The L.A.-based garage punk duo just released their latest effort, the fiery 12-song long player appropriately titled ‘Volume’ (Ugly Sugar Records). With a lot of ’60s garage rock and ’70s punk mixed with just a hint of ’90s fuzz, ‘Volume’ is as pure as the driven snow and as raw as a freshly cut steak.
Since their formation, The Two Tens were picked as one of six L.A. bands to see at SXSW by Los Angeles Magazine, and had a song in Showtime’s “Shameless” at the start of the 2015 season. They’ve supported the Sonics, Naked Raygun, Electric Six and the Misfits, toured the West Coast, and played the Echo Park Rising, Viva Pomona, and HiFi Rockfest festivals.
We sat down with Adam Bones (guitar/vocals) and Rikki Styxx (drums/vocals) and talked to them about the rapid success of the fairly new band, the unfair comparisons to other guitar and drum duos, and their debut album.
Innocent Words: The Two Tens are barely two years old as a band, what do you attribute to the rapid success of the band?
Adam Bones: I would say hard work. One of the reasons why we wanted to start a band together was our work ethic. We make a really good team and complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, we like to get shit done.
Rikki Styxx: We are making music we believe in and people are taking notice. Everything is clicking. Onward and upward
Innocent Words: How long after you formed the band did you enter the studio to record ‘Volume’?
Adam Bones: It was pretty quick. We had songs ready to go that we had been working on from the get go and we wanted to get in the studio as quickly as possible.
Rikki Styxx: We knew we needed songs to be available to the music lovers that would get what we are about, so we went into the studio very, very quickly after forming the band!
Innocent Words: You recorded in L.A. with producer Bruce Duff (Prima Donna, Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs) and Paul Roessler’s (Screamers, 45 Grave). Why those two producers and what did they bring to the band’s songs you might not have thought of or done?
Adam Bones: Bruce produced the album. He added a lot of good little detail suggestions. Change a note here, try a different melody line, use a different tone. Those details definitely add to the character of the album. We recorded the album at Paul’s studio, Kitten Robot engineered the album. He was a great ying to Bruce’s yang. They have different energies about them and it was good to have both of their input as we recorded the album.
Rikki Styxx: It was a perfect collective of creativity that we needed. Bruce is an old school punk rocker that knew what we were going for and Roessler was able to experiment with different sounds to make us unique. Worked out great.
Innocent Words: You are a two piece whose songs average 2:30, dare I say you are minimalist?
Adam Bones: Ha. Well, the idea of this band was to simplify and cut out all the fat and overthinking that comes into writing music or being a band. We just want to write songs that we like and have a good time performing them.
Rikki Styxx: Stripped down rock & roll is better!
Adam Bones: It’s probably the obvious comparison because of the male/female duo thing. It’s a pretty flattering comparison. I don’t mind it even though there are definitely better comparisons to make. We’re both fans of The White Stripes so it’s cool.
Rikki Styxx: Anyone that knows music and doesn’t stereotype us into “another two-piece” knows how different the two bands really are. I love The White Stripes but we are very different.
Innocent Words: On the plus side there are also comparisons to the Ramones and the British Nuggets era, so you got that going for you.
Adam Bones: The Ramones are my favorite band so I will always get influence from them. And we get a lot of influence from garage rock in general as well.
Rikki Styxx: We both grew up loving the Ramones so of course they would be a driving force in our music
Innocent Words: What’s the easiest thing and hardest thing about touring as a duo?
Adam Bones: Easiest is probably that it’s just the two of us. And hardest is that it’s just the two of us. Think about that…
Innocent Words: Did you ever consider naming the band Styxx & Bones? I mean, just think of the play on words that would come with it.
Adam Bones: Ha, nah, that would have been too obvious. And as obvious as it is, it didn’t ever make the list. It took us forever to come up with our band name. But when we did, it stuck and we’re happy with it.
Friday, March 11th, DNA Lounge San Francisco, w/ Andalusia Rose
Saturday, March 12th, The Maltese, Chico, CA w/ The She Things, Bad Mana
Sunday, March 13th, Black Forest, Eugene, OR w/ Not A Part Of It, The Critical Shakes
Monday, March 14th, Volcanic Theatre Pub, Bend, OR
Tuesday, March 15th, Twilight Cafe and Bar, Portland, OR w/ The Reverberations, The Ransom, Adam & The Molecules
Wednesday, March 16th, The Funhouse Seattle, WA / Terman Shanks, Foxhole Norman
Friday, March 18th, The Roxy 101 W Kennewick Ave Ste 201, Kennewick, WA w/ The Coast
Saturday, March 19th, The Palace Missoula, MT
Monday, March 21st, Liquid, Boise, ID
Tuesday, March 22nd, Shea’s Tavern, Reno, NV
Wednesday, March 23rd, Beauty Bar, Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, March 24th, Pour House, Oceanside, CA
Friday, March 25th, Redwood Bar & Grill Los Angeles,