Interview: Jesse Hasek – 10 YEARS

Knoxville, Tennessee alt-rockers 10 Years will be hitting the road with Three Days Grace for five UK dates in two weeks’ time, calling through Cardiff, London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Birmingham. Tickets are available from here.

The tour will be the first time the band have played in Europe since 2018, and it gives fans the chance to hear songs from their latest studio album, 2020s Violent Allies, live for the first time. Written in the Woodland Hills in Los Angeles, the band spent five weeks recording with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Howard Benson [My Chemical Romance, Halestorm, Papa Roach]. Violent Allies has amassed over 30 million streams, with the lead single “The Shift” smashing through the 10m Spotify stream barrier alone. Check out the band’s live energy in the official video for the song here.

Talking about the upcoming tour, Brian Vodinh says, “Three Days Grace has always been a band that we have admired and looked up to, so being able to not only share the stage with them but to have the opportunity to play in front of the amazing, music-hungry fans of Europe again is a dream come true for us. The fans in Europe are so passionate, and they dig deeper than the surface with our music which is always something we have loved about them.”

Their wall of sound hooks and their high-octane live shows have seen them build up a phenomenally loyal following in the US. They’ve sold out countless headline shows and toured with giants such as Korn, Deftones, Stone Temple Pilots, Stone Sour to Five Finger Death Punch, A Perfect Circle, and Linkin Park.

Antihero Magazine: Thanks for chatting to me ahead of your gig preparations So, how’s your tour going so far?

Jesse Hasek: So far, so good. As you have to rent equipment and bring equipment across the pond, we’ve had to work on technical things that were changing on us every day. I think we’re on our third soundboard and our other guitar player had to work on rebuilding his amp. But shows have been tremendous, but it’s little things we deal with.

Antihero Magazine: It’s a hassle that you can’t bring your own gear overseas.

Jesse Hasek: Some of it, but to bring… We rent the drum kits and the soundboards and the big heavy stuff because it just costs way too much to freight it over.

Antihero Magazine: Everything’s so much more expensive these days.Its become far more difficult for bands to travel overseas.

Jesse Hasek: Yeah.

Antihero Magazine: So, I was going to say, in difficult economic times, how vital is it for a musician to be able to diversify in your roles? Obviously, the bands are doing their own tour management as well. Do you find that it’s essential that they cut costs as much as possible?

Jesse Hasek: Well, yeah. And especially for a band like us, we’ve been fortunate enough to survive in the entertainment business for almost 20 years. We signed a record deal in 2005. And the longer you do it, the more you realize what you can do. And those roles we take on, those different roles.

Back in the States, we own our own tour bus and our trailer and all of our equipment, our lighting, our staging equipment, our soundboard. We own all that stuff, so we don’t have to rent it. And it’s a lot of maintenance and a lot of work. We drive our own tour bus, too. So it’s like you learn these roles that you never thought you would learn, but it’s rewarding because you reap the benefits of all the hard work. The harder you work, the more you benefit from it.

Antihero Magazine: The band have released nine studio albums and you have a new single out, The a taster to the next release.

Jesse Hasek: Yeah.

Antihero Magazine: Are you personally an optimist? I mean, even that name in these times is…difficult to comprehend.

Jesse Hasek: Well, the funny thing about that song is it is very… It’s almost sarcastic or contradictory. It’s talking about all the stuff that has taken the optimism out of me, but yet… You have to learn from it and you have to build off of all the trying times and find a reason to be optimistic. And the reason that we still remain optimistic is we get to do this for a living. I’m here right now with you and I’m from Tennessee in America, so it’s like you got to be grateful for that.

Antihero Magazine: Obviously, that’s the new single. Fans are always going to want and constantly seek /demand, new music. It’s been quite a while since your last studio album came out, so when can we expect to hear more music?

Jesse Hasek: We actually have quite a bit recorded, but there’s not a release date on a full album yet. We are doing a little bit like a lot of people are doing now because I think the attention spans are a lot shorter with how quickly streaming and everybody has instant access to everything, so you kind of trickle it out a little slower, give a little bit here and there and dangle the carrot a little longer. And then, we’re hoping to have an album out spring of next year.

Antihero Magazine: Have you done any recording of that yet?

Jesse Hasek: Yeah, yeah.

Antihero Magazine: Songs are finished and close to completion?

Jesse Hasek: Not completely finished. I’d say realistically we’re about halfway through the album of just recording, but when we get back we want to… You just keep recording songs and trying new things to put out the best things you can kind of do. We don’t want to rush the process. So the songs we have recorded we feel strongly about, but we have another two dozen songs that we still have to pick from and see what makes the cut.

Antihero Magazine: It’s a double album then?

Jesse Hasek: We always end up writing and recording way more than ever comes out. So yeah.

Antihero Magazine: What is your standing in the UK? I mean, do you find a lot of the fans are coming to these shows and are familiar with you? Obviously, Three Days Grace are the headliner. Do you find a lot of fans know your own songs? You’ve got your own sort of hardcore…fans in there?

Jesse Hasek: Well, we’ve been fortunate to come over here early on. We came over all the way back in 2006, but the one shortcoming we have, or the thing that didn’t work out to our advantage, is we weren’t able to come over here very frequently. So, we’ve only been over… I think we’ve only played here a couple of times.

So, to have this opportunity to have this much exposure to these levels of crowds is great for us because we get to… The festivals, I mean, we’ve done the big festivals before, but it’s one and done. If you’re over here on tour night in and night out and you’re playing live…

Antihero Magazine: I’ve seen some of the videos of those live things that are on Youtube. That’s just crazy. ..Crazy audiences.

Jesse Hasek: It’s already surpassed anything we thought. Our expectations have been exceeded already, so the crowds have been great.

Antihero Magazine: How would you sell the band to someone that’s maybe not heard of you? Why should they go and listen to you? What do you do differently?


Jesse Hasek: You try to find individuality and your own identity in this. And I can sit here and say what other bands we might sound like. When you have to describe yourself, you go to say, “Oh, you sound like the Deftones mixed with Tool mixed with Chevelle mixed with Thrice.” Those are all things we sound like, but the individuality part, I think it has a lot to do with some of the lyrical content. And I have a tendency to write extremely personal and deep, almost uncomfortably…

Antihero Magazine: You do all the lyric writing for the band?

Jesse Hasek: We bounce the ideas around within the camp, but they give me a clean plate to work with. And then, we’ll bounce ideas back and forth. But for the most part, I’m allowed to dig deep within myself. And the one thing that I’ve found over the years is by making myself so vulnerable to everyone, to the public, people can latch onto it because they feel that vulnerability…

Antihero Magazine: That connection.

Jesse Hasek: And they can relate to that connection, so there’s such a vulnerable honesty within the lyrical content that I think people can relate to it. So there’s that aspect to it.

Antihero Magazine: The struggles… We sort of touched on this already, the struggles over the last few years for everybody. It’s been difficult. What adaptations professionally did you make, and maybe personally as well, to get you through those difficult times? Is there anywhere you reach for that gives you some sort of personal solace? Some comfort to get you back on track?

Jesse Hasek: One thing that we really had to adapt to quickly was 2020, obviously, as we’re in the business of making crowds, and in 2020, that’s impossible. So we are kind of old school because we came up in 2005, 2006, right there on the cusp of the internet. So we didn’t use and utilize the internet capabilities we could have and the pandemic kind of forced us to really dive into that. And we did some virtual concerts that really blew us away, the support and all the fans just kind of lifted us up because it was a very scary time to think about how we were going to survive it.

Antihero Magazine: And obviously, for fans as well, in the absence of live shows, it gives them a little bit of connection, as well.

Jesse Hasek: Yeah. I mean, it kind of blew us away that… Some of the stuff that… We only did two virtual concerts, but we took a lot of time rehearsing. We took a lot of time creating. And when we finally did those live virtual concerts, we hoped that they were special enough to where people really liked it, but it blew us away how much people tuned in.

And the other thing we weren’t really thinking about is the reach. We don’t get to come and tour internationally a whole lot because it’s a lot more expensive for us to come over here when in America we own everything. We just hop in and drive and take off. So doing the online shows, the virtual concerts and stuff, allowed us to reach the world. So it was really cool to see a lot of people in the UK and Europe and Australia and all over the world tune into these virtual concerts.

Antihero Magazine: And the meet and greet things, as well. You get that personal face-to-face interaction with the fans, as well.

Jesse Hasek: Yeah. We did virtual meet and greets as well during the pandemic. And that was really cool because it allowed us to have a little more one-on-one time. Now, when we do meet and greets in public, in person, we’ll meet a crowd of people. And we try to give everyone equal time, but sometimes it’s just difficult. Some people are a little shyer, some people are a little more outspoken.

Antihero Magazine: Little pushier. Yeah.

Jesse Hasek: So, when we did these virtual meet and greets online, it’s one group at a time, so you get a lot of one on one time with them. It was really cool.

Antihero Magazine: What sort of goals and dreams do you still have for the band?

Jesse Hasek: I guess…

Antihero Magazine: I think the band started way back…..

Jesse Hasek: High school. High school.

Antihero Magazine: High school. Yeah.

Jesse Hasek: The band started… I mean, if you say that, the band has been going…

Antihero Magazine: I’m all grown up and the band’s still there.

Jesse Hasek: Yeah. The band has been going for 20 years. Still, the goal, I think, is just to be inspired and to be driven a little bit to always push for something new within ourselves that inspires us to even tread in new territories, like here, to come and try to plant some seeds here, so to come back here more frequently and to build the fan base and to reach audiences in places that we haven’t really. So that’s kind of the goal for the band is to just keep challenging and pushing ourselves for something new and inspiring.

Antihero Magazine: How long is the setlist tonight? Was it difficult to condense a 20-year career into a short time?

Jesse Hasek: Yeah. It’s a shorter setlist. It’s 45, 50 minutes. So, it’s about 11 songs, 12 songs, yeah.

Antihero Magazine: Just a final one. If the roles were reversed and you could sit down and interview somebody that’s personally inspired, a personal hero of yours, maybe not even a musician, who would that person be?

Jesse Hasek: Man, that’s a great question. Yeah. I don’t know because in the music industry I’ve been able to meet a lot of my, quote end quote, “heroes.” So, man, who would I interview? That’s a good one.

Just for my own teenage nostalgia, I would love to… And it might be a tricky interview, but if I could go back and raise the dead, Kurt Cobain would be an interesting brain to pick.

Because when you think about him or Jim Morrison, how young they were and what they were hyper-exposed to so fast, it’s like I would almost like to see that perspective because it’s got to be overwhelming.

Another one, I know right off the bat that I would interview, or love to if I could, that’s alive is Paul McCartney. I mean, he’s a legend.

That guy… That person…


Mark Dean

I'm a 40+ music fan. Fond mostly of rock and metal - my staple musical food delights. Originally from Northern Ireland, I am now based in the UK-Manchester. I have a hectic musical existence with regular shows and interviews. Been writing freelance for five years now with several international websites. Passionate about what I do, I have been fortunate already to interview many of my all-time musical heroes. My music passion was first created by seeing Status Quo at the tender age of 15. While I still am passionate about my rock and metal, I have found that with age my taste has diversified so that now I am actually dipping into different musical genres and styles for the first time.

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