Ten Tonnes on how Tom Petty inspired his debut album, touring with George Ezra and the honour of playing Wembley three times in 2018

"Those big choruses and singalongs are what I aspire to achieve."

Hotly tipped songwriter Ten Tonnes has told NME about how his debut album is inspired by the likes of Tom Petty – as well as the honour of playing Wembley Arena three times in a single year.

The singer, real name Ethan Barnett, is set to release his debut record in 2019 – which sees him teaming up with the likes of ex Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson and former Longpigs frontman Crispin Mills.

Speaking to NME, Barnett explained how the sound of the record has been reflected in his recent singles, including ‘Better Than Me’ and ‘G.I.VE.’


“Those songs represent a good half of it, definitely the poppier side,” Barnett explained.

“But at the same time, there’s another side too and it’s a lot more rockier and guitar led.”

As for his own influences, Barnett says that he’s inspired by the songwriting of the late Tom Petty. He was in attendance as Petty played his last London show before his untimely death in 2017.

“I love his songwriting. It’s just really great tunes with pop choruses and hit after hit. I was lucky enough to see him at his final show in Hyde Park. That was insane and one of the best shows I’ve ever seen,” he said.

“Those big choruses and singalongs are what I aspire to achieve.”


When it comes to those live shows, Barnett’s 2018 has been unexpectedly defined by support slots at Wembley Arena. After twice playing there with Stereophonics in March, things were kept in the family as he returned to open up for brother George Ezra in November.

“It’s kind of insane, really. It’s weird because that’s nowhere near the level of the places I play, so those tours feel like a weird holiday where I just play mad venues,” he explains.

“But of course Wembley had that added history to it. You know it as a venue and you’ve grown up with it, so there’s that added historical weight. Getting to play to those crowds is a huge treat for me too, it’s an opportunity to win over as many people as you can, really.”

Barnett also says that his brother has been supportive of his own career – but he’s equally happy to let him discover his own path.

“When I started doing my stuff in 2015/16, he said ‘if you need anything I’m always here’, but also I’m happy to just let you get on with it.

“I think that’s the better option, I wanted to do it myself. It’s exciting to do it for the first time and make mistakes. But he’s always there so it’s cool. There’s something great about feeling it out myself and seeing how it goes.”