14 Jun THE 10X’S NEWEST SINGLE “THINK OF ME” DARES YOU TO FACE YOUR PAST
I’ve always hated the term “What’s done is done.” Then again, I’ve never really liked finite endings, either. When we have a serious relationship with someone—whether it’s a friendship, a romance, or anything in between—we create memories. A whole slew of memories. And memories are pretty powerful things that don’t always remain in the past. Sometimes, they creep into our present to remind us of something. (Maybe it’s something we once had or maybe it’s something we *never* had.) A missed connection. A regret. Something we said or something we WISHED we said. Maybe that resounding ‘WHAT IF?’ is plaguing all of your days and nights, too. (And maybe you need to do something about it. Don’t you want your answer?!) Whether you’re pining for a lost love, a close friend, or the unforgettable stranger you bumped into at that balmy outdoor festival back in ‘09, The 10x’s newest single “Think of Me” has your covered.
In the highly addictive, highly energetic Indie Pop track, The 10x asks the questions you might want to: “Do you think of me when your friends are screaming at your stereo? Do you think of me when you’re in your car, lost on the road, trying to drive yourself back home? And do you think of me when you’re not alone, watching the past from texts on your phone?” Every lyric is aces and, no matter where you choose to listen (or who you choose to think about), “Think of Me” will transport you to a safe, danceable space to sift through your emotions. (Listen now). You may want to loop it, because it’s more than repeat-worthy.)
While we’ve always been superfans of the Nashville-based band (peep our last interview with The 10x), we’re especially stoked that this indie riser recently doubled in size. Drummer Parker Moore officially joined frontman Jeff Gingrich in Spring of ’17, and “Think of Me” is our first real dose of this duo’s magnetic synergy. The band’s self-titled EP, “Skull and Bones” (a collaboration with Ben Schuller), and the recently released “No Power” will always have a place in our hearts (and in our playlists), but there’s something inherently elevating about “Think of Me” that sticks with us, even when we’re not listening. And we just had to learn more about it.
We hope you enjoy the interaction as much as we did.
The conversation from our interview is chronicled below in a pure Q & A format.
Q & A:
Let’s talk about “Think of Me” – the recording process.
JG: “Think of Me” is the first song that both of us worked on from start to finish. It began as just a drum beat. I was playing bass and could hear what I wanted to go over it. Then, I steered the jam session to make sure the structure we were creating worked with what I was hearing. After we recorded a demo of it, we thought, let’s do an EP. Let’s do five songs!
Unfortunately, that’s also when the external computer hard drive corrupted and crashed. And the corruption affected not only that external drive, but also the computer itself. I lost nearly 95% of everything that I had. In an unrelated but equally disastrous event, Parker’s laptop—which also had our live tracks on it—was knocked off the table on New Year’s Eve. We lost a lot of money in electronic equipment in a short amount of time.
The only files we had left were the ones we had saved to DropBox. Luckily, almost all The 10x songs that have been released were on DropBox, so that’s good. I’m glad those are there. Pretty much everything else was wiped clean. Somehow, we found a bounce* of “Think of Me” a little while after the massive file loss. It was a quick bounce-down of our demo—no vocals—and we were actually able to rebuild the track off that. Without that, it would have been hard to recreate the song in the exact same way.
*Per JG, a work-in-progress bounce is a quick, non mixed mp3 of the recording session. Most mixing/recording engineers don’t like bounces because they can LEAK and are usually very unfinished.
PM: The other demos stuck out a little less to me than “Think of Me”. We always knew “Think of Me” was the stronger song. The others were really cool, but they were a little less developed. “Think of Me” came SO naturally when we were in that room playing together. Neither of us really had a song come together that fast. I mean, I know I haven’t. Just being in a room and playing it for the first time and having the whole vision cast—from Jeff mostly—and just kind of reading the situation. We both understood that “Think of Me” was going somewhere. We were at least satisfied that we had that.
The only issue I have with the song is that you can’t just listen to it once. I have it in a few of my playlists and I ALWAYS end up playing it two or three times in a row. It puts you in a groove, and then you want to hear it again. Every time I hear it, I hear something different.
JG: That’s cool. That’s also possibly why the song is so short, though. I thought about that, because we got toward the end of the track and that final chorus sort of happens in half-time before it flows to the outro part. Everyone wants to sing the chorus multiple times, but I think that’s what makes the song more awry. You don’t get the thing you totally want. You have to get that out in the middle chorus.
Can you tell us anything about the meaning of the song?
JG: Yes, there’s a little bit of meaning behind the music. Last year we released a single called “No Power.” We felt like that was almost an updated version of everything else we had put out before. When we were writing this newest track, we realized, We need to push the envelope of what happened before and not just do the same thing again.
PM: “No Power” felt very safe while “Think of Me” allowed us to grow in a slightly different direction sonically but still sound like The 10x. It also helped us look at The 10x as a band. We had to define what that looks like even if certain elements that were present before weren’t as present in the new song.
JG: I attribute that concept to some of the meaning in the song. The chorus is real literal. Many of my lyrics are really literal. I don’t like to get too into that. We played a show in Pittsburg, and one of the fans asked, “What does ‘Skull and Bones’ mean?” I said, “It’s literal for me. It just is what the words are. It’s really not that crazy. What is it for you?” And the song lyrics meant something a little bit different to her than they did to me. I think that’s cool. I like that, and I try to write things that are so real that when others hear them they feel their own situations in those lyrics.
Can you tell us something about “Think of Me” you haven’t yet shared with anyone else?
JG: There’s one piece of the lyrics I’ll tell you about. The line that says, “Trying to drive yourself back home”—I wrote a note in my phone with “Do you think of me?” written in reverse alphabetical. So, I wrote each of the letters in that phrase as what that letter would be if you reversed the alphabet. It just looked like random letters. I know that sounds insane.
PM: I didn’t even know that!
JG: So when the demo happened, I had that written. And there was one night when I was out downtown trying to get back to my car, and it was proving really painful. I was several blocks away. That’s when that lyric and that decoded line in my note fell into place. The chorus fell into place immediately. I think we had the chorus within the first few days of writing.
PM: I thought it was the next day. Yeah, it was really quick.
It’s funny that you bring that line up, because that’s always the lyric that sticks with me: “Trying to drive yourself back home.” It’s nice to know that there’s a special meaning there. Thanks for sharing that!
JG: Yeah, maybe it means two things. 1: Sometimes we want to get back to a safe place if something doesn’t feel safe. 2: Sometimes things just feel like a really big struggle.
The single’s been out for a couple weeks now. What has been the best / strangest feedback you’ve received so far?
JG: I think a lot of people have been likening it to the ‘80s a lot. I don’t know if that interests me or confuses me or that I even care. When I think of ‘80s music I tend to think of Steve Winwood and Talking Heads–something deep in the ‘80s. But, at the same time, it makes me feel good that people seem to really like “Think of Me.”
PM: I feel like modern music does get inspired by the ‘80s a lot. I hear the gated reverb drums quite a bit now in other people’s music as well.
JG: Actually, now that I’m thinking more about ‘80s music, I do like that comparison. Because ‘80s music was kind of like for everybody. It was less like ‘this group of people listens to this one thing and this group of people listens to this one thing’. Music was a lot more, at least at that point, for everybody. And I do feel that the nature of streaming and what’s going on now—at least in America—has produced a lot more cross-cultural music than we’ve seen in the last two decades. That’s exciting! You know, we’ve been added to a bunch of hip hop and indie hip hop playlists recently.
PM: That was weird but great feedback, too. To know that someone who is very into hip hop is adding our music into those playlists is dope.
Have you performed “Think of Me” live yet?
JG: We did perform it live for the first time this past weekend in Nashville at a secret venue. We didn’t stream it, but we will next time we perform. It was a challenging show.
PM: I had a blast playing that song, though. It was SO much fun to play. And, for the first time playing it, I think it went pretty smooth. It’s just a great live song. “Think of Me” has a lot of energy. It was the last song of the set, and it stacked really well there.
JG: I get a lot of options in the bridge, because there’s a guitar solo layered on a keyboard solo. Depending on who we’re playing with, I can either play the guitar solo or the keyboard solo. And that’s pretty fun.
We heard the music video is in process, and we’re already excited! At this stage, can you tell us anything about it?
JG: We worked with Caleb Thomas.
PM: He’s the best!
JG: He’s an excellent photographer, videographer, and every other ‘-ographer’ in that wheelhouse. And he’s also a great musician, too. He takes iconic images of artists. I’m not going to name-drop, but you should check out his website. He was actually—you know, this is funny—he was actually the only other person in the room when we wrote “Think of Me.” He was noodling on some guitar parts, which kind of inspired me to do that droning guitar part in the background behind the vocals.
We wanted to shoot a video with him, but we didn’t really have an idea and the timing wasn’t really right. Nearly at midnight last Friday, he called me and said, “Hey. I had a band cancel this weekend, but I still have the camera. Do you want to shoot something?”
Were you freaking out when he called?
JG: Yeah! I was excited and nervous, obviously. There’s a lot that goes into it. We had to have a real budget. Also, Caleb really wanted to do a vertical music video. That wasn’t what I had imagined, so I had to listen and watch a few vertical videos that have come out recently.
PM: I’ve only seen one video do that and it was recent. It was interesting seeing some of our shots early on. That angle captures a different field of view and a different mood. I’m really excited to see the finished product. The music video really felt like us—real and authentic.
JG: I think that movies and landscape music videos and anything you would normally watch wide across the screen feels less personal than what you experience if you’re using FaceTime to video chat with your friend or your girlfriend. Since the video is upright like that, the whole vibe becomes more personal. And ‘personal’ is something we do as The 10x. We talk to people on Instagram. We engage with people who want to listen to us and to our music. Once we watched one of the vertical videos we felt like, Well, I think we SHOULD do that.
Do you have a time frame for the video’s release?
JG: Yes. It will be released Friday, June 15th* on our YouTube channel!
*UPDATE: It’s out! Watch the “Think of Me” music video now. (You know you want to.)
Let’s put the spotlight on Parker. Last time we spoke, Parker was already playing shows with the band but wasn’t yet an “official” 10x member. When and how did it become official?
PM: It was when I was still living back in Michigan. I called Jeff. We had already been talking a lot; and, even though I was just playing live and on tour with The 10x, the involvement naturally started getting a little more frequent and deeper than just playing. I really respected Jeff’s vision and work ethic, and I felt like I knew what he was trying to do.
I always wanted to play a larger role the band. I remember the specific phone call when I said, “I see what you are doing and I want to be a bigger part of it.” And, Jeff was gracious enough to let me in. It was definitely 2017.
JG: I don’t remember the exact anniversary date.
PM: It was right before we recorded “No Power,” so it would have been spring time. Late spring.
JG: Wait…oh my god. It’s TODAY. The anniversary is today!
Whoa. I’m glad I asked that question! You guys are going to have to do something special to celebrate now. By the way, what exactly happens when you two get together? Do you adopt a rigid schedule or prefer to remain flexible for creativity’s sake?
JG: Parker lives here. We live in a space where our studio and practice area is.
PM: Yeah, I moved about a half year ago, fairly impulsively. It took maybe a month of us talking about it for me to realize, Oh, I guess I can move to Nashville. And I did. I’m not a very impulsive person. It was a pretty big decision for me for as little thought as I gave it. I knew that the opportunity was there, I believed in what we were doing, and I knew it would help a lot for me to be there. Although both of us wanted me to be more involved before that, my involvement was limited by how far away I was. Being in the same house has changed everything.
“Think of Me” began one of the first weeks I was living here. It was one of the first times—not on a time limit—we went into a room and made music. This track was one of the first things that came out of the move.
We aren’t necessarily rigid, but we do talk a lot about vision. We let things happen. We don’t force anything. If something’s not working, we reevaluate or feel it out. I’d say we are somewhere in the middle.
JG: Yeah, we’ve tried to say, “We’re going to practice this day and do this specific thing,” but then something always seems to come up where we can’t actually do that. It is just dope being in the same house with all this stuff. That makes it easy.
PM: You know, I was just thinking about this today. For working together and living together, we’ve gotten along pretty well.
JG: Yeah, we’re probably doing pretty okay. I’ve lived in a bunch of different situations. I’m an only child. I’ve also lived in an apartment in Cleveland, Tennessee with five other people. So, I guess I’ve known all extremes. I’m pretty good at knowing how to handle roommates. Never before in a working relationship, though. I think Parker and I get along really well, because we want the same thing. We both want to achieve some sort of success in this band.
How do you both unwind when you need a break from songwriting, recording, and performing?
JG: We’ve been playing Fortnite.
PM: Don’t tell people that!
JG: It’s a (crummy) video game. Every time we get mad we realize it’s probably a little kid we’re getting frustrated with, and that puts it into perspective. I work a full-time job, and I try to get home as quick as I can. Once I’m back, we usually either go right into the studio or we focus on the business aspect of the band—for ex. sending out a bunch of emails or tending to our social media accounts.
What artists / songs have been in heavy rotation for each of you lately?
JG: I listened to one song like eighty times today.
PM: Oh, that’s how Jeff listens to music…
That’s how I listen to music! Maybe that’s also why I like The 10x so much!
JG: Yeah, it’s “1950” by King Princess. The track’s really cool. It made me think about my life.
PM: Never heard of it. You know, I’m not a huge hip hop guy, but Childish Gambino’s newest single “This Is America” is really great. The music video for the song is so layered and pertinent right now. We actually just had a different interviewer ask us about what we think about modern music and whether it comments on culture, and “This Is America” is a prime example of that. I also just started listening to the new HalfNoise Flowerss EP.
*You can hear ALL The 10x tracks + what the band’s currently vibin’ on by listening to this exclusive Spotify playlist: MMM: The 10x.
At current, what’s your music platform of choice? Why?
JG: I use Spotify. It’s easy. For some reason, Spotify numbers really matter. I like that Spotify has helped us a ton. We’ve had so many people listen to us because of Discover Weekly. Literally 100,000 people have listened to The 10x *just because* of Discover Weekly. Without that, there would be a lot less people listening to us. Apple Music is cool, though, because they pay like three times as much as Spotify does per stream.
PM: They each have their pros and cons. I’d say Spotify is a little friendlier to the smaller artists—maybe the indie artists especially—because it’s such a developed, personal experience. There’s the Discover Weekly and the Release Radar and the Daily Mix. Spotify is giving people so much music to listen to, and it’s great for listeners because they get to hear new music.
An issue with the music industry is artists making money from their music. That’s why bands tour so much now. That’s where they can actually make a living. I guess I do appreciate that Apple Music does pay more.
Can we talk a little more about the massive file loss? How did you guys move forward from it emotionally?
JG: The coolest part is that I lost like 95% of what I had. And the reason I say that that’s cool is because when you lose almost everything you have, it’s kind of hard to remember everything that you had. We would sit up here, and I’d say, “Man, I don’t even know what I lost because I lost just about everything I had.” I think that made it easier to be a little less sad about it.
If I would have lost only half of it, and, let’s say, the original recording of “Flashback” and “Stay” disappeared, I probably would have been a lot more upset, because I would have had a bunch of stuff I didn’t care about when I just wanted those two songs. I’m lucky that I had the most important stuff on DropBox. Basically, I would encourage everybody to throw stuff up on DropBox. You can get a free one. It’s not that big but just put really important stuff on there.
PM: The file loss wasn’t the only thing that happened that month in the band or in our personal lives. It was challenging, but we didn’t really blink. The night it happened, we were like, Wow. This really sucks. However, the next day, we put ourselves back into the hustle. We made a plan. We figured there wasn’t going to be an EP. “Think of Me” would be a single. We said, “Let’s get started.” I’ve never had a song I was more excited to release. And it’s not just because I’m proud of the song, but because the whole process was an uphill battle. It was a rewarding payoff for overcoming a lot of challenges.
It says a lot about the band’s character that you rebuilt right away. Other bands may have needed to take a short break to breathe after such a massive file loss, but you both just went right back into it.
JG: Yeah, I mean. I feel like we had to. Parker moved out here. There was a budget put together for it. We had to create something. You know, we got lucky with all of those Spotify Discover Weekly streams, and it became apparent that they wouldn’t continue if we didn’t continue to put out good music. That’s been the hope for this year. The computer set us back, but we do have a plan to continue writing and put something else out in the summer. We want to push the envelope and be unconventional.
Can you tell us something about the music scene in Nashville?
PM: I love living in Nashville, especially as a musician. There’s a great community here. But, it’s a challenging town, too. It’s funny, you can walk into a coffee shop and everyone working behind the counter as well as those sitting (and working on their laptops) is probably either a really good musician, lighting person, or producer. I mean, since everyone here is SO skilled at what they do, there are extra high standards.
JG: Finding the way in has been tough. That’s been our experience, but we’re working on that. There’s a really cool company that is working with us right now and helping us out. Without that, I don’t know how you would do it. It’s tough.
The band’s fan base has seen a substantial increase over the past year in terms of social media followers and streams. What do you attribute that to?
JG: Yeah, we have grown a lot. Before we started growing on Spotify, our goal was to grow on Instagram. I think we saw an increase in followers on Instagram because the music is good, we’re relatable, and we’re available to people that are interested in us. And all of those positives combined and helped guide some traffic from Instagram to Spotify. I think that’s cool, and I also think that’s something a little more unique to us. We’ve had people feel invested on Instagram first, and then show up on Spotify or on Apple Music.
That’s exactly how I found The 10x first. On Instagram. And then, I went to Spotify to listen.
PM: It’s very telling to where the music industry’s at—and even the whole entertainment industry in general. I mean, social media is so important to a band. If someone who has never heard of your band visits your Instagram page for the first time, and he/she doesn’t like the content you have, it’s very possible he/she may never check out the music. And I didn’t realize that for a long time—how vital that is. You have to make a good first impression. I mean, you can say, “It’s not about the social media, it’s about the music.” But, it’s definitely the social media that HELPS people get there.
What does it feel like to see your music and influence spread?
PM: Numbers are really exciting when you first see them. When we saw some bigger numbers, we were like, Oh my gosh! That high kind of dies down after a while, though, and you always just want more. It’s really easy to get greedy when it comes to numbers, so I tend to think of shows. We played a show in Indianapolis. It wasn’t a massive show (and it was before I was a member), but we showed up and started playing and half the people who attended sang “Stay” and “Flashback” and “Skull and Bones.” We thought, Woah! These people have listened to our music enough that they KNOW the words to the songs!
Seeing people who are invested enough to come out to a show and sing along and then to reach out via social media to tell us something we made is important to them is what I love most. Realizing that I’m part of something where people are invested to that degree is really cool.
JG: You know, I don’t even think I’ve thought of being an influence one time. I mean, I look up to my heroes, but I’m just me. As far as seeing The 10x’s analytics from Spotify—and seeing that someone from every country (that has Spotify available) has listened to “Think Of Me”—that is crazy and sort of incomprehensible.
What’s next for The 10x in terms of upcoming shows?
JG: We played a lot last year. When we first talked, we were on our way to play our first weekend tour. We played four days. After that, we played here in Nashville. We had a show in Alabama. We played in Pittsburg and then in New York City. Those shows were really tough, and they didn’t go the way we hoped they would.
Our focus this year, instead, has been on Michigan and Tennessee. We’re also trying to get to Chicago, because Parker’s girlfriend and lots of his friends live there. I think it’s a solid plan that will enable us to release new music this summer and fall AND make the most out of the shows we do play.
Connect with The 10x:
Listen to “Think of Me”:
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/think-of-me/1364775610?i=1364775941
Watch the official “Think of Me” music video:
Listen to what The 10x is Listening to (our exclusive playlist):
Spotify Playlist MMM: The 10x
Read our previous full-length interview with The 10x:
“On Tour With The 10x”