Ten Year Vamp is based in Albany, NY, where they’ve been voted best Rock Band in the Metroland Reader’s Poll for the 5th year in a row. The lineup is: Debbie Gabrione, Vocals and Guitars, Mark Rose, Rhythm Guitars, Tim Keenan, Bass, Andrew Foster, Lead Guitars, Gregory Nash, Drums and Bill Ketzer on Vocals, Percussion, Keyboards.
They have beaten the odds and found an incredibly loyal following and tremendous success all without a record company backing them. In fact, when they wanted to put out their latest release, they went to their fans to get funding.
The band is known for delivering a top-tier, high octane performance at their live shows and their reputation has fueled interest in their latest release, Don't Act Like You Know Me. They’ve been featured on CNBC, Forbes.com and in a long list of music publications from around the world. They’ve played for thousands of fans at festivals and at prestigious venues from CBGB’s to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Guitarist Mark Rose took some time from his busy schedule to tell us a little more about the band.
How do you describe your music to people, Mark?
High energy rock and roll... but that's lame. Every band says they're high energy, but we're one of the few who can back it up. The music is fun, sing-along, drink with your buddies, drive fast (but not in that order) rock. We're not trying to write another Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. We're just have-fun rock with a female singer that can kick any male singer's ass.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I think most of us in the band got into the music business because we saw some band live and the show blew us away. Each of us have our own unique stories... Me, it was watching LiveAid (Status Quo, Boomtown Rats, U2, Queen, The Who...)
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
To be on stage with the other guys (and gal) in the band. Setting up sucks. Loading out sucks. Driving to the gig sucks. But when we're on stage together, there is nothing better in the world. We just click...and we have fun no matter what happens.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Staying motivated is the biggest challenge. We do very well for ourselves without a record label. And from the outside, you can look at us and see all the cool and exciting things we've done. But behind-the-scenes, we've got 10 times as many rejections and disappointments. After a day of 4 rejections, it's incredibly challenging to motivative yourself to update a website or answer review questions at 12:48am when you've got X-Men Origins: Wolverine on the TIVO.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I thought I'd be in the movie business... directing movies. But my first choice would have been "rock band". And I never ever would have believed I'd be where I am right now.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Albany (and the Capital District of NY) has been very supportive. And Albany is such an incredible city. It's on the cutting edge in a lot of ways, yet it's small enough so we can feel connected. Three hours from Boston, three hours from NYC... plus driving distance from some great music clubs in places like Plattsburgh NY, Manchester NH, Worcester MA, and tons more. We can't express how thankful we are of all the Northeast businesses and clubs that have helped us along the way.
What other artists out there do you love?
There are a TON of great musicians and bands out this way. The worst part about being in a band is that we're always playing and never have the chance to go see other bands. BUT I'll name just a few other local area bands/musicians that you won't regret checking out: Chris Dukes (new album came out Oct 23rd), Erin Harkes, The Velmas, Bryan Thomas, Sean Rowe, Sirsy, The Erotics, Loose Cannon, The Pain, Super 400... just to name a few. And there are a ton of great cover bands too.
What does your future hold?
Hmmm... our new/current album wiil get some good regional airplay and we eventually sign with a minor label over a major label. Our next album is HUGE due to all the groundwork we've laid with the current album. And we win some sort of Best New Artist Grammy.