The Chattanooga based metal band Ten Year Flood discusses their journey to find the
perfect sound and the Valley Vibes Music Festival
Ten Year Flood’s creation can be traced back to a few lucky moments. The band was first
formed by songwriter and guitarist Lewis Avakian and drummer Mike Schwibbe. The two
coworkers originally wanted to play together as a way to let off steam and create a bit of
happiness for themselves. After spending his surprise work bonus on a wine-red Les Paul, Lewis and Mike began having casual jam sessions in a spare room that their boss let them use. Though the two hadn’t originally set out to create a band, it was inevitable.
“I can’t just ‘jam,’” Lewis says. “Everything I play has to be pre-meditated or it just falls apart."
The band has gone through several members to find the sound they sought after, including FieldHockey’s Enon Harris and Joseph Scruggs. Currently, the band consists of Lewis, Mike, vocalist Ryo Shawn, and bassist Troy Workman. The addition of Ryo as a vocalist was the perfect fit for their particular goal, as he "had the ability to sound delicate and somber but still rip into visceral anguish.”
The common thread that ties the bandmates together is the positivity the band offers
them. “When I got on board with TYF I was in a dark headspace,” Ryo says. “It felt great to
have a way to get all of that negative energy out of my system.” The band uses their music as a form of therapy, and hope it offers the same experience to its listeners.
Ten Year Flood stands out through the delicate balance they have created with their
sound. Not quite heavy enough to be considered the typical metal band, yet heavier than typical rock bands, Ten Year Flood has a unique, evocative sound that they describe as "right between delicate and seething.”
Their single “Cutting Teeth” is currently available to stream on all platforms. They were also
recently featured on the Valley Vibes’s Facebook web series “Vibe Check.”
In addition to their own music, Ten Year Flood is involved in the Valley Vibes Music and
Arts festival. The two-day festival will feature over thirty local bands on October 16-17. The band became involved with the festival after performing with the band Good Grief, who is one of the festival’s biggest sponsors. Ten Year Flood performed at the festival in 2019, and while the performance was a success, they want 2020’s experience to be even better.
“When you come off stage you want nothing more than to hang out and have a good time with the people who took time out of their lives to see you perform,” Lewis explains. Yet, because last year’s festival took place in a public park, the band had to immediately start packing up. This year, Ten Year Flood helped to relocate the festival to Cherokee Farms in LaFayette, Georgia. Cherokee Farms will offer the festival-goers more flexibility to mingle and connect after performances in a safe environment, as the directors of Valley Vibes are being sure to follow safety protocols and adhere to CDC guidance involving COVID-19.
Ten Year Flood hopes that the festival grows and strengthens the local music community. You can check out Ten Year Flood on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with news on the band and make sure to visit the Valley Vibes Music Festival website to learn more about the festival!