Last week we invited Canadian indie group Eleven North for an interview and exclusive backyard live session. Amidst a few beers, a bbq and some minor setbacks, we got to know the band while experiencing their infectious high spirit and passionate sounds. The band is set to release their newest EP Three Years: Vol. One this summer and we got an exclusive first look at some of the tracks and details on its creation.
Take a listen to the full backyard session we got to experience:
Eleven North is made up of Andrew Reinhardt (Vocals & Guitar), Matty Klyne (Lead Guitar), Joey Andres (Bass) and Jeremy Randell (Drums). Hailing from Niagara Falls, Andrew and Joey are the two original members with Matty and Jeremy coming along later down the road.
We started our interview and I asked about the meaning behind the name ‘Eleven North’. Andrew thoughtfully reminisced about how it came to be;
Andrew: “I grew up in a family cottage in Powassan, near North Bay, Ontario, and my favourite thing is to play music first off, but I love fishing and the outdoors, and we used to always take Highway 11 north, so I thought it was a good Canadian name, and that’s kinda how it started.”
Jeremy added to the meaning as, “getting away from the city and all that crap, and going to a simpler place, a serene place.”
Eleven North’s sound can best be described as soulful indie rock, with traces of folk. Each member brings different influences to the table, which comes together to create their own uniquely powerful sound. Passionate and explosive, if you enjoy the likes of City and Colour, Kings of Leon or Hozier, then Eleven North’s sound may be right up your alley.
The band’s upcoming EP Three Years: Vol. One was recorded at the notorious Jukasa Studio by Caledonia under the wing of the infamous Wade MacNeil. When I asked about how the EP came to be and the process that led them to Jukasa and working with a Canadian legend like MacNeil, they recounted how it all began with a demo that they put together in three hours;
Jeremy: What had happened was (this was right around the point where I joined the band), I remember this specifically, I’ll never forget this. I showed up, this was maybe the fifth or sixth time we had jammed and I said to Andrew, who was working off the old stuff they had done, “what are you writing, what have you got?”, and he showed me something and I said, “Okay that’s cool, do you have something else?”, and he played me ‘Distant’, and I said to him right away, “that’s a single, that belongs on the radio, come over to my house and we’ll demo it.”
So, he came over, we demoed it start to finish in three hours, mixed everything, I gave it to Andrew and he sent it to Darren, the head engineer at Jukasa, who then reached out to Wade MacNeil, and it really rang true in Wade’s ear, so he contacted us and said he wants to work with us on the song. This all happened in a week, just like zero to a hundred.
It’s not every day that you get to work with a Canadian legend like Wade MacNeil. The guys explained the huge impact of having a veteran such as MacNeil in the studio and how helpful he was in the process.
Jeremy: Okay, so he’s got this persona of being a total hard-ass, which, I mean he probably is, and he’s probably got a few rough edges to him, but he’s just a total genuine human being. Willing to help, very sincere, very great to work with.
Beyond the myriad of experience that MacNeil has with helping produce successful Canadian groups, his involvement with the EP was more impactful given the influence that MacNeil’s Alexisonfire had on the band. Not to mention that they share roots with Eleven North, as they both hail from the Niagara region.
Andrew: Definitely awesome to work with Wade, I mean Alexisonfire, I have them tattooed on me.
When asked what the fans could expect from this new EP, they explained that because of the speed of which the writing and recording process had occurred, there is an organic and authentic vibe that runs through each track. They also noted the unique set up at Jukasa and how it enhanced the process;
Andrew: Jukasa is an amazing studio, but the room is very unique. The room was designed improperly with the layout so it has a cool sound too, it’s a cool feature. It’s a good mistake to have.”
Joey: “They set up some mics down this hallway and there’s a loading dock, and you set up mics at the end of this hallway for reverbs when you’re doing drums, and you get all these natural reverbs.”
Jeremy: “The drums sound stupid in that room. And he soloed the mic from the loading dock, and it’s just like “oh my god”, that has to be in there. Like, this room would suck without that mic in there, the drums would sound dead.”
Joey: “It reminded of ‘When the Levee Breaks’ from Led Zeppelin when they’re in the stairwell, and it’s got that same vibe to it.”
Though the initial demo was only one track, when the guys found out that they’d be in at Jukasa, they wanted to make the most of it;
Jeremy: So, we said, as a band, if we’re gonna go into Jukasa, and put down x amount of money to fund this one song, let’s go in with more. So, we demoed four more songs, approached Wade, cut a couple out and ended up with three in total. We went into Jukasa, crushed it, did three songs in three days.
When asked about the release of the three-song EP, their answers were purposefully indefinite. Wanting to keep their fans on their toes, we can expect the first single to drop sometime this summer; hopefully sooner rather than later.
Although they will be taking some time to continue writing and possibly be getting back into the studio with Wade, they have upcoming shows in September, including a Toronto appearance alongside Ivory Hours at the Mod Club, that are not to be missed!
We will keep you updated on all things Eleven North as the summer continues on. We are hoping for the best from these guys and we are sure they will deliver.
We had a little fun and asked the guys some fun questions to get to know them a little better. Here is what happened;
Favourite show to binge watch?
(Andrew) “We’re all into conspiracy stuff. Joey’s into what, Joe?”
(Joey) “The earth is flat. It’s awesome, man, you gotta look it up.”
(Andrew) “What was the last one you guys were watching, 13 Reasons?”
(Joey) “I got to the last one but I still haven’t watched it.”
(Jeremy) “Okay, that’s hilarious I just watched the last one last night. I mean it is what we expected, we know what happens.”
(Joey) “I liked binge-watching Arrested Development, and Stranger Things, and Brooklyn 99.”
(Matty) “That was the tour TV show we watched, just keeping things light.”
Who controls the music on tour?
(Andrew) “It’s all over, pretty much whoever is sitting shotgun.”
(Joey) “I can tell you who’s the worst to control the music is definitely Andy. He has music ADD. He will not listen to a song all the way through. It’ll be the first verse and then he’s like “oh, this song, oh, this song.” He’ll be like, “this is the best song, everybody listens,” and he’ll get everybody to be quiet and he won’t even get through the first verse and he’s playing the next song.
(Jeremy) “It’s like when he’s playing guitar too, we’ll take a break in between practice and he’ll pick up his guitar and just start playing covers. But he literally plays like 20 seconds of each song, and puts them together.”
(Andrew) “It’s like one giant medley. But we listen to all kinds of stuff on tour like the Eagles, Drake, the new Harry Styles record is unreal.”
Ketchup chips or all dressed chips?
(Andrew, Jeremy, Matty) “Ketchup.”
(Joey) “All dressed.”
Did you see that they recently introduced all dressed chips in the states?
(Joey) “Man, in the states, their selection of chips is shit. Like here we have all these crazy flavours of chips and they’ve never heard of any of them. But then you go to the states and you look at the gum and they’ve got the weirdest flavours of gum, and we’ve got nothing. I’m a gum guy, I love gum.”
If you only had one thing on you during a zombie apocalypse, what would it be?
(Andrew) “A gun, for sure for me.”
(Jeremy) “But that’s standard, and you’d run out of bullets.”
(Joey) “I would want a nice turkey club sandwich. Cause I want a nice sandwich. I like gum and I like sandwiches.”
(Andrew) “I just thought of this, but this is the reason for the name of our Three Years EP. So, there’s three years between all of us exactly, and it’s all in sequence too. So, we’re all three years apart, and it’s the same order for our birthdays too.”
(Joey) “You guys totally bailed on that question, didn’t you.”
(Matty) “A case of Molson Canadian.”
(Jeremy) “I’ll take a car.”
If you were trapped on a desert island with no food, who would you eat first?
(Jeremy) “Definitely Matty.”
(Joey) “Well, he is skin and bone, we’re both skin and bone. Andrew’s got some meat.”
(Matty) “Yeah, we should go for Andrew, he’s got some meat on his bones.”
(Andrew) “I got those big American thunder thighs.”
(Joey) “You’d definitely be the juiciest.”
(Andrew) “I think I might survive last because I’m the feistiest.”
(Joey) “I’m the fastest, though.”
(Andrew) “Yeah, I have a bum leg. Jet ski accident gone wrong.”
(Matty) “I don’t think a jet ski accident can go right.”