INTERVIEW: Jay Bowen (Ten Thousand)

You all know that I went to see my FAVE Aussie band at Enigma earlier this month, because I came to tell you all about it, and I thoroughly enjoyed the support acts. It just so happens that I enjoyed one of the support acts so much that I stood outside and psyched myself up, and relied on a bit of serious confidence boosting from my fabulous friends, to do something I’ve never done before.

I walked up to the lead singer of Ten Thousand, congratulated him on a great set, introduced myself and asked if he would like to do an interview with us. I was extremely nervous but Jay was great, very approachable and friendly, and happy to interview with us so here’s what he had to say.

Definitely another one of those interviews I wish had taken place over coffee, he would have been so much fun to sit and chat with I think!

Let’s start at the beginning, what made you want to be a musician?

J: One reason, and its quite simple…Rock music is fun. That being said I think it’s an important part of our lives because rock music stands for anarchy and rebellion, pulling apart the establishment and responding from your gut. At the end of the day, nothing will ever replace the pure fun of a rock gig.

How long have you been playing together as a band, and can you tell us a little about how you got together?

J: Although we’ve known each other for close to two years, majority of the first year was in the writing and rehearsal room. But we’ve only been playing shows for about 15 months or so.


What can you tell us about your music?

J: Lots of stuff, do you really wanna start me?  Wow what a broad question! More than anything we want our songs to be interesting; to rouse you up in some way you can’t explain. And making sounds the crowd can dance to, that’s really important to us.

(Michelle’s note: I wanted to get up and dance but my peeps wouldn’t come dance with me and I was too embarrassed to dance in that wide open space by myself so I stayed up the back and round the corner and danced where I was!)

In terms of sound or genre, I guess it’s something classic with a progressive spin on it. We don’t shy away from our influences, rather we celebrate them…but it’s always hard to compare your sound to someone else…you’ll just have to come check us out.

(Michelle’s note: And I did and they were well worth it, can’t wait to do it again!)

Who have been the biggest influences on your style?

J: There are literally hundreds!  Modern and classic alike…but a lot of bands that have basically created their own style. Muse are a good example…extremely interesting material that is compelling for both musicians and audiences alike. NIN {Nine Inch Nails} are another good example. Then there is old stuff, the roots of rock’n’roll…Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and then bands that have taken that sound further, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Guns ‘n Roses…I could go on for days.

Where does the inspiration for your songwriting come from?

J: Chicks! Hahahaa!! I’d have to say quite simply whatever is being tossed over in my head at the time. I try to avoid personal angst because I can’t stand whingeing…I’m more interested in what kind’ve strength it’s going to take to overcome a problem or a challenge than the challenge itself.  One thing that I actually love in Rap is how those guys talk themselves up!! Some of it is epic, stuff that they couldn’t possibly live up to but why not? There’s something in there about it being tongue-in-cheek but delivered in a way that is absolutely serious. There’s a power to it which comes from the sense of humour.

Your EP ‘Tales From The Wasteland’ is recently released, what can you tell us about the EP and the experience?

J: In the band we are all very filmic, the way we think. The Wasteland that we talk about is like an alternative universe where all your fantasies and fears alike play out for real…in a world that looks and feels like a modern-day Western directed by Tarantino himself!! The songs on the EP reflect the perfect soundtrack to this world…like when you have a fantasy in your head, of course there is always killer theme music!

Ten Thousand is a Melbourne band who have just played their first Adelaide show, great set by the way. What’s the furthest show you have played from home?

J: We’re a new band so the furthest we’ve branched out so far is Byron Bay, but we can’t wait to get to all the corners of Australia and then the world!! There’s nothing stopping us from just booking some dates and jumping in a bus any time we want and just getting out there, seeing the world and sharing our jams…it may sound idealistic but to me it just sounds like an adventure.

You opened for Juke Kartel on their Freeway Tour, who else have you opened for – more to the point – who have you had the most fun sharing a stage with to date?

J: Not just being diplomatic here…Juke were the most fun!! Those guys are the best company, love a drink and a laugh, look like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth but they’re rotten to the core just like us (laughs)!!! We miss them now they’ve gone back to LA but it wont be long till we’re joining them on Sunset Strip for a Brewski!

What would you say has been your greatest career moment up until now, because I’m sure there will be many more great moments still to come in your future?

J: Our recent EP launch at Melbourne’s House of Rock was epic! I think there were close to a thousand people there. The footage of us that night is hilarious, before and after the show, just so excited and charged up… Nothing beats that feeling. That’s why we sacrifice so much in our lives to be in a band, for that feeling of being in total sync with a crowd like that. We are experiencing a wonderful thing at the moment and that is the crowds starting to sing our lyrics and stuff!! That is something incredible and beautiful.

If you could have your pick of anyone, who would you most like to share a stage with?

J: Sing a duet with Michael Hutchence maybe (laughs)!! Good Times from the Lost Boys soundtrack. (Now that would be awesome, love that song)

If I had to pick someone alive I’d have to say Slash. But at the end of the day…I already do share the stage with whom, in my opinion, are the best musos out there. Thanks boys…

For an unrelated question, what do you like to do when you aren’t making music?

J: I’m very private about my private life, but I have six horses on a property in the Macedon Ranges. Every moment I spend with them is memorable and keeps me grounded and reminds me what life is all about…this moment right now.

What’s next for Ten Thousand?

J: Well we’ve got World Domination scheduled in for late March this year!! This year is going to be about touring Australia for us, starting north and working our way down and across. Then in winter we hope to record our first album so obviously writing and rehearsal will be playing a massive part. We’re not afraid of the hard-yards because we really are doing what we absolutely love.

Can we hope to see you back here in Adelaide for more shows in the future?

We loved Adelaide, loved Enigma and can’t wait to come back! See you all soon!!

Thank you so much for your time Jay, and it was fabulous to meet you at Enigma! I will definitely be in the audience anytime you play Adelaide!

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