“You wanna be your own thing in like today’s world.”
– Ethan Barnett
‘TEN TONNES’ self-titled debut album is OUT OUT! We had the pleasure to talk to Ethan Barnett aka Ten Tonnes the other day in Berlin and had a chat about dogs and cats, idols and times travels and about his debut record, of course!
Check out our interview with the young and talented singer songwriter from Hertford, UK, below and find out more about Ethan!
Are there any Germany bands you know and you are listening to?
I don’t think so. The only ones I know are Kraftwerk and old bands like that.
You already got to support artists like Rat Boy, Stereophonisch and Tom Grennan and you are currently touring with your bigger brother George. Is it a blessing and curse at the same time to be on tour with a close family member or are you guys happy to get to spent loads of time with each other and be supportive as much as you can?
Yeah definitely! It’s nice that my sister works for my brother and my dad’s here as well. We don’t see each other that much because we are both really busy, so it’s actually nice to spend a bit of time together. And during the days we don’t get to see each other that much, because I’m off doing my stuff, he’s off doing his stuff. But it’s to catch up and to having family members here. We stood in the arena earlier and it just felt weird because it was just me and my family (laughs).
In which way are you influenced and inspired by other artists?
Definitely I think I am inspired by older artists more than new ones. I think it’s easier to get influenced from older artists without ripping them off. You wanna be your own thing in like today’s world. I feel like I do my specific thing and that’s more influenced by older artists.
But do you have an icon or a muse?
My musical influence is like The Beatles, Bob Dylan and stuff like that. I don’t know about a muse..
What’s the best thing about being an artist and what’s the worst?
The best is you are a lot on the road. I always wanted to do stuff like that when I was a kid, I wanted to write songs and play gigs.
The worst is like it can be really stressful, but you can never really complain about it because people are like ‚oh fuck off you got a good job’, you know what I mean (laughs). Sometimes when I’m complaining to my mates they are like ‚you get to play gigs for a living‘ – yeah I guess so. But I hate it when musicians do the whole ‚poor me thing‘ and write a song about being a musician is so hard, like fuck off, no one cares dude (laughs).
The best thing is like this is my dream and it’s just nuts. Especially when you’re on tour, because you get to play these massive shows. I don’t really know how it happened but it’s really fun, I love it!
You just released your debut album ‚TEN TONNES‘ – what inspired you the most for this record?
A lot of energy, it’s like a lot of high energy! A lot of big choruses and like sing-alongs I think. Influenced by loads of stuff really. Some of the song that are on it I wrote when I was about 18 years old and some were written and finished like in September 2018. I spent a long period in my life. It’s wicked that it’s been so long. The song’s I write now, that aren’t on the record, are so different. The ones I’m writing now kinda feel very different, which is very exciting! But it’s influenced by loads stuff like Elvis Castello, The Strokes, Dylan, Beatles, The Smiths and Tom Petty. Just my favorites artists really. It’s nothing directly, it’s more like listening to stuff like that and absorbing bits and pieces.
What’s your favourite song to play live at the moment?
There’s a new one called ‚Counting Down‘, which is on the record. I just really like that song as a song! That was one of the last tunes I wrote and I had it for ages and ages, but I did wait until I sent it to labels or management, because it was just gonna be a guitar demo and I knew they wouldn’t have liked it, if I would have sent it like that. So I went to the studio and made like a rough demo, you have to like polish off a bit and send it to them. So I’m just pleased that one got on the record and it’s one of the last ones I wrote.
Is there anything on your bucket list, you would really love to play one day, like a special place or venue?
Yeah, definitely Glastonbury at some point and there’s one in London called the Brixton Academy, which is quite iconic. Maybe that Wembley station would be fucking jokes (laughs), but I don’t know if I could do that.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you while you were touring?
The other day we stayed in Sweden in like a truck stop and there was this beautiful lake and we walked down to the water and at some point I just started running, because we just have been in the van all day so I just had a lot of energy and started running around. And then I just ran and it looked like solid ground, but then it was just like liquid mud and it started to suck me down a little bit so I had to grab myself out of it quickly. It was these jeans actually and these pair of shoes, maybe less than a week ago and look at them now! These shoes are the best (points at his Dr.Martens)
Yeah love me a good pair of DM’s!
Yeah they are just like indestructible (laughs)
But yeah that was funny, I had to change in the middle of a car park.
Do you have any travel essentials?
Yeah! This is my bluetooth speaker, just a water bootle, but I really like it (it makes a cool noise). Tea, it’s like throat tea. This is pretty good (points at his inhaler) it’s an inhaler, like steam inhaler – that’s good for your voice!
Looks a bit like a portable kitchen – what’s your favourite blend of tea?
I like peppermint tea the best, that’s my favourite!
Just imagine you were able to do a travel travel – would you go back in time or see what the future holds for you?
Definitely go back in time I think! I reckon I would go back to Victorian England or just like super super far back to see what’s going on, like Tudor London. I probably would die like in a week (laughs)..
If you could be a super hero, who would you by and why?
I’d be Spiderman, because he is my favourite one! me and my dad like Spiderman. Yeah he’s my favourite I think he seems to be the coolest one. I don’t even like heights, I wouldn’t be good in climbing up buildings, but it would be fun!
Spoiler – the following question is a bit cheesy: Can you ‚G.I.V.E.‘ us a reason why dogs are better than cats?
(laughs) I don’t actually believe that to be true, I know – exclusive! I do love both! I don’t used be to a dog person, when I grow up in a family full of cats. Family full of cats? (laughs) Family with cats! My mum got a puppy a couple of years ago and now I kinda get the whole dog thing and now I love dogs! I feel like my personality is more of a cat! A cat can just chill out, a dog can be a bit annoying. But I do love both!
For your music video for your single ‚G.I.V.E.‘ you spent an entire day in Hampstead Heath filming with a bunch of dogs. You said about shooting the video ‚The dogs were amazing, just wish there was less of that guy in the red shirt though, so annoying and a real pain to work with‘ – what influences the guy in the red shirt in the way he dresses and what means fashion to him?
Hmm.. I’m not really cool, but I just try to dress like people that are cool (laughs)! Like I just try to look like Bob Dylan, The Beatles and stuff like that. I just try to imitate people that I think are cool, but yeah..
Do you have an indispensable piece of clothing?
Definitely these boots! This outfit – these jeans, this jacket and these boots are like my go to!
Where do you see yourself in a year?
Hopefully doing a headline tour on my own! European/UK tour would be amazing, so hopefully just playing to more people and fans.
Music is .. (try to choose ONE word)!
I would say ‚my life‘, but that’s two words and just ‚life‘ sounds shit (laughs). So music is .. I keep thinking of two words..
Music is … the best thing in the world! Music is BEST!
Thanks Ethan for taking the time to have a chat with us! Listen to ‘TEN TONNES’ the debut album now on all platforms and don’t forget to get yourself a physical copy as well. For tour dates and more check out Ten Tonnes website!
xx smoke and echoes
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