Q&A with The Ten Ton Tinnies


Much like the US country music market, Australia is embedded with many great artists and a talent pool on the up-and-coming circuit who are all trying to establish their unique branded style. Among those acts is The Ten Ton Tinnies. The group, who broke through with their 2020 debut album Tons of Tins, draws as much inspiration from the harder-edged modern country era of today that we’re accustomed to, as well as the punk rock and heavy metal scenes that they grew up playing in, which helps them create their own signature feel and sound. They’ve recently released their brand-new single “Sing It Loud,” and we had the incredible opportunity to catch up with them and discuss their musical background, the new single and its accompanying music video, their plans for hitting the US market in 2023, and much more!

(Interview by: Jeffrey Kurtis

Music Video: "Sing It Loud"

1) There’s no mistaking your harder-hitting brand of country, which we’ll tap into in just a second. But first, who are your biggest country music influences? Stateside, Australian (your homeland), etc.

We definitely hit the rock side of country, having previously spent a lot of time in punk rock and heavy metal bands, we wanted to bring some of that influence over to the country world. In saying that, we definitely aren’t pioneers of this brand of music. There isn’t a lot of this style of thing going on in Australia right (We do love bands like Southbound XO and the Silverstring Outlaws) so we take a lot of influence from American artists like Kid Rock, Hardy (how good is his new single, “Sold Out”), Morgan Wallen, Brantley Gilbert, Jason Aldean, Chris Janson, Black Stone Cherry, Luke Combs and Kip Moore.

2) Back to the hard-hitting aspect of your music. Having come from the punk rock industry to country myself, I certainly can hear some punk influences spread through your music. Who are your favorite bands from that genre – or alternative rock in general – which your try to incorporate aspects of into your own unique brand of music?

For me personally (Steve - Guitars) punk rock was more than music when I was growing up, it was life. I was in love with bands like NOFX, Blink 182, Green Day, Millencolin, Bad Religion, Rancid, Strung out, The Bronx, Guttermouth and Lagwago. I could probably list a hundred more bands here but that gives you an idea of what I was into. I think the punk rock elements we have tried to capture in the Tinnies are the structures and chord progressions and also a little bit of that take no prisoners attitude that punk is famous for.

3) You’ve just recently put out your brand-new single “Sing It Loud.” Tell us a little bit about the song.

“Sing it Loud” is really a song about the struggles of being on the road and in the studio and the sacrifices you need to make in your personal life in order to make music. It’s not a complaint song by any means but it does outline that the glitz and glamour that everyone thinks of when they think of life as a musician has a dark side that many don’t see and it’s a way to bring some attention to that side of the business.

4) The accompanying music video for the song does take us on the road with you and shows us several looks at your live show. In what ways do you feel this type of more performance-based video not only enhances the song, but could influence people to come out and see you on tour?

This was an interesting video to make. Prior to this, we have always held onto creative control and guided the direction of our videos. This time, we handed over control 100% to our producer/director to come up with a video that reflects the feeling of the song and I think she has done a great job there. I personally try to avoid performance based videos because I feel like they have been done to death but Kerri found a way to put a new spin on it and we are really happy with the result.

5) The song follows the more straight-ahead modern country single “Simple Life,” which you released this summer (July 2022). How did the song impact for you then, but also do you think it’s going to see a resurgence in your home country of Australia as you roll into summertime now?

“Simple life” is essentially an exhaustive list of all the things I like in life (haha). But you’re right, there is a summertime vibe about the song and it seemed to perform reasonably well for a little country band from Australia over in the US.  With a bit of luck, the song will see some resurgence in Australia as we head into Summer but for now, we are focussed on promoting “Sing it Loud.”

6) Are “Sing It Loud” and “Simple Life” (also “Country Bars”) teasers that are going to be part of bigger project you’re working on, or are they stand-alone singles for now?

These are stand-alone singles for now. We put out our debut album Tons of Tins during the covid lockdown period and it was actually good for us because it gave us time away from our day jobs to really focus on getting that album out. ⅔ of our band are in the Military so with different deployments and other work commitments, it can be hard for us to get together so that’s why we only put out 3 singles in 2022. There are a couple more songs we have ready to release in 2023 and at some stage, we might combine all these singles into an album. But for now, our focus is on singles, and you can expect to see a few more in coming months.

7) Is there a song that you haven’t put out yet that you can’t wait for your fans to hear? If so, why that song and what does it mean to you?

Without giving too much away, there is one that we are pretty excited about. It’s probably a step back towards some of the more tongue in cheek stuff we did on Tons of Tins, like the first single, “Bad Gas Travels Fast in a Small Town.” This one is currently called “Water in His Whiskey” and it’s about that person that everyone has in their friends group that kind of drags the rest of the group down; they’re the ones who always need to bum a cigarette or a drink, who get the group kicked out of the club for doing something stupid or try to steal a friends girlfriend. We all know them and they exist in everyone's social setting so that song will be poking a little bit of fun at that type of person.

8) You’ve mentioned your 2020 debut album Tons of Tins. For your longtime fans, what are the most similar aspects they will hear between the music on that album and these news songs, but also what major differences will they find?

I think fans will find that unique Tinnies Schtick still exists from Tons of Tins on these new songs, but we have taken a little bit more of a serious edge for these few. I’m not sure that was a conscious decision to do that but that is how it worked out. “Sing it Loud” is probably the most different dynamically, but in saying that, songs like “a song for the Bruce” had a similar dynamic about them so it’s fairly consistent with our previous work.

9) Your reach in Australia is certainly growing, and while we know that the new music video is being pushed in the states, what overall plans do you have with this new music for making impact stateside that we can expect in 2023? 

We are working with a promotions company in Nashville and our focus is really on the US stuff moreso than at home right now. The market for the style of country we are doing is much bigger in the US and it seems that Australian punters are happy to follow what America is doing in that space so we will definitely continue to push the American market in 2023

10) What one piece of advice can you offer to someone who is just starting out and trying to break into the music industry?

Get really good at waiting! 90% of being a musician is waiting, waiting for your turn to record, waiting for your plane to take off, waiting for the support bands to play, waiting for your ride back to the hotel. Find a way to be happy and entertain yourself during all the downtime and it will make the rest of the experience much easier.

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