The Ten Thousand
Andre Hyland (M.C./Comedian)
There are certain bands that demand to be listened in a certain way: Pink Floyd might require a bong & lazer light show; Led Zeppelin benefits from giant, wood-paneled speakers, and Free Energy a band responsible for having crafted some of the finest guitar-filled power pop this side of Weezer or Cheap Trick should be played on a cassette deck in a Camaro screaming down the highway; stereo cranked, feather roach clip dangling from the rearview.
“Being from the Midwest definitely informed our aesthetic,” says Free Energy vocalist Paul Sprangers. “Growing up in a small town with radio and MTV then later discovering indie rock and punk rock really shaped the kind of music we make now. So, I had the same kind of unabashed love for Phil Collins as I did for Pavement I don’t think I ever grew out of that. It probably shows.”
The story of Free Energy, however, doesn’t begin in the backseat of a muscle car, rather St. Paul, Minnesota, where Sprangers and guitarist Scott Wells both members of the late, great Hockey Nightwere signed to NYC powerhouse DFA records based on their homemade demos. After signing and spending a year writing and demoing they moved to NYC to record with James Murphy. As the record neared completion, Sprangers and Wells moved to Philly, brought in their Minnesota friends to fill out the band, and toured relentlessly behind the release of 2010’s Stuck on Nothing.