The Eleven 37s is a funk band! They’re named after the story of 11 groups of prisoners that were taken away to 37 separate prisoner of war camps in the 1950s due to all the men and women being dressed as half tiger, half elephant freaks of nature as part of a military celebration, (it was the time).
Front man and video blog maker of the band (click click to see) Jamie Topp was asked some questions:
How and when did The Eleven 37s form?
We formed way back when we were drinking milk from cows at a young age on a dairy farm. We’ve been raised by farm animals for 21 years, each by a different breed of swan or sheep, we decided to form a band when we kept getting laughed at for always having dip dabs for Christmas dinner instead of turkey, this was around 3 years ago. I hate to tell you this…. but most of that was a lie. We actually formed from the ashes of other bands in around early 2008, and decided we wanted to play something new and fresh, we all come from different backgrounds, which gives us a good hand for creating something new.
How would you describe your sound?
We are funk. We play funk rock music, and we’re a bit weird to say the least, it took about 2 years to settle into the solid sound that we wanted to follow, but we are happy with where we are heading. We play music that makes people want to dance, get up and enjoy it, smile, have a laugh and have fun basically. We mix it up between the fast paced fully funk powered songs such as ‘Here Comes The Storm’ and ‘Personality’ with slowly jazzier funk such as “Fires (Part ii).” We’re not all about the drive all of the time and getting people on their feet, its good to bring it back a bit sometimes and get deeper into people’s heads with what we’re trying to get across.
What does music mean to you?
I wouldn’t be doing much else besides this, its one of the rare ways in which we can express how we feel and that everyone can understand it without having to understand another language. You can change people’s way of thinking with a 3 minute track, or give them an ever lasting memory link, its such an amazing thing. And to be in a funk band, playing music that is so enjoyable to not only perform but to give to people to make them light up is a great thing.
What has influenced you in the last years?
The slow increase of funk bands coming back onto the circuit. We originally come form Brighton so we’ve grown up watching ‘Mean Poppa Lean’ leading the way for bringing funk back onto the scene, they are one of the few bands out there that aren’t afraid to confirm to jeans, shirt and a pair of trainers when they enter on stage. They want to make people think “what the fuck?’ but in a good way, just like we do. Of course old funky Chili’s have been a big influence too, alongside with artists such as 3, Maroon 5 and Jamiroquai. Also another band we’ve played with and are good friends with are ‘Storm Engine,’ they are all about that happy upbeat vibe, it all tastes good.
Is there any singer or band you admire and you would like to collaborate with?
As a band we all admire different artists, but I think we all look up to what the Chili’s achieved in the early years, to collaborate with them would be an amazing experience obviously for any band. Personally, from a vocalist perspective I would love to collaborate with some female vocalists on a track, an upcoming artist that is a good example of this is ‘Chris Cape,’ to play around with a double bass and some brass ensemble would be all good too, something we are hopefully looking forward to doing when we record later next year on a few tracks. I love Cee Lo Green’s soulful voice too, I think he would be an awesome collaborator as well.
What are you most excited about right now?
Other than the lasagna that’s cooking away in my oven right now, we are all quite excited about where we are heading at the moment with ‘The Eleven 37s.’ Things have picked up considerably in the last 6 months after pushing out ‘Here Comes The Storm’ (2010 EP) we are getting a lot of good attention back, and with the release of our music video (the second of which is follow just before Christmas for ‘Straywire’) for ‘Here Comes The Storm’ people are witnessing that funk is coming back, and that its okay to listen to music that makes you want to dance and smile without looking like some twat that listens to S Club 7 non stop on your ipod because every other song on your iTunes has decided to corrupt but those 11 songs. Plus we are looking forward to another tour in July 2011 with our good friends Storm Engine, should be a funky journey.
Here Comes The Storm
Where is the ideal place to listen to your music?
You can listen to our music anywhere! Spotify, iTunes, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube or find everything you’ll ever need on our website:
. But as always, you’ll never get the full experience until you come see us live, strawberries, silly string guns, free stuff and dancing that will blow your mind, plus the fact that you have ‘The Eleven 37s’ guarantee that I will always aim to get face to face with at least one person at a show and steal one piece of clothing from someone.
How do you promote your music?
Through every means necessary. As well as the music, we are also very passionate about understanding the brand of the band, and keeping it within something that people can relate too. There is a lot of merchandise circulating the country that we’ve given away for free, plus many EPs. We make sure our music is accessible to everyone, that’s why we’ve invested in iTunes and Spotify, and why the ‘Here Comes The Storm EP’ is available for free download on various websites, as well as the fact that you can stream all our tracks from loads of places. We do a lot of radio interviews and appearances, performing live acoustic tracks, as well as popping up in the street form time to time unannounced. Shows of course is essential, we love playing LIVE, its the biggest drive, by the end of next year we are looking at totaling up nearly 100 shows. Touring is also a big way in which we go about promoting our tracks, a good example is in 2009 with our tour for our second EP. We want everyone to hear our stuff, and we’re willing to do it in every way possible.
We’re about to say goodbye to 2010 – what are your favourite new songs and records of the year?
Well one of the newest bands I’ve gotten into this year has to be ‘The Black Keys,’ I love the new album, I would recommend listening to ‘Next Girl’ and ‘Tighten Up’ (and the video to go with it too), they’ve got a very funky sound and their videos match up to the mark too, so check them out. I’ve been listening to a lot of new stuff this year, iv really gotten into Arcade Fire, Deadmau5 and Ben Folds Five recently, so quite a vivid mix of stuff. And I know our drummer has been going back and getting into Pearl Jam a lot quite recently. We all have a wide spread music taste, but luckily instead of being an issue, it actually works really well as we can pull out so many different ideas and sounds and apply it to the funky paced tunes that we provide.
And what are your plans for 2011?
More music, a Special EP early 2011, a tour in the summer and a full length album by the end of the year. And to shave off our bassist’s beard in 3 months. Stay funked.