Band “Ten and Counting”: “we cannot fall apart”


Philip Zoppi – General Assignment Reporter

The band “Ten and Counting” came together almost two years ago, but they feel like they are just now hitting their stride.

Michael Bendsten, a senior at Southern and lead vocalist of the band, is very excited about the direction the band is heading in.

The band had one of their best performances earlier in the semester at an open mic night in the Black Box Theater. Bendsten reflected on that performance.

“That performance is the most fun I’ve ever had performing,” said Bendsten. “The crowd reacted just so well to us. When you have a crowd cheering and talking back to you, it makes you feel so good.”

Bendsten was the member of the band that created their name. Since his sophomore year of high school, Bendsten has played music with 10 different bands. This number could always change, so “Ten and Counting” seemed fitting.

The band’s drummer, Taylor Cassel, met Bendsten in an interesting way. When they applied for housing, they had to fill out a questionnaire that would match them up with someone compatible. Believe it or not, Bendsten and Cassell were paired up based on their interests.

Cassell’s focus is keeping the band in rhythm and making sure they never fall apart during a performance. Cassell takes great pride in that.

“As a drummer, my mentality is we cannot fall apart,” said Cassell. “I’m the type of drummer that doesn’t even look at the crowd when we play. I’m just constantly thinking to myself that we have to stay together as a band. I’m just focused on not messing up when I’m performing.”

Cassell even recalled a show that he said he had to save the band five times per song. Bendsten and Cassell both agreed that the drums are the driving force of the band and keep them in tact at all times. The band doesn’t always have its normal crew, so the drummer is looked to to keep everyone in line.

Two other members are the lead guitarist and backup vocalist, Marcus Dipollina, and the bass backup and vocals specialist, Christopher Varanko.

The next performance that Bendsten has booked will be on October 21. This show will have a Halloween theme to it. The location is unknown at this point but will be announced on the “Ten and Counting” Facebook page. They will also be selling CDs for $3 at the performance.

Bendsten is really focusing on coming up with his own songs now. The process of songwriting is something that Bendsten said is challenging because he wants all of his songs to have meaning.

“I want to establish an identity with our songs,” said Bendsten. “One of the things I love the most is when you first hear the drums and guitar come together for one of your songs.”

“Ten and Counting” will be doing more performances as the year goes on.

Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor 

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