Kevin Moultrie, UCLA alumnus and the vocalist and guitarist for the Westwood-based band The Ten Thousand , hated his job at Starbucks because it lacked kinship. Moultrie said he found the closeness he once yearned for at Starbucks in his band.
Dylan Robin, third-year psychology student and the electric guitarist and vocalist of the band, joked about Moultrie’s hatred of Starbucks.
“All of these guys in the band are my best friends. So if the band were Starbucks, Starbucks would be awesome,” Robin said.
According to Satoru Yamamoto, keyboardist and alumnus, The Ten Thousand’s fellowship is a pillar of the band’s sound and stage presence.
The band will have the chance to share this notion with listeners during its performance today in Bruin Plaza. The Ten Thousand will be performing alongside Mateo for a voter registration event co-programmed by the Cultural Affairs Commission and the external vice president’s office.
The group formed when Moultrie, Robin and Garrett Harney, drummer and third-year psychology student, met last spring through various means for a rehearsal hours before their first performance at one of the Treehouse’s open mic nights.
The band has since doubled in size and now includes Yamamoto, Nathan Kersey-Wilson, a third-year ethnomusicology student, on bass and James Bunning, alumnus, on electric guitar.
For now, The Ten Thousand has chosen to maintain a low Internet presence. According to Robin, the band would rather take a professional approach to their business model and unveil all of their work at one time. Robin said that despite their lack of activity on social media platforms, they still have a wealth of material ready to be shared.
“So far, touring, or gigging, is all we know. We are less of a studio band at the moment, but that is going to change soon,” Robin said.
Moultrie said that the band has yet to record any songs from their catalog, but plans have been made to begin recording within the next month.
According to Harney, the band’s assortment of personalities and musical interests makes it hard to tuck its sound neatly beneath the wings of one genre. The musical background of the band ranges from Harney’s experiences with metal and punk music to Robin’s own electronic creations.
“I’ve been in other bands and I have never been a fan of doing the genre thing. Obviously, you have to do it so people can know what to expect when they listen to your music, but it’s hard to really say what we sound like,” Harney said.
In spite of this, Harney described some of their songs as possessing a sound similar to that of Queens of the Stone Age. Moultrie added that their music reminded him more of The Black Keys than of Vampire Weekend.
Each of The Ten Thousand’s members has a specific artist that not only influences each individual, but also seeps into the music the band creates. Yamamato said he draws on Ray Charles for his performance-ready recordings, while Robin said he tries to emulate the rawness and attitude of Led Zeppelin in his own creations. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tower of Power and The Beach Boys also make the list of bands that influence Harney, Wilson and Moultrie, respectively.
Robin said the band is starting to come into its own, leading to an explosion of creative ideas. He also said that Moultrie’s prolific songwriting is one of the band’s best features and sets it apart from all others.
Harney said that Moultrie’s songwriting is the secret to their success.
According to Moultrie, he and other band members aim to make their music more dynamic through minor technical variations that are enough to notice, but not so technical that they make listeners feel uncomfortable.
“If you have to stop your dance, that’s when you know it’s too much. We try to never cross that line,” Harney said.