Over the years, we’ve come to learn that there are two types of interviews. One interview is very cut and dry, making sure to stick to all the necessary press points set out by a publicist or label. The other is completely non-conforming conversation that goes every which way except for what you planned. The latter is always more entertaining, and when it comes to El Ten Eleven, that’s the one you should expect.
After two twenty minute interviews with Kristian and Tim, we’ve come to find out that a conversation with these two is much like a conversation with two of your good friends. The laughs are abundant, the random references flow naturally, and you could never plot out exactly how it’s going to go.
We had a chance to once again sit down with this instrumental duo, and what ensued was nothing short of one of our favorite interviews.
TMN: Hey guys, thanks for taking some time to sit down with us again. Strangely enough, this is the same place we spoke two years ago! Let’s kick things off by asking you a very serious question. Are you guys cyborgs sent from the future for the sole purpose of touring constantly?
K: How did you know that? WHO TOLD YOU?
T: Maybe. I haven’t really figured out what my purpose is.
TMN: Speaking of touring, you guys seemingly always have a heavy presence in Colorado. We’ve seen you guys listed in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and some mountain venues. Is this one of your favorite states to hit?
T: Definitely. There’s so many different places and generally speaking, except for the kid who shot out our window in Colorado Springs, everyone has been awesome in Colorado. Seriously, the venues, the people who work there are cool, and it has beautiful white mountains.
TMN: With all that touring, you guys have to be loaded up with some good tunes. Do you have anyone in particular you’ve been into as of late?
K: I just discovered a internet streaming thing from London called NTS, I think. They’re really good. They play electronic music. There’s a lot of electronic music in the van, and a lot of hip hop. No post-rock, ever. We used to listen to a lot of comedy, but we’ve gone through everything we could find.
Chris (Tour Manager) plays Flume a lot.
T: Yeah, Chris drives most of the time, so he controls the radio, which is cool because he has good taste in music. Today he was listening to like Ludacris and Mase. It was kind of a 90’s hip hop trip. Which those are like my two least favorite rappers in history of rap, but that’s what headphones are for.
K: I usually just try to sleep. I’m also working on a book right now. I try to work on it every day, but a lot of times I’m really tired and I think “I’ll just take a nap and work on it later.”
We have our little positions in the van. Chris will get in the driver seat, you’ll (Tim) will get in the passenger seat. I get on the back bench. You’ll (Tim) end up with your laptop open, working on Logic, and I’ll end up falling asleep. It’s kind of a standard picture of the van.
TMN: Let’s chat about “Transitions.” It’s been out for a little while now, and has had a really warm reception. Talk to us about the overall concept behind that album, and the kickstarter to get it funded.
T: We did do that, but just for vinyl. That was the second time we did that, and the first time we had done it with vinyl. It was crazy. I still think it’s a great way to pre-order music. Everyone wins. Especially for vinyl. It’s really expensive to get made, so it’s one of those things that’s great to see if people really want it. If they do want it, then you get some money up front.
Usually what happens is: we’ll be getting vinyl made, re-upping CDs that we sell, and then trying to leave for tour all at the same time, so whatever money we do have gets drained before we leave. And then you’re rolling around, trying to make money as you go because you’re completely broke. So, it’s nice to get the money up front because people were going to buy it anyway and we get it on time for the tour.
TMN: If we remember correctly, you guys did some really fun and different rewards. You did a lifelong guest list reward, a helliopter ride, etc.
T: We tried to make it cool and fun, not just music and merch.
K: No one bought it though (the hellicopter ride). It was really expensive. Not because we were trying to rip anyone off, it’s just expensive to rent a hellicopter.