We called up LA post-rock duo, El Ten Eleven, to chat about Star Wars, cell phones and skinny jeans. Their song “My Only Swerving” was featured in our in-store style videos and our American Beagle Outfitters campaign. Get to know the double neck guitarist, Kristian Dunn, after the jump.
Kristian and Tim of El Ten Eleven
AEO: People usually want to know what any artist’s influences are. But we’re going to make you narrow that down to the one album that truly affected your path in music.
Kristian Dunn: The soundtrack to Star Wars. I’m not joking. That’s one of the most influential records of my life. It still holds up too. I was actually listening to it today because it was Star Wars Day. And it’s just really brilliant. It’s hard to hear it with fresh ears because you’ve heard it so many times before. But even as a film score, it’s really different from all other film scores.
AEO: Being a musician means traveling to a lot of different cities and playing to a lot of different crowds. Which place was your favorite and why?
KD: It’s hard to pick one. Austin, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, LA. We just went to Europe for the first time and that was cool because we went to a lot of places that we wouldn’t have really chosen to go like Moscow, Athens, Croatia, Slovenia. So that’s kinda one of the cool things about being in a professional band – you end up going places that you wouldn’t expect.
AEO: Where was your first show together and what was it like?
KD: It was at a place called the Whistle Stop in San Diego, it’s a bar. And we were nervous. We didn’t know if we were quite ready. We only played 4 songs. We were opening for, actually, we were opening for ourselves. We were in another band at the time and we were opening for them.
I was pushing us to play. Tim, my drummer, was thinking, “I don’t know if we’re ready for prime time.” There were about 40 or 50 people there or something and they reacted really positively. And that kind of vindicated the feelings I was having that we were onto something that was kinda cool.
AEO: If you could bring just 3 things on tour, other than your equipment, what would they be?
KD: Laptop. Phone. Actually, I guess I could live without laptop. Clothing. I was going to say toothbrush but you can get those on the road. Phone is the most indispensible thing. I remember touring – this is how old I am – without cell phones because they didn’t exist at the time.
My main thing is I miss my daughter and my wife and that’s what the phone’s for. I can Facetime with my daughter.
AEO: At AEO, we love our denim. What’s your favorite fit or wash and how do you style them?
KD: I like skinny jeans. I don’t like them as skinny as I used to like them. I look back at pictures of me from 2, 3, 4 years ago and those jeans are so freakin’ tight. And I’m like, ohmygod what was I thinking? But I still like the cut – the tapered cut. Right now I’m barefoot, but I just got some high tops that I wear with them and I’m wearing a collared shirt, untucked. But El Ten Eleven is pretty much a t-shirt and jeans kind of band.