EOTO hosted a showcase performance and live video shoot at the Boston House of blues on Febuary 9th. The amazing night featured the first appearance of the bands new Lotus Flower Stage Production. A fully interactive 3-D mapped stage with video crews filming the show for release later this year! A promise of what’s to come in 2012 for EOTO, this showcase event was the first of its kind, a 100% all improvisation live dubstep act.
It was once again a pleasure for Boston to host guests Jason Hann and Michael Travis who had both been in town a month earlier playing with their renowned band, The String Cheese Incident. As with SCI selling out the Orpheum, EOTO was playing a sold out venue in front of another energetic and dedicated Boston crowd. The House of Blues was offering $5 tickets for the kickoff of EOTO’s Time Illusion Tour featuring the Zebbler Encanti Experience as their opener.
This show was no exception to the House Of Blues’ excessive shakedown before entering the venue, and a stricter atmosphere inside where even the wrong look could put you back on the sidewalk with the other poor individuals still looking for a ticket. Despite having to walk on egg shells, the fear instilled was easily lost once the backdrop was raised to reveal EOTO’s lotus flower inspired stage. The stage consisted of cut out lotus petals surrounding Jason Hann and Michael Travis with the highest petal reaching 17 feet. The display was designed by local artist and traveling VJ for EOTO, Peter Berdovsky. There could not be a better artist to use than Peter (creator of the Shpongletron); he is a master of his craft, and his current shows use 3D mapped visuals. This is a technique where multiple projections can be displayed on layered screens simultaneously to create an array of imaging which leaves the fans with an overall feeling of wanting to see what Peter will display after the lotus debut.
Like every other EOTO show performed, this one was no exception to their M.O. of 100% live and 100% improvised. While not easy to elucidate what exactly an EOTO show is like due to not actually having song titles, one way to summarize the experience is to understand you will never hear the same song twice. With a different arrangement for the musicians from their normal role in SCI, it is Travis on keyboard, guitar, and bass and Jason on drums. Travis is essentially the creator of all that is wild, and Jason is the locomotive, taking jams to destinations that not even Travis knows where they are going. Both musicians are using a MIDI network connected through laptops from where they can control synths individually and create loops to program live rather than as most other duos with a similar set- up who use preprogrammed samples.
While they’re labeled as Dubstep, they can’t be categorized solely on that label because it’s not appealing to everyone…..including myself. You can hear genres ranging from salsa to metal, classical to reggae, and the ever occasional String Cheese style inspired jam.
Overall an EOTO show is something not to be missed. Whether you are a fan of Dubstep or a serious critic interested in the shear musicality of live acts, this is a duo you will not want to miss when they come around.
2/2/2012 ~ On a snowy February evening indie instrumental band El Ten Eleven sat down with SACK Magazine for an interview before playing for the first time in Fort Collins, CO. Consisting of members Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty the band shared some laughs and insight along with their favorite reasons for touring in Colorado and what the future holds in store for the band.
SACK- So we are interviwing with El Ten Eleven at Hodi’s Half Note in Fort Collins, CO. How are you doing on this, er, fine evening?
(at this point it had begun to really start snowing)
TF-I’m great! I’m inside and warm.
SACK-El Ten Eleven is playing six shows in Colorado, what influenced that and what makes Colorado a great place to tour for you guys?
TF-Well, we did the kind of tour last winter. There were alternative motives as well just because there’s awesome skiing here. *laughs* But the crowds have always been great. We didn’t do Denver this time and haven’t done Fort Collins before but these are always great shows. We kept the tour short and mainly scheduled in the West Coast.
SACK-And how have your travels been in Colorado thus far?
TF-Great! Colorado has been really great. We were in Boulder last night and that was awesome and Aspen the night before which was insane and so far we haven’t had any snow to deal with so that’s always nice.
SACK-*laughs* Yeah that may change tonight.
SACK-So, Northern Colorado has a lot of homegrown indie bands….
TF-Oh we’re in Northern Colorado right now? *laughs*
SACK-Yes….*laughs* Almost Wyoming.
TF-We’re almost in Wyoming?!
SACK-Oh yeah. About an hour away.
TF-So in the rectangle of Colorado where are we?
SACK-Almost to the top a little right of the middle.
TF-Haha, so sorry. What was the question?
SACK-Haha! Alright, so what advice would you give to all of these upcoming bands that are trying to utilize their instruments and shy away from the computer generated stuff?
TF-Well, I dunno. It’s a good idea. *laughs* Two people worked for us. I mean, its easier math when you have to divide things. But I dunno, I would say just to do it and keep playing and figuring out ways to try and be different. I mean, everyone has seen bands with guitar players and bass players and drums and singers that’s doing the same thing we are for generations so…and a lot of bands are doing the laptop thing these days and anyone can press a space bar now and call it a “band”. Honestly, if you’re doing something truly unique and it sounds great and its interesting enough I would say keep doing it. You can always stop and try something new. We didn’t start just to be two-piece instrumentalists, well, we did, and we weren’t trying to prove anything. We were just trying to do something for ourselves. So yeah, just do it!
SACK-So besides being a duo and creating your own loops to fill that space of a full band, what makes El Ten Eleven unique from other indie bands? I see a lot of comparison to bands like the Mercury Program and Sigur Ros.
TF-Yeah, our first album more so could be compared to bands like that than our later ones but a lot of those bands do the “quiet-loud” thing a lot and we do more instrumental pop songs. I mean, this next record has a long 12 minute song. We’re just trying to keep it more like instrumental pop and not do math problems up there with crazy time changes. We are just more poppy which isn’t always a bad thing. But I mean I love all those other bands. They definitely do their own thing and I guess we just don’t do it like how they do it.
SACK-While checking you guys on your website you have a lot of music that you provide free to your fans and on sites like GrooveShark and stuff, and with all of these new ideas for internet restriction legislation going on how would that affect you guys as a band or would it at all?
TF-As far as what?
SACK-As far certain fans who couldn’t afford albums to be able to access your music online the way they can now.
TF-I dunno I mean I guess we’ll keep doing it until someone says stop doing it. Haha I mean, our music will always find a way to get to people. I dunno where I stand on that. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
SACK-Do you guys have any big plans for 2012? I know its been a couple of years since you released an album.
TF-Yeah! We recorded seven or eight songs before we left so we’re kind of sitting on them now. They’re real good, we might add and change a little stuff but that should hopefully be out by Summer-ish. Um, another tour in a month like a little two-three week. Then I think its SXSW after that and then I think we’ll do a full tour in the summer. But yeah that’s it and I dunno what after that.
SACK-I’d be cool if you guys played at Pitchfork in Chicago…..
TF-Oh yeah, that festival?
TF-Yeah I have heard of that. We played a little one like that recently and it was awesome. Wicker Park Fest?
SACK-Oh yeah yeah!
TF-Not quite Pitchfork but still awesome.
SACK-You guys just seem like a band I could imagine playing there.
TF-We actually haven’t got much love from Pitchfork. I mean we haven’t gotten hated on by Pitchfork but we haven’t gotten any kind of attention from them or any promo stuff. I mean at least give us a review, even a bad review would be better than nothing. So I dunno, we’ll see.
SACK-Haha so I know we sort of talked about this before but what three bands would you like to see wiped off the face of the planet?
*Kristian walks in*
TF-Oh sorry, here’s Kristian.
KD-Yeah so sorry I’m late!
SACK-Oh no you’re fine! I just asked Tim what bands he would like to see erased off the face of the Earth. *laughs* What three bands you could do without…
KD-Do they still have to exist?
KD-Blink 182 just because of all the terrible bands they spawned specifically. Uh…those guys that were from Long Beach or where ever…
KD-Yeah Sublime just because of all the bands they spawned too. And….
TF-She had a couple of good ones.
TF-Yeah they were…pretty obvious ones. Some around right now.
KD- Um, wow. I can’t even think of recent bands I hardly listen to the radio anymore.
TF-Well the first two were Nickelback and the Black Eyed Peas.
SACK-*laughs* Oh yeahhhh…..
KD-OH! Those are good. Yeah I’d go with Black Eyed Peas. They’re…pretty awful.
TF- But you know I don’t really hate anybody…..but…..oh yeah Tuneyards. I mean I know people who have toured with her and she’s probably the sweetest girl in the earth….I just don’t ever want to have to hear that music again in my life. The music the sound guy was playing tonight too was pretty bad.
KD-I think it might have been Bob Molly….
TF-Social Distortion is another band I could do without too. There’s gotta be one more though that would just like set people off, like the Jesus Rock Band or something. But I don’t think you could say that because if Jesus was in a band you’d think they’d play really well.
SACK-Yeah he’s probably got it going on. Maybe Lil’ Wayne?
TF-See that sh*t takes care of itself because those guys get shot or arrested.
KD-There’s just so many bands that everyone is just freaking out about that just like, don’t offend me or anything but yeah, I just don’t get it.
SACK-Like what? Dubstep? Country?
KD-You know what’s funny is I actually love dubstep. You may think its cliche but I don’t care for reggae and don’t care for blues but yeah don’t really mind the stuff.
TF-A lot of that just has to do with the times.
SACK-So Kristian I asked this earlier but you guys have a lot of dates in Colorado, what makes it a great place to tour for you?
KD-Skiing. *laughs* We’re going to Breckenridge tonight and wake up their in the morning although I think it might be snowing….
TF-Yeah that’s what I heard.
KD-Well, hopefully we’re going to Breckenridge. Yeah but the shows are great too. We played the Fox Theatre in Boulder last night and it was great. That was probably the best show we’ve played in Colorado but Denver has been really good to us too. Oh, Bob Dylan. That’s my third artist I would erase off the planet.
TF-But I would have liked to have him written songs and then died and gotten famous because some of the Bob Dylan covers are okay but his lyrics are pretty good. Yeah I wish Bob Dylan was a lot like Steven Hawking he could sing or do anything but write great lyrics. Anyway that’s a terrible thing to say but….so wait, ask Kristian about the stuff about getting our music out to people because I don’t really know what’s going on but I think I know what you’re talking about.
SACK-I asked about the SOPA bill that lingering in Congress right now conflicting with information sharing on the internet. You guys share music on your website and other outlets. Do you think or how would that affect you guys as a band if it were to effect you?
KD-If it passed or something?
KD-I don’t think it would affect us that much. We do get a lot of heat on the torrents sites but usually when we put out a new record we have one of the top downloads or whatever. So if those were shut down yeah I think it actually would affect us a little bit negatively but we make our music available for free legally anyway. Like, you can go to our website and just take it if you want. I think we still have a tip jar on the site too. It wouldn’t necessarily kill us but I do think it would affect us a little. I think most people are cool with buying music as long as its convenient. I think a site that is getting huge right now is Spotify and I mean a person can access anything they want on there. I think when something like that catches on and it becomes the thing like how Amazon is the place you go to buy stuff, Facebook is your social media site, if you’re going to search you’ll go to Google. I think Spotify will be that thing and people won’t really use iTunes anymore, they won’t need to use the torrents that much anymore. I hope that’s how it goes because then we get paid but its not like we’re selling someone a cd for $15 bucks or however much they used to sell them for and you only like two good songs on the whole thing. But yeah people can get whatever they want and we get the royalties. It’s like an ‘everybody wins’ situation. So anyway, to answer your question I don’t think it would kill us.
SACK-What are some bands that both of you are listening to right now that you would recommend to the readers?
KD-Ah man I hate this question I can never think of anything haha.
TF- Oh you know there’s a band called Girlfriends based out of California. Its just a one man band but he’s awesome and will be having a record our soon….
KD-That we’re putting out by the way.
TF-He has stuff out their now like some stuff on YouTube but I don’t think there’s anything else.
KD-We did a split 7″ with him for his first demo or whatever but he’s recording a new record that we’ll put out and it’ll be the first record we put out on our label that’s not us.
KD-Yeah its real exciting. We rented him a little vacation house out on the Oregon coast so he could be isolated, that’s what he wanted, and we went and visited him on this tour and its been going really well except he broke his hand but he just kept playing with it. He was like, “Oh I think its alright”.
TF-Yeah that question is always so difficult. I’ve been mostly listening to stand up comedy. I just heard about the band the Naked and Famous recently so I kind of like them but I don’t know how old they are or anything.
SACK-Yeah I think they’re starting to get more exposure. I feel like they’re playing a show in Denver sometime soon but yeah I haven’t heard of them either. What comedy have you been listening to?
TF-Just stuff on Pandora. We’ll do like raw comedy and some good stuff comes up.
KD-Our favorites are Louis CK and Jim Jeffries is this rotten Australian, Aziz Ansari. For me Louis CK is great and I mean, I don’t get star struck anymore when I meet a famous person or musician, I just don’t care that much but I think if I met Louis CK I would definitely be nervous. I’m a huge fan, it’s weird.
SACK-Well, that’s about all I have for you guys but thank you so much for sitting down with us and good luck with your show tonight and the rest of the tour.
KD-Yeah absolutely thank you!
To find out if El Ten Eleven is coming to a city near you or to listen to their music visit their website at elteneleven.com or Facebook El Ten Eleven.
A few months ago Ride5 Films met with Brooklyn-based street artists FAILE and spoke with them about the origin of their name, the purpose they think their art has in the community, and their use of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger imagery.