Two Tens Reveal All to California Rocker Including The Massive Hair and Why Ella Didn’t Like the Hat

The Two Tens - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
The Two Tens - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia


The Two Tens’ Adam Bones and Rikki Styxx play some great punk music and their influences come from some of the best bands around. The two talented Southern California musicians sat down for an interview with California Rocker to disclose some of their funniest and most important thoughts.

CR: Who is your inspiration? Who are some of the bands that you two both enjoy?

AB: General inspiration can come from anything or anyone. Bands that we both like are The Hives, Ramones, Descendents, The Sonics, The Queers and a ton more. We have similar taste in music.

CR: I hear a lot of Ramones in your verses and in your tunes. did the Ramones play a part in your inspiration?

AB: Ramones are probably the biggest influence on our music. I’m kind of a Ramones fanatic and apparently it shows in some of our songs. 

CR: How did you guys get the Hi-Fi Rockfest gig? 

RS: We’ve known Derek O’Brien since we formed the band.  We rehearse at his studio and he’s seen us play live.  When we heard about the line-up, we kind of had to twist a few arms but we are so grateful to be a part of this show.

AB: We’re really excited to be on such a great bill and to be associated with the bands and the fest in general. 

CR: What’s the biggest gig you’ve played so far? 

RS: Probably The Sonics at the Regent.  I got to sit in with The Sonics for a song.  The drummer has a thing for me (we are married). Ha!

Rikki Styxx of The Two Tens - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
Rikki Styxx of The Two Tens – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

CR: Why do you feel you can’t win? Do you think that “I Can’t Win” is a reflection of how people feel today?

AB: Nah, it’s more of an introspective song. At the time I wrote the song, I just felt like nothing was going to work out. 

CR: How do you clap your hands on that song if you guys are playing instruments?

AB: We have special powers.

CR: Rikki, did you take drum lessons? How did you get to be a punk-rock style drummer? 

RS: I bought I drum set before I even knew how to set one up.  I was taught by punk rock and headphones up until five years ago when I started taking online lessons with Mike Johnston and attending his camps in the summer. As of five years ago, all I really played was punk because that was my biggest influence but I have ventured out into other genres. My energy on the kit is definitely my punk rock roots.

The Two Tens - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
The Two Tens play Redwood Bar – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

CR: What kind of technology do you use to create such a big sound?

AB: I split my guitar signal to a guitar and a bass amp. So it sounds much fuller than most people expect. I think people think that it’s just drums and a guitar amp which sounds pretty thin. But we knew better. And Rikki really knows how to thump away on those drums which rounds out our big sound. 

CR: How does Adam manage to sound like two people when he is only one, vocal-wise.

AB: Remember those special powers I mentioned 😉

CR: How do you manage to re-create the sound on your CD when you are actually performing?  

AB: We actually went into the studio with the mindset that we’d record our songs the way we play them live. We put in some overdubs and leads and whatnot, but basically the recordings sound like our live performance.

The Two Tens - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
The Two Tens – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

CR: How did you to actually meet?

AB: Our manager brought us together initially. He contacted Rikki when I needed a drummer for my solo project. We did that together for about a year.  

CR: Where did you both go to school? 

RS: I grew up in Colorado and went to school there.

AB: I grew up in Chicago and went to school there. 

CR: Adam, are you ever going to cut that hair?

AB: Probably not

CR: Why didn’t Ella like your hat?

AB: I don’t think she liked the way my hair stuck out the back. Something like that. She didn’t go into too much detail, she just said she didn’t like it. 

CR: Rikki are you wearing a wig? 

RS: No, I’m all natural baby.

The Two Tens - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
The Two Tens – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

CR: If you could be a color, what would the color be? 

RS: I would be psychedelic red, which isn’t really red, but a combo of colors.

AB: Black or navy blue

CR: What is your dream gig?  

RS: I’m living the dream with the fact that I get to play my drums everyday but I wouldn’t turn down touring with The Foo Fighters too.

AB: To open for all my favorite dead musicians. 

CR: Do you think you two will ever add additional musicians to your band?

AB: Maybe later down the road. But it’s not really much of a consideration right now. 

CR: How do you distribute your music and how do you get the attention of fans?

RS: We work extremely hard with coming up with content that is fun and quality.  I also think that translates online and right now that’s probably our best means to reach our audience.

CR: Where do you guys get your energy from? 

RS: Puppy dogs, pizza, and loud music.