Interview with Guitarist Brian Vodinh from "Ten Years Complete" By Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - October 2010
Ten Years Complete is a rock band from Knoxville, Tennessee. They have performed at the same shows with bands such as Metallica. Today Critical Bench interviewed their guitarist Brian Vodinh. In this interview we step inside Brian's mind about training and performing as a rock star. Also, make sure to see "Ten Years Complete" perform LIVE.
CRITICAL BENCH: Brian, welcome to Critical Bench. Can you tell us about your band and yourself?
We are a modern hard rock band from Knoxville, Tennessee. I'm Brian and I play guitar.
CRITICAL BENCH: Brian, give us the band members style of training.
Typically, our singer Jesse and I are the main 2 that work out consistently. We vary our training all the time and do everything from simple body weight exercises and running, to hitting gyms while on the road and pushing ourselves in the weight room for gains in strength and mass.
CRITICAL BENCH: What motivates you all to perform and what motivates you all to train? Is it similar?
Training and performing are very similar. It's all about pushing yourself to obtain a result. Also, it's amazing how similar the feeling is after a really amazing show and also after an amazing workout. It's the best "high" there is. Training, whether it be for strength or endurance, really helps our live performances. The more energy you can give to a crowd the better.
CRITICAL BENCH: What types of music do you listen to when you train?
I am kind of weird when it comes to listening to music while I train. I usually don't. I find that music distracts me a bit. I will catch myself taking too long between sets or just kind of standing around because I'm air drumming or just listening to the music and spacing out. I love to run and I mostly run outside, but if I have to be inside and run on a treadmill, I will listen to music then.
I listen to all kinds of different things. Everything from the Deftones and Metallica to Marvin Gaye and Radiohead. It all depends on my mood. If I am doing a tempo run, which is just a very quick tempo'd 20-30 minutes, I might listen to heavy and aggressive music. If I plan on doing a longer run, say 5-10 miles, I will usually zone out with something like Radiohead or Allman Brothers.
CRITICAL BENCH: While on tours, list us a:
Crazy moment- When our bass player got shot at while in a taxi cab in Washington D.C.
Favorite moment- Playing a festival with Metallica in Dublin, Ireland.
Emotional moment- When our first single went to number 1 on the rock charts.
Funny Moment- Hanging on our bus with Kyle Gass from Tenacious D.
CRITICAL BENCH: What goes through your mind before performing on stage? What goes through your minds before doing the most intense set in weight lifting of your life? Is it similar or different?
There are definitely similarities. With both of these things I have to keep telling myself to "push, push, push!" For instance, if you lift weights in a lazy, non-aggressive fashion, more than likely you will not see very good gains. When you bring a high level of intensity and pace to your workouts, not only will your focus be stronger, but your body will follow suit.
When we are performing, it's all about reconnecting with the song and letting your heart take over. I consider lifting and performing to be very passionate acts that should be performed with respect and passion.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you all want to be remembered and how do you want your band to be remembered?
I want us to be remembered as a legitimate creative force that made music for the right reasons. We are not a manufactured boy band who is only doing this for money and girls. We have had so many ups and downs over the last 12 years that if we were only in it for superficial reasons, we would have disappeared a long time ago. We really put our hearts and souls into every piece of music that we create, so I hope people can feel that and relate with what we have written.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about some of your albums that are out that people can check out.
We released our first album through a major label in 2005 and it is called the Autumn Effect. This album has a song called "Wasteland" on it and this was our first single to radio ever. Next, we released an album called Division, and our biggest single from this album is called "Beautiful". We recently released a brand new album, our most energetic and best to workout to so far, called Feeding the Wolves. We are currently supporting this album with our current single, "Shoot it Out", and we are so pumped that this album is out now. We are really proud of this one and can't wait for the masses to hear it. We went a bit heavier this time around, but still maintain the melodic dissonance of Jesse's vocals.
CRITICAL BENCH: What makes your band unique?
I think it's an "x factor" that makes us unique. I have spoken with people about this topic before and it's tough to pinpoint what exactly it is that sets us so far apart from other bands. One thing that I can definitely say in regard to this, though, is that we fill our lyrics with substance and do not just write about trying to bang some whore backstage at a show. There are plenty of bands out there who write songs with simple messages that do not make the listener think. There is definitely a time and place for that in music, but it's not our thing. We like to take a simple message and word it in such a way that is less watered down than most of the stuff on radio.
CRITICAL BENCH: How did you all meet and form a band?
Most of us met in high school, but we ended up meeting our singer Jesse around 2001, which was right after high school for a couple of us. We had a couple of different members back then but we knew we needed a new singer, so we heard Jesse sing in his old band and knew that we had to steal him away.
CRITICAL BENCH: Changing topics, what are your diets like and what supplements do you take?
I am a sufferer of yo-yo dieting. In 2006, I decided I wanted to get healthy. I was lazy and completely out of shape. At this time, I weighed about 205 and am only 5 ft. 8". Basically, I was a slob, but I had a history of athleticism so I decided it was time to turn things around. I first started by just cutting my portion sizes. I was still eating pizza and burgers, just a whole lot less. In about a month I lost a ton of weight and became inspired by the results. I never looked back from that point and spent the next 3 years eating extremely lean and eventually losing about 70 pounds. I was weight training a lot, but doing a very cardio based, fast paced work out that consisted of high reps and low-medium weight. My really lean diet had me consuming very few calories and then on top of that, I fell in love with running. I ended up getting in a solid running routine, on top of my weight training, that had me logging close to 70-80 miles per week. I went from a size 38-40 waist to a size 28 waist and still had to wear a belt. Most people say I was too skinny, but I had never felt better. I cut out pretty much all saturated fats and refined sugars, and ate mostly whole grains and fruits and vegetables. I think I lived exclusively on smoothies for about a year!
As far as supplements go, I am currently taking just a multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, and an extra vitamin c after an intense workout. I used to take assorted preworkout supps like N.O. Xplode and Cullucor's M5 along with a lot of protein, but I have recently eliminated those and will start back in a few months.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your advice for young kids or teens who look up to you and would like to play in a band someday? What about someone who wants to get started in training?
The music industry is unforgiving and very difficult to enter. Young people who want to jump into this crazy industry need to focus so much on songwriting and also become savvy in the business side of it. The business is changing to conform to our culture and economy, so people need to have an understanding of the industry before diving in. Songwriting is so important as well. If you write an amazing song, that speaks much louder to industry execs than how many shows you have played or how you have opened up for whatever band.
CRITICAL BENCH: Who are your favorite bodybuilders? Do you like the old school classic bodybuilders or the new age bodybuilders of today?
I love the classics, the days of Arnold and such. It goes to show that simple training can go a long way. Nowadays, there is so much new technology and machines and things like that, that I think it's easy to forget how much you can accomplish with a couple of dumbbells. Brandon Curry is a bad mofo, though, I have to say. I saw some of his training videos and everything he said made a ton of sense.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you all see the future of bodybuilding?
I don't really know. It can be such a positive sport if people go about it naturally and maintain healthy diets.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is the best and worst bodybuilding piece of advice you were all told?
Best piece of advice was to work equally hard on your entire body. Some people spend all their time on their upper bodies and then become terribly disproportionate. I know guys who want to get into bodybuilding because they have these massive arms and a huge chest, but have these tiny little chicken legs and have never done a squat in their life.
The worst advice was probably someone really pushing steroids on people. Obviously, these types of things are going to be present in this industry, but I say go for it naturally.
CRITICAL BENCH: What does your family think of your band and bodybuilding lifestyles?
I have THE most supportive family in the world. They bought me my first guitar and my first gym membership, so they are all about these endeavors. My parents are big tennis players and are very healthy people, so as long as I am pursuing positive and healthy things, they are happy. My father will be 80 this year and my mom is also a little older but they still come out to every single show we play in our hometown. They are rockin'!
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?
My future goals are to stay consistent with my training and diet and not to be too hard on myself when I fail. There are times when all I can think about is taking a day off and just gorging on pizza, well, I have come to realize that sometimes that is a good thing and I can't beat myself up over it. I also would like to see some more future success in the music industry for me and my bandmates. Our work ethic is pretty intense, so to see a nice return on our sweat equity would be nice.
CRITICAL BENCH: What's your message for the world.
Work hard and love one another. Not to sound like a damn hippie, but since the birth of my daughter, I just dream of a world where we can all coexist without all the bull crap and drama.
CRITICAL BENCH: It has been great interviewing you today! Are there any people who you would like to thank for your band's success?
Our fans are the reason we exist. If nobody would listen to us we would have lost the opportunity to put out albums a long time ago. Thanks to our friends, families, and our fans for allowing us to be creative and alive.