just trying to get our van situation down. We barely had anything for merch.
How is it touring with the band?
It can be difficult. sleeping in a van is no easy task. I tend to be the smallest, so I usually sleep in the driver or passenger seats. I'm nice enough to let the guys take the benches. After awhile of doing that, it can get gross and smelly, but it's well worth it.
What do you guys do on the road to keep busy?
We all do a variety of different things. We'll all play Street Fighter 2 on our small DVD player with a playstation hooked up to it. Everyone tends to sleep a lot, since on tour you don't really get normal sleep hours at all. People will mainly nap out the rides, and if we're lucky to stay somewhere, the guys may drink, wander to local shops and check out the area, just basically be tourists for the day. It gets boring, but the shows and the people are well worth the drives.
Do you have any advice to bands about to go on their first tour?
Save your money, and definitely make contacts, both with promoters, as well as other bands in the areas you want to tour. A lot of shows you may not get paid, so you have to basically save some personal money, just so you can pay for gas, should the occassion arise. This last tour we did, we got paid for 5 out of 20 shows. I can't stress saving up for tour enough.
Is it crazy that you have people that come out to shows and can sing along to your music in places to have never been to?
Yeah, It's a weird thing to see that. I mean, you hope to expect it, but at the same time, it's such a fascinating moment, to see someones lips moving to your words and them moving to your music. It's a beautiful sight, really.
What's your latest cd?
Well, we've been supporting "And You Thought We Were Dead", which is an 8 song EP. 5 electric tracks and 3 bonus acoustic songs, 2 never before heard. This was originally released in summer 2005. And then re-released by Class Action Records, with new artworks, and those acoustic tracks as a bonus. We just recently recorded two new songs, and will be releasing them to the world in about 1 month, give or take.
Is "And You Thought We Were Dead" in any stores, where can we find it?
Right now, you can pick up the CD in 2 stores. Backside records in Burbank and AMP Records in Whittier, CA.
Can we get the album online?
I know the CD though is available online through the Class Action Records webstore.
How do you like being on Class Action Records?
Well, luckily for us, Class Action records is more of working with a friend than working with a label. The label is real small. I'm talking one man DIY values. Carlos works hard to try to get us noticed, and we definitely thank him for doing so
Any advice for bands that are going to sign to a label?
I think any band can get signed, as long as you show the work ethic and the will to get out, get your name out there and play the shows. I can never understand the bands that get signed to labels and play like 1 show a month. I could never do that. I love being able to play all the time, or as much as we can.
What did your fans say about "And You Thought We Were Dead"?
We've gotten all kinds of reviews, very few negative ones. A lot of people like the energy we give off on the CD, as it's the same way we play live. Nothing overly done, and we don't try to make something we can't pull off live. Our next CD though, we may use a 100 piece kazoo symphony. If for no other reason, cause we get bored.
Can I be part of that when you record?
If we actually do that, that would just complete it. You can do the solos.
Any advice for anyone thinking about making a CD?
Take the time to find a good studio to record. Drums take the longest, and are the most difficult part to record, due to all the mics that are involved. If anyone needs to record drums, I highly suggest looking up Greg Cortez over at Mad Dog Studios in Burbank. That man is killer.
Any last words you would like to say to everyone reading this interview?
Thanks for taking time out of your day to read up on an indie band, and thanks to anyone that's ever been to our shows, listened to our music, worn our shirts and buttons, and supported us through everything that has happened to us the last 7 years. Without our fans and friends support, we couldn't do what we do.