El Ten Eleven – The Sycophants Are Coming! The Sycophants Are Coming!

’El Ten Eleven – The Sycophants Are Coming!The Sycophants Are Coming!’

El Ten Eleven – I Like Van Halen Because My Sister Says They Are Cool

’El Ten Eleven – I Like Van Halen Because My Sister Says They Are Cool ‘

Let me start off by saying this. If you’ve never seen an El Ten Eleven show, you’re missing out. Watching these two guys work is awe-inspiring. The post-rock duo is known for their ability to compose entire songs using a looper, and just two band members. Kristian Dunn plays the bass and guitar, and Tim Fogarty plays drums and keyboards. Aside from being tremendous musicians, they are also hilarious, down-to-earth guys. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we enjoyed conducting it.

Q: What’s the most amount of parts you have going in your looper at one time?

A: 7-8. Something like that.

Q: You have a massive line up of pedals – how many do you have total?

A: It’s not that many – it’s like 12 or something? Some people assume it’s like 50 or something because I have this reputation for having millions of pedals.

Q: What inspired you guys to start as just a duo as opposed to going into a more tradition three or four piece?

A: It’s a lot easier to schedule band practice and split up the money. The math is way easier.

Q: Why did you guys choose to go the instrumental route?

A: Because neither of us could sing. If I could sing, or he could sing, there would be vocals. We really just started doing it the two of us just messing around, and then we kinda realized there was enough to do as a two piece.

There was no grand scheme to be the coolest duo or anything – it just ended up that way.

Q: Have you guys ever thought about bringing in vocals?

A: Oh yeah. The way I look at it, is all of our records are out there, and if anyone wants to sing on it – send it our way.
It would be cool to write with a singer, but no one ever has really approached us. We’re always kinda thinking about it, but not really pursuing it. But we would totally be down to check it out.

Q: That’s kind of a cool invitation.

A: We’ve said that before, but no one ever takes it! Except for rappers – we always get mashed up with rappers.
There was one guy that mashed us with a smashing pumpkins song, and the vocals fit weirdly well. We were like, “Ah, that’s what we would sound like with vocals”. Well – Billy Corgan’s vocals. We would probably sell a lot of records – a lot more than we’re selling now! I don’t think he’s available though.

Q: What do you guys think about the music blogosphere, the hype machine, and soundcloud?

I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I think our manager has.
The only time we really check out blogs is like the end of the year, when people post their “Best of the Year” . Then I read up on this shit, all the songs I missed, and all the bands I really don’t know anything about.

Q: Well you guys are probably pretty busy too.

A: Well we’re kind of burned out on music too. We’re on tour a lot, so we’re hearing music every night – like really loudly. So when we get off tour, the last thing we want to do is check out music all day.
Even in the tour van, we don’t listen to music. We listen to comedy.

Q: So speaking of checking out new bands, what are you guys listening to right now?

A: Girlfriends. He’s a friend of ours. He’s really really talented one man act. Super young, super talented, super inspiring.

Miike Snow is awesome. M83 is awesome. But, I’m not the guy that’s like “Oh yeah, have you ever fuckin’ heard of the band from Iceland that sounds like whatever – the guy that plays pancakes? That guy’s fuckin’ great.”

We’ll leave that to Architecture in Helsinki. We’ll let them be the cool kids. And we’re not dissing them, they’re just the first band that came to mind.

Q: Are there any bands that you drew inspiration from when you were first starting?

Ton. Not any one specifically. I guess the one thing is John Brion – he’s the first person that I ever saw do looping.

Q: So what’s next? What’s on the horizon for 2012?

More touring. We finished recording a bunch of songs before we left, and pretty soon we’ll be releasing them. We’re doing SXSW and some summer festivals, but once we figure out when the record is coming, we’ll do a national tour around it.

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