MEMBERS of Ten Thousand knew sampling multiple genres would make it harder to fit into a niche, but as a square peg the Melbourne outfit is starting to find square holes.
Tomorrow the alternative rockers will make their second appearance at The Loft this year and have promised to give something new to fans who recall their February visit.
After a slow build trying to find the sound that best fits, Ten Thousand are now in pre-production for their debut album.
The five-piece's latest single Drive was recorded with Lindsay Gravina, producer of The Living End's first record, and shows off their newfound darker style.
Ten Thousand's Luke McKenzie, a former Warrnambool musician and one-time bassist with Airbourne, said the final audio ingredients were industrial and electronica influences.
With an already complicated sound incorporating a psychedelic flavour on a rock foundation of Led Zeppelin, Velvet Revolver and Muse, McKenzie told Offbeat their originality had made it challenging to establish a fan base.
"If we have a set genre we can fit into a niche and fan base, but we don't fit so neatly so we're trying to start from scratch and build up a fan base that might not exist anywhere else," he said.
"When people ask 'What's your band genre?' we always struggle because we don't really know where we fit.
"It's frustrating but exciting.
"We've been described as alternative progressive, post-glam, so it can be hard when we're promoting ourselves.
"We're so lucky (Melbourne) is such a cultural hub you get people who will go out and try out new bands and whether it's based on word of mouth, internet, social media, people are more willing, especially in Victoria, to check out a new band and experience something different."
McKenzie told Offbeat his band hoped a second trip to Warrnambool would bring back an even better crowd than the previous show.
"We were surprised.
"We had over 100 people show up, which was great for a first show.
"I got pelted with underwear I guess because I'm from Warrnambool and some people thought it'd be funny.
"It was hard to see but I got through it.
"Hopefully we can build upon the people who came and saw us last time."
It's now been two years since McKenzie packed up and left Warrnambool to join Ten Thousand, after years in the south-west performing in both original and cover bands. While some would assume leaving Airbourne before their worldwide success would stir feelings of regret, the complete opposite is true.
"I left in 2002 I'm very proud of what they've done," McKenzie said.
"I think the fates have turned out the way they meant to.
"(Bassist) Justin is a really great fit with them.
"I've seen how hard Joel (O'Keeffe) would practice guitar for hours a day in his cabin and I always knew they would get huge but I didn't think it would happen so soon.
"What I miss most about Airbourne is hanging out with Joel as a friend and jamming with him."
Ten Thousand will perform at The Loft with support acts Analogue Menace and local stoner rock outfit Caraval tomorrow night.
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