10th Concession, tbt*'s 2011 Ultimate Local Artist, talks new single 'Say OK'
In April, tbt* published its fifth annual Ultimate Local Music Guide, featuring 10 of Tampa Bay’s top bands and artists. As always, the guide came with a contest: The artist receiving the most fan votes at tbt.com would win $1,000 worth of recording time at Big3 Studios in St. Petersburg.
This year’s champs were 10th Concession, a pop-rock group from Tampa led by brothers Ian and Evan Koteles. With their prize, they holed up and recorded a new single, Say OK, a polished, piano-based track reminiscent of Jack’s Mannequin. They’ll premiere it during a single release party on Friday at the Amphitheatre in Ybor City. The show is at 9, and the cover is free. Click here for details.
Not gonna lie — we kinda feel like big shots, knowing tbt* helped a local band create a song. We’re producers! We’re like Rick Rubin! Or Timbaland!
Okay, maybe not. Still, we wanted to chat with 10th Concession about what they hope becomes a big new hit.
What does $1,000 worth of studio time get you these days?
Ian: Basically, they gave us a day’s worth, about eight hours. Typically the mixing is not included, but they were very generous. Rather than track a few songs, we just decided to complete one song from beginning to end. So we came out with a complete single.
Did you have a song already written?
Evan: We had one picked out.
Ian: It was a recently written song.
Evan: Definitely one of the newest ones. So it was exciting to have the opportunity for it.
Were you able to record it in a way that you thought maybe you wouldn’t? Did it turn out better than you thought because of the studio you had access to?
Evan: I think it came out the way it would have hoped for it to.
Ian: Yeah, definitely, the studio is phenomenal. The sound quality, we couldn’t have asked for a better situation. If anything, we wish we would have had a little more time, but with the time we had allotted, I think we got a really great product. We’re very happy with it.
Evan: I think you could record a song in two different places and have it come out two different ways. We were fortunate to get into Big3, because they would be a little bit outside of our own budget. Just the quality that they’re able to produce, in such an efficient way, I think we were really excited about what we were able to come out with. Really, our goal now is to raise money to do more there.
What would you say Say OK is about?
Evan: The premise is basically escaping life’s trials and tribulations. The lyrics are pretty straightforward, but it’s basically just wanting to get away.
What else have you been doing since this spring?
Ian: We just got back from Nashville. We did a small showcase; it was very small, just for a couple of booking agents. We had a good response from that. But on the other end of it, there’s been a lot of change. We have a new drummer this year. We haven’t been playing as much. Evan’s gone back to school since then. I got my real estate license. Matt (Brady, guitars) works full-time, and our new drummer’s in school. So we’re just having to balance life and figuring out what our next move is. It’s not easy.
Does Say OK feel like a $1,000 song? Does it feel like you got your money’s worth?
Evan: Absolutely. Hopefully it’s a million-dollar song in Nashville. I think we got a hit.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Edmund D. Fountain, tbt*