With their second album, ‘Modern Synthesis’, Area 11 embrace hard rock and pop-rock traits and fuse them with electro elements. The album itself marks a new chapter for the quartet. Having gathered a large social media following whilst unsigned, they’ve joined Cooking Vinyl for the release of ‘Modern Synthesis’.
As their sound is rather eclectic, we asked the four-piece to pick out a selection of inspiration songs.
The Mars Volta – Televators
Sparkles*: A song which has been a huge influence on me is ‘Televators’ by The Mars Volta. I had been a fan of At The Drive-In, and I was really looking forward to the Volta record. ‘Televators’ stood out to me because it was both simple and complex at the same time, a delicate melody floating over relatively “standard” chord changes. The detail in the track comes from both the lyrics, which are poetically cryptic, and the arrangement; delay-soaked slide guitar melting into jungle foley, the backbeat of assorted exotic percussion, Cedric’s haunting self-harmony etc. Even though it’s not on my favourite Volta record (‘Francis the Mute’), this song is as close to perfection as I’ve heard, I really hope to approach this level in my own songwriting, and will be forever influenced by it.
Sum 41 – Fat Lip
Kogie: I was 12 when this song came out and although my dad had played me plenty of rock albums before, it was the first rock song that I’d “discovered” myself that really turned me on to the genre. Hearing that riff at the beginning of the song and feeling the overall energy throughout was such a respite from the relentless girl and boy band music that was popular around then. Although it’s not my favourite song of all time or anything, I will always appreciate it as a turning point in my musical tastes, one which undoubtedly pushed me towards picking up a guitar and playing in a band.
Alexisonfire – Happiness by the Kilowatt
Leo: It was the first song by them that leaned almost entirely towards an atmospheric sound. It showed me how a band could change their sound, whilst distinctly being them. Dallas Green’s melodies and vocals are hauntingly beautiful too, whilst being simple enough to make you feel a connection.
Paul Gilbert – Suicide Lover
Alex: When I heard ‘Suicide Lover’ on Paul Gilbert’s album, ‘Burning Organ’, in my early teens, I was amazed. I had never heard guitar playing like that, ripping solos with catchy fun choruses. That track turned me onto technical guitar playing in rock music.
The Beatles – A Day In The Life
Kogie: By the time I was 17, I’d listened to a lot of rock (and other) music but had never really given The Beatles a chance. I’d only ever listened to the the early “pop” songs which didn’t really do much for me. It was only when my friend sat me down and basically forced me to listen to ‘Sgt .Pepper’’s that it clicked. ‘A Day In The Life’ was the song that most resonated with me, and it inspired me to want to write softer songs with a focus on narrative and character exploration, as opposed to an endless torrent of distorted guitars. It’s such an important song, but you don’t need me to tell you that.
‘Modern Synthesis’ by Area 11 is out now on Smihilism Records/Cooking Vinyl.