Ten Tonnes (the moniker of the more lightly named Ethan Barnett) is crashing onto our ones to watch list in a blaze of slick guitar riffs and piercing vocals.
Drawing influence from across the music spectrum, his influences and talents have been packaged into a “ten tonne” force of indie, rock and roll and alternative.
The explosion through my speakers from his latest release, ‘Cracks Between; signifies that the electric guitar is the instrument key to creating Ten Tonnes’s enormous sound. So, is he taking music back to the likes of old school indie guitar bands, a la The Strokes?
“I like The Strokes but the indie music I listen to goes back even further, to the kind of artists I guess people like The Strokes took influence from. 70’s and 80’s indie is my jam, especially guitarists like Elvis Costello. There’s also a rock and roll influence in ‘Cracks Between; and my other songs. Eddie Cocharan was the first artist I listened to, and his guitar style definitely feeds into my music.”
‘Cracks Between’ is a riotous racket written and produced in collaboration with former Maccabees guitarist Hugo White, demonstrating Ethan’s mature yet anarchic grasp of the electric guitar. “I wrote this song when I was 18, and I’ve had it in my life for three years now so it’s great to finally get it out there! I originally had the riff but no lyrics that were good enough to go with it. The final product is a light- hearted look at a break up.”
Its perhaps unsurprising that with his assured grasp on writing and playing, Ten Tonnes grew up in a musical family. His older brother is in fact folk and americana crooner George Ezra. Has the family relation to such a star been a help or a hindrance to Ten Tonnes’s career?
“It’s a fact that George is my brother and I don’t hide it, but at the same time I don’t use it. I want to be recognised as an artist in my own right and my music be allowed to speak for itself. Luckily that’s been the case so far and the connection has never been a bad thing. I mean we’re so different as artists- I think trying to draw any kind of comparison between us is useless.”
Read more on Ten Tonnes’s musical journey and his new year plans in volume 22 of tmrw magazine.
Words by Paige Tracey