This is a general admission, standing event.
El Ten Eleven
“I really hope people don’t say that we are a math rock band!” doubleneck guitar/bass virtuoso Kristian Dunn exclaims while discussing his duo, El Ten Eleven’s, new album Transitions. Acoustic and electronic drummer Tim Fogarty adds, “We get labeled all kinds of things from post-rock to ambient to experimental… all of those make us cringe. So far my personal favorite label for the band has been ‘Power Duo’… it’s kind of ridiculous but I like it.”
Despite the absence of lyrics, their latest release, their fifth studio full-length album, may be the most personal to date. “Tim and I have been through a lot in the past couple of years,” Dunn reflects. “We’ve both been divorced, moved to different cities, Tim went through some really dark times, I got remarried and had a kid … for a while things were uncertain and we threw ourselves into the new record and it called for more than just short pop structures.”
Thus, the title track, “Transitions,” which clocks in at over ten minutes long, is a twisting journey of sublime unpredictability. But the band’s ability to write catchy, emotional hooks hasn’t been lost.
“The problem I have with most math rock bands or prog rock bands is that they are usually just showing off for other musicians. ‘Ooh! Look what I can do!’ We’re just not interested in that. We want everyone to come to our shows!”
And they do. The band has been touring almost non-stop for the last eight years. 2012 has already seen them headline their own tours as well as play big festivals such as Capitol Hill Block Party, Camp Bisco, Osheaga and more.
Armed with merely a doubleneck bass/guitar, drums and a dizzying array of foot pedals, the band creates complex, deeply felt music, from scratch, onstage, with no help from laptops, click tracks or additional musicians. They utilize multiple looping pedals to create songs that sound as though they are being played by at least six people. Most first-timers to an El Ten Eleven show are stunned that the band is a duo.
Since the band’s inception in 2002, the band has always just been two people who produce their own records. That attitude of self-reliance has also manifested itself in the band not signing with a label, despite numerous offers. “We licensed our first record to Bar None,” Fogarty explains. “And while they were super cool people, we thought we could do as good a job as they did by ourselves.” Thus Fake Record Label was born. Though the name was originally a joke, FRL has turned into a bona fide label with marketing, distribution and publicity. And this year signed its first artist other than El Ten Eleven: Girlfriends. (read full bio here)