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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A spy with a sonic screwdriver - Sound like an Eleventh Hour Initiative? TEHI


If we have said it once we have said it at least three times. Bands fall into your lap with Twitter and Soundcloud. Once again this post is about one such band. This band makes you question all your juvenile ideas of what it is to be part of a band, how connections between muso's are not about knocking on someone's door with a guitar, saying....."I hear you can sing". (Moz and Marr) The world is becoming a smaller place with each and every advancement in communication. Strong friendships are being formed from the slightest strand of interest.

Minds connect in very different ways. Just like the two virgin bloggers from Indie Dunes first met, so did TEHI. A great distance separates them but distance is irrelevant. Two bloggers, one band.. meet without meeting when these crossed paths in the petri dish of Twitter an intriguing friendship is starting to blossom. At its core MUSIC and respect.

Let me introduce you to Bill (USA) and Emrys (UK) they form The Eleventh Hour Initiative. They create a soul searching musical landscape which makes you ask just as many questions about yourself, in tandem with numerous queries about TEHI's thoughts and experiences. Escapism their first release as TEHI is an interesting attempt to try and strip down the meaning of the daily grind. The music is just one piece of TEHI story, their website features a blog where they have a story for each tune - all 14 of them - inspiration or afterthought, even the artwork - its all done by them - a lot of work for two people divided by an ocean. There is a lot of good music around, but I think what makes finding a band like TEHI so rewarding is that you can feel, pain, a darkness and a light at the end of the journey (Well that's my take on it). 

The "album" name dangles an optimistic carrot to keep dragging you forward "Escapism" Is it a little teaser of a better life? or part of an illusion where you need to be skilled like a slight of hand magician, deceiving the masses that impossible is probable.

In what is becoming a world wide phenomenon, a waiting list becoming increasingly unmanageable, bands wishing to experience an Indie Dunes Q & A session. We have subjected TEHI to this experience for your pleasure. I hope our "original" style of taking the piss will give you a humorous but honest insight into what makes TEHI an intriguing and truly original find.

Please welcome the Guys from the TOP 1 band on a radio station in Plymouth The Eleventh Hour Initiative (thunderous applause from two bloggers). Here on known as TEHI. We catch up on a foggy night somewhere in the world, at some point on the international time line and share an imaginary coffee and fat free low GI donut....



Let's get into the tough questions straight away then.

1.Its a boring Friday night and about to go to bed....you decide to start a musical journey. Is the name an insight into how you guys gave birth to this band?

Bill- Yes, it is actually and thank you for the applause Steve and Tatjana! Emrys and I are going to write songs for the rest of our lives, but when we met we were both in a place where we weren't so sure we were always going to release said songs. However, we were so excited by the music we were making together that we decided to go for it right at 'The Eleventh Hour'. It didn't hurt that it was also the name of a Dr. Who Episode. Then we found out that 'The 11th Hour' was also the name of a documentary made by Leonardo DiCaprio. Since our band is not a documentary made by Leonardo DiCaprio we added 'Initiative' to help us stand out. Plus 'The Eleventh Hour Initiative' sounds like a spy movie from the 1960's and we like that.

2. You live on opposite sides of the Atlantic, how did this amazing collaboration spring up?

Bill- Emrys heard some of the demos I had put up on a site called Soundcloud and asked if I wanted to collaborate with him on a song. That song became 'Where We Go Next' which is still one of our favorite songs on 'Escapism'. We liked working together so much that we decided to form the band. Though we're in different countries, the way we record isn't all that different from most bands that go into the studio. We just have to send our tracks thousands of miles away instead of to the next room.

3. Odd socks. Do you think some people deliberately wear odd socks are fighting the unspoken social structures, or is it just a case of getting dressed in the dark?

Bill- It could go either way I think. It happens to me every once in a while, but mainly due to the fact that my dryer eats socks and car keys. I intend no political statement with it. I could picture people wearing odd socks deliberately to look like rebels and fight the social structure, and Im sure it's extremely effective, and by 'effective' I mean it is not effective.

Emrys - I always make every effort to match up pairs of socks. I lay them all out like kids at a school disco waiting to be asked to dance. Most of them marry up. Then the odd one goes back in the basket to await the arrival of its partner... hopefully overdue in the next wash load. And you know what? I now ask myself why? Why do I go through this routine... when I could just be a free spirit. I too could be that man who wears one purple sock and one yellow sock. That man who boasts about the time he's saved and how he has taken a stand (wearing socks) against all social injustice. I could have be that man!!! But I won't. I'll stick with wearing matching pairs!

4. What technical or teething problems are you encountering with the great distance

Bill- Technically speaking we don't really have any teething problems with the distance? With tracking for our album things actually run pretty smoothly. However, we've been trying to do stripped down live versions of our songs on Skype and have had some issues with the delay inherent in these sorts of things. It's pretty impossible to keep in time when your on a 1/100th of a second delay. Also we can't have one of those pictures where we're both leaning up against a wall or pouting at a diner together without trickery.

5. The addition to Scrappy into Scooby Doo, do you think it added to the team dynamics or did it destroy the very positive hidden message under the surface of Scooby and Shaggy?

Bill- Scrappy gets a bum rap! It definitely added to the dynamic! Try saying 'Scooby Doo' without adding 'and Scrappy too!!!' …impossible. Unless you just did it, then my response would be, 'Rut Ro'?

Emrys - They just had to mess with the formula. The introduction of the 'comedy side-kick'. I thought Scooby and Shaggy between them were already the gang's comedy side-kicks? I must have been missing something! Ha ha! So... I have to disagree with me esteemed colleague - Scrappy was a slippery slope for Scooby Doo.

So by this, I'm guessing Bill is open to adding someone in residence on Antarctica and Emrys isn't.....hmmmmmm

6. Do you take responsibility for helping deconstruct the myth that the Beatles probably didn't live in houses with a separate frontages but a common living area?

Bill- What do you mean that's a myth?! … You mean that they made that up?…. Wait!, but that would mean!….. I guess I thought… …but what about Obama?

Emrys - I always loved that Beatles/Monkees vibe of a band living in one big house with separate frontages. I used to watch 'Help' and buy into the idea that this was real! - that this was what being in a band was all about! But in reality I now realise that was a con. That myth got me into this whole band thing but I notice the Beatles are now conspicuous by their absence. I have to go it alone. I'm currently trying to tunnel under the Atlantic to connect Bill's house to my house to give at least a semblance of a 'shared band living area'. Although to be honest... most of it will be damp, constricted and underground. Perhaps we should change our name to the Wombles?

Well guys that was really enlightening, and slightly longer than i expected, I need to trim my beard again. 

What is wonderful about TEHI is that when interacting with them they want to know as much about you, its a two way street. We encourage everyone who listens to TEHI or reads this to take the time to interact with these two very friendly musos/artists. It wont be just a chat about music, in our experience it will turn into an ever evolving conversation about coffee, fears, tips on getting laid in a videogame, inspiration, the mystery of hash-tagging, winning the battle against yourself, pondering the propriety of eating sushi for breakfast. About life.... woven together with a love of music....music always at the core, the way it should be.




October Update #1:

The Eleventh Hour Initiative cover John Lennon's 'Working Class Hero', live across the Atlantic 





October Update #2:

The Eleventh Hour Initiative's From Shipwreck to Shore, track 13 from their album Escapism is featured on NME, read more HERE



October Update #2:

TEHI meet!!! 




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