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Q&A with Tim Fogarty of El Ten Eleven

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El Ten Eleven, an electronic-esque duo, is a band that started back in August 2002. Since then, it’s released five albums, the most recent being the acclaimed TransitionsThe band has gone through countless tours and is again bringing a live show to Pub Rock in Scottsdale with support from Slow Magic and Vial of Sound.

Read what it’s like working as a duo for 10 years, El Ten Eleven’s hopes for 2013, and why exactly you should attend the band’s show this evening in Scottsdale (it involves LED lights)…

TS: Do you feel it’s easier to evoke the mood you try to convey to your audience in your music while performing it live? Or when the music has been recorded?
TF: I guess they’re two different realms. Same song in two different realms. I suppose that’s really the ultimate goal: to convey some sort of emotion in those settings. It’s one of the things where we’re making the records and playing the shows so it’s kind of hard for us to see how it goes, we hope we’re doing that but it’s kind of up to the listener.

TS: Would you rather play at festivals or at venues?
TF: Festivals are fun. There are lots of people and the atmosphere is really cool, but the problem with them is you don’t get a real sound check, sometimes you’re not even using your own equipment, and things are kind of weird. Little things that you don’t think of because you play most shows at night, indoors, etc. Sometimes what comes up at festivals is, since you usually play during the day, you can’t see the lights on the pedals because of the sun shining down, which makes it kind of tough. But they are really cool. I do like just regular clubs and venues, they feel more natural.

TS: As a duo, you must know each other extremely well. Do you think that plays a role at all in the music you create?
TF: For sure! I think since we’ve been at it for so long we kind of know what the other guy is going to do and it’s just one of those things where I might be tired and having a horrible night and Kristian just kind of takes over, and sometimes he’s super tired and not into it and I’m the one that takes over. We have a good relationship. In the 10 years that we’ve been playing together, we’ve never had a fight. I mean a fist fight. We’ve had disagreements and such, but we’ve never had an argument where one of us gets pissed off and walks away or anything like that. We definitely have a cool working relationship.

TS: Do you feel like you both contribute equally to the music?
TF: We both sign off on the finished product, but Kristian is definitely the guy who will come with the majority of the ideas, and then we figure out a way to arrange it and put it together. A lot of times it will usually be just us in a room, and we’ll just start playing random stuff and I’ll start a beat and then he’ll add on, we’re always recording. And then we’ll listen back to all that and say “from this point to that point sounds really cool, let’s try to excavate something out of that” and next time around we’ll hone that kind of thing in. But it’s not always us in a room coming up with stuff, there will be times when he’ll just email me something like “here’s just something I worked out, see what you can do with it,” and I’ll put my stuff to it and then we’ll get together and actually work it all out together. A lot of times he’ll send me a bunch of ideas, just him playing to a click-track or a kick drum, and then I’ll  put my own stuff over  it and when we get together we’ll play it and work it out.

TS: What do you two as a band hope to accomplish this year?
TF:  Mostly touring right now, I think we have about one show every three days from now until the end of May, so up till then that’s figured out. We’re hoping to try to get to Asia and Europe this year, if possible. We’ve also been recording new stuff; we actually recorded a few new songs before we left for this tour and so we’re just making sure we like how they turned out. And I’m sure we’ll be busy doing something whether it’s touring or writing. We also kind of started our own label. We put five records out on our own, and we never really meant to start a label. Before we knew it we looked back and we had three or four records that we put under this fake record label with this name that we made up for no reason. That being said, we have a guy that we signed that’s really amazing, he’s like a one-man band. He goes by Girlfriends. We just put a 7″ out with him, so we’ll probably be putting his record out before the end of the year.

TS: Is there anything you want to tell your fans that are going to see your show on Friday?
TF: Yes! Come out and see one the most amazing light shows you’ll ever see in a rock club. I’m really proud of it because we always have cool stage stuff going on, but this time we went all out and it’s a complete wall of LED color-squares, just the whole back wall of the stage is completely taken over. It’s amazing and we have awesome light guy and video guy. So, music aside, it’s actually very awesome. We’re pretty happy about the set we’re playing. We’re playing songs from most of records including our newest one. If you want to see a cool light show in a club and whatever else, come on out. It’ll deliver, it’s legit.

Catch El Ten Eleven, Slow Magic and Vial of Sound at Pub Rock this evening. The all-ages show starts at 8 P.M. and tickets at the door are $12. Purchase tickets online via Ticketfly.

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