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Offering a Southern take on the moody atmosphere, muscular impact, and brash dynamics of alternative metal, 10 Years were formed in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1999. Guitarist Ryan "Tater" Johnson and drummer Brian Vodinh filled out the group's first lineup with lead vocalist Mike Underdown, guitarist Matt Wantland, and bassist Lewis Cosby; in 2001, Cosby left the band and Andy Parks became 10 Years' new bassist. That same year, the group recorded and self-released an independent album, Into the Half Moon, and they set out to expand their brand with more live work. In 2002, Mike Underdown stepped down as lead singer, and 10 Years recruited Jesse Hasek to take over the vocal spot; shortly afterward, Lewis Cosby returned as bassist, and in 2004 the band issued a second self-released album, Killing All That Holds You.
As their popularity grew, 10 Years were signed by Republic Records, and their major-label debut, The Autumn Effect, arrived in 2005. "Wasteland," a track from The Autumn Effect, rose to the top of the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, and the single went gold, while the band joined the lineup for the 2006 Family Values tour, alongside Deftones and Korn. Division, 10 Years' second album for Republic, was issued in 2008, and Feeding the Wolves appeared in 2010, the latter recorded after Matt Wantland left the band, with Vodinh adding additional guitar in the studio. Republic Records and 10 Years parted ways after the release of Feeding the Wolves, and rather than sign a new deal, 10 Years opted to launch their own label, Pale Horse Records (distributed by Warner Music's Independent Label Group).
10 Years kicked off Pale Horse with 2011's Minus the Machine, which debuted at number 26 on the Billboard Top 200 charts (it also came in at number eight on the Top Current Rock Albums ranking). In 2015, 10 Years returned with their second Pale Horse release, From Birth to Burial; it also marked the departure of Lewis Cosby from the group. The official lineup became a three-piece (Hasek, Johnson, and Vodinh), with additional musicians joining them for live dates (Chad Huff on guitar, Ryan Collier on bass, and Kyle Mayer on drums).