Albany band Ten Year Vamp has been together for a decade now, and with the end of these ten years comes a change of direction. Moving into their second decade, the club favorites around the Capital District and points north and south will be moving in a new direction, putting their cover songs behind them and focusing exclusively on original music. Debbie Gabrione, lead singer of Ten Year Vamp, talked to UpstateLIVE about this change by the band and what the future holds for them.
Pete Mason: What recent developments with the band led to the decision, after 10 years, to shift away from covers and focus exclusively on your original music?
Debbie Gabrione: After ten years of non stop gigging, we just reached a point where we’ve attained a decent level of success as an unsigned original band and realized we don’t need the cover band thing anymore to continue moving forward. The cover music was just a way for us to have an income so that we could invest that income into the original band; making CDs, merch, gas/hotel money, etc… Due largely to the income of the cover band, we’ve released six CD’s, with the last two getting us a significant amount of publicity, licensing and publishing opportunities. With those opportunities, we’ve been able to get an income as an original band (as opposed to the cover band income which we previously had to rely on). With the new found income, we don’t need the cover band. Don’t get me wrong, it wouldn’t suck to have the two incomes and we talked about keeping the cover shows going, even on a part time level, but after playing more then 800 shows, not having a weekend free to spend with friends/family for the past 10 years, playing the same cover songs over and over with excitement and energy, and being burnt out and sore and tired all the time, it’ll be nice to get a small break.
PM: How do you plan to spend the new found time?
DG: We plan to make good use of our break by writing tons of new originals. We’ve made connections in the industry and we now know how things work, so we feel as though it’s in our best interest to focus 100% on just putting out as much original music as possible. Because we all have full time jobs AND gig on the weekend AND practice one night a week, it’s been nearly impossible to find time to write, let alone feel inspired. We just really want to free ourselves up as much as possible to just write. Once we have some new material and possibly a new product to shop (a CD), we’ll resume playing shows.
PM: What were the conflicts surrounding the decision?
DG: There really weren’t many conflicts and it was pretty much an obvious decision. The fact is that we’re not the band we want to be. We want to be an original band, but we haven’t had the time to write a song in two years because we’ve been so busy.
PM: How did the band measure the pros and cons of the change?
DG: We could keep going as we are, but we’re not moving in the direction we want to go. It sucks and it’s sad to say goodbye to something we’ve been doing for 10 years with each other, but if what we want is more success as an original band, then this is the most ideal solution.
PM: Ten Year Vamp has always mixed in originals into their sets, so will there be more songwriting and song debuts in the future?
DG: The plan is to take a few months off and dive head first into writing, then hit up the studio and get everything recorded. When we have a bunch of new songs, we plan to resume gigging and pursue more licensing and publishing opportunities.
PM: Is this another Ten Year Vamp, and can we expect another change in 10 years?
DG: We don’t expect our hiatus to be longer then a few months to a year and we plan to come back bigger and better then ever. With new songs in tow, hopefully a bunch more licensing successes and having taken a year off, we expect our return to draw even crowds and attention.