From the moment the first sounds of "Boys We Don't Know" reverberated through my skull, I instantly became hooked on The Tenth, a L.A-based bubblegum punk band. When "Dunes" came out, I was floored. And on a whim I posted on the Guillozine's Instagram story asking the band if they'd do an interview for Issue 8: Women in Music.
And they said yes.
It's like super exciting to interview bands, any bands. But when it's one of your favorite bands? It's a whole other experience. I definitely didn't do a double take when I saw vocalist and guitarist Taylor Blackwell's name pop-up in my DM requests.
So, without further a do, here is my interview with Taylor Blackwell from the greatest bubblegum punk band of all time- the tenth.
GUILLOZINE: What’s the difference between making an EP and making an album? Was one harder than the other?
TAYLOR: It’s not a whole lot different! An album is a larger time commitment in the studio, but the approach is about the same. With the EP we were new to the recording experience. There was a learning curve. Which was also exciting - a whole new world and lingo to sink our teeth into! The EP and album took hours and hours of work, but were both incredibly joyous experiences.
G: What were your influences when writing this new record?
T: Ooh, so many influences! At the forefront were Hole and Sleater Kinney. Harley was inspired by The Breeders. I was diving into the X Ray Spex, Richard Hell, the Buzzcocks, and many others. We both were listening to a lot of Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, and New Order to name a few. Harley and I love sharing songs with each other.
G: Favorite line(s) you’ve written on the new album?
I’m really proud of Hymns and Hieroglyphs. My favorite line in the album is probably “she wrote fuck you in hieroglyphs!” I also like that we mention Margaret Keane and the Guerilla Girls in our song “I Will Not Make Any Boring Art.” Harley wrote some beautiful lyrics with “Goodbye Chelsea” - “I’ll resurrect you if you want me.” That gives me chills!
G: What advice would you give to girls that want to start a band?
T: My advice would be, just start one! Make it happen! You don’t have to be the most brilliant musician, just give it your all. I have grown a lot as a guitar player, singer, and writer since the band began. If you know a few chords and can observe the world around you, you’re good to go. Being a musician is magical.
G: What’s the writing process like for you gals? Is it lyrics and then music or the other way around?
I write some lyrics and show them to Harley, and she often comes up with a melody for them. Or vice versa. Often from there one of us will build upon the lyrics we already have. There’s a lot of discussion as far as what we are trying to say with the song - what the story is about.
G: If you had to pick 4 words to describe your album, what would they be?
T: Vibrant, nostalgic, bubblegum, punk! also, I’d say “coming of age.” Our songs are about finding your way, growth, figuring shit out. I know that’s more than four words.
G: Pick one lyric or verse to sum up you guys as a band.
T: “I will not make any boring art!” Ha.
G: Are there any pop culture references in the album that people should keep an eye out for?
There’s a lot of references in our opening track. The album art itself has a lot of symbolism. If you look closely I drew “For Pete Shelley” on my arm in the album cover. Pete (lead singer of the Buzzcocks) had died while we were recording. I had never met him but he meant a lot to me, and I would write “For Pete Shelley” on my wrist every day for the rest of recording. I can’t speak for Harley, but I dedicate my work on this album to him. I hope he’d like it.
G: If you could pick one person, dead or alive, to listen to your album who would it be?
I feel like Harley would say Courtney Love. My answer would probably be my great grandmother Beverly. Never met her but I think she would dig it.
G: What’s in the foreseeable future for you gals?
More albums! We are writing our hearts out! And hopefully a tour? We shall see. The future looks bright. We are excited.
A HUGE thank you to Taylor and the rest of the tenth for this. Keep rocking and I'll keep listening <3
where to find the tenth: