Interviews: Ten Foot Pole

In this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Melodic Punk band Ten Foot Pole from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE

1. Where did the band name come from?

We used to be called Scared Straight in the 1980s, but we thought we should get away from the identity that Mystic Records had marketed us with (including baseball connections and straight edge), so we brainstormed new ideas. Ten Foot Pole barely beat out Apeshit as the band name.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

In the 80’s we thought the pop music at the time was too soft and the lyrics too vapid—we appreciated the raw energy and honesty of punk music, and our style evolved over the years to fit our whims at the time. Escalating Quickly, the new full-length record is quite poppy with many guitar solos, vocal harmonies, and even keyboards at times—a lot more fun and musical than some of our past approaches.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

The band was formed among acquaintances in Jr. High school and has had many, many members come and go over the years, including most famously, our original drummer, turned singer up to 1994, who was a left-handed major league baseball pitcher, Scott Radinsky. But I have always been the guitarist, songwriter of the band, and starting around ’95, also the lead singer.

4. Each band members favorite band?

I’m on an airplane from NYC to Seattle to Boise right now, I can’t ask the other guys. I have many favorites, but I’ll name a few: Jimmy Eat World, Muse, Radiohead, Britney Spears, Negative Approach, Sisters of Mercy, Nick Cave, and

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Usually, I write when I’m feeling emotional and it seems like a better option than jumping off a cliff because my kids deserve a dad. And sometimes I just wake up with a melody in my head and I start writing words...

6. Where was your last gig?

In Costa Rica, I played an acoustic set, right before Bad Cop/Bad Cop. It was amazing, as I got a chance to talk with lots of people after the show and get the Costa Rica vibe, which was warm and friendly.

7. Where would you like to play that haven’t already played?

I have played acoustically in South America (while on tour doing sound for Jimmy Eat World), but I’d love to bring the full band there. Also, I have never been to Russia, and would like to try it, as my great Grandfather was Russian and it’s kind of a mystery to me.

8. Who would you like to tour with?

I’d like to go out with a pop band like Placebo or Selena Gomez. I met her once in South America, as I was chatting with the sound engineer for The Game, and she and The Game walked up and joined the conversation. I think her voice is amazing—when I first heard her songs I had no idea she was so young, but they are catchy and fun, so I think it would be a nice tour. I guess maybe I answered this question as who I would like to mix sound for, but also I’m happy if Ten Foot Pole gets opportunities to tour with lots of different styles of bands, from Face to Face to Justin Timberlake.

9. Who would you not want to tour with?

I’m a big fan of nice people, so I prefer nice artists and nice crowds—we tend to have a very friendly audience and I sometimes ask questions and tell stories (especially when I’m doing acoustic acts). So I guess I wouldn’t want to tour in
the opposite environment—a band full of tough or mean people. I won’t name names, but please use your imagination.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

I get very nervous, but mostly if I’m not prepared, my voice is not strong (like I’m sick or exhausted), my gear is whack or if I’m running late. So my advice is to rehearse a lot, practice in the dark so you don’t have to see your hands much, know the lyrics and music inside out, and be very careful about time and equipment so that you aren’t rushing and your
set up is simple/manageable.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Prince was amazing to work with. I was his front of house engineer so I sat through many rehearsals, and I got to see what I think is one of his main talents—arrangements. But I like to learn from all the people around me. I love Jimmy Eat World’s nice/friendly/appreciate stage vibe. I love the musical genius of Muse. I love the energy of Sum 41. And there are so many musically talented experimental acts that I see as a sound engineer, for example, I love the whole
package of Tango Alpha Tango, a little band out of Portland.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Baby teeth.

13. What do you think of your fans?

I’m very appreciative that our crowds at shows are extremely supportive. This upcoming record, Escalating Quickly, I paid to record, but I’m getting help from fans through Patreon, as they subscribe with a monthly donation which helps me pay back the recording costs. And they get benefits such as access to music, gifts and guest list slots.

14. Anything to add? has links to our upcoming tour date info, Escalating Quickly store/streaming, and how to become a Patron to help the band and get some sweet benefits. Thank you for inviting us to do this interview!

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