The band wants to share with kids what they themselves experienced while listening to music as youth, and Eleventyseven will take any opportunity to play anywhere as long as it gives them a chance to change hearts.
"I used to sneak rock music into my parents' house because I wasn’t allowed to listen to it," Langston reflect. "But it was those bands, those albums that changed my life. Bands like the Ramones, Weezer, and Joy Electric. I remember going to shows when I was younger and how it made me feel. How those shows gave me such a great lift from my problems and concerns. I told myself that someday I would do that for someone else. If my mistakes or thoughts or a song we wrote can help kids see past the temporary things of this life to the truths of the Eternal, then I have accomplished everything I set out to do."
Fed up with all the talk of pain, sorrow, and agony he hears every day on the radio, Langston felt it was time to focus his musical energy on something a bit more uplifting.
“You get tired of being yelled at, hearing the same parallels drawn in every song," Langston explains. “Knives. Night. Pain. Winter. We have been put here to enjoy the blessings in life, not cry about the curse of our self-inflicted pain. We want to push people past their feelings, passions, and experiences...past their circumstances to see the big picture of God’s creation. We want people to feel what He has done for us and wear a smile when they leave our concerts. I know that there are so many out there who need this message, and we have captured the spirit of these ideas on our debut disc, And the Land of Fake Believe (2006).”
“Our music makes fun of almost everything. I look back at experiences I‘ve had, realize what a ‘loser’ I was, and I have a huge laugh. No one is really that cool, and we want people to learn to take themselves less seriously. But joking aside, we’re very serious about our purpose. One of the major life themes adopted by this band is learning from our own mistakes. I have made many. And the weight of that is enough to drive me out of my mind sometimes. If I didn’t laugh, if I didn’t learn to live with joy in forgiveness, I would probably end up miserable."
Eleventyseven's latest Flicker Records project, Galactic Conquest (2007), pushes further into that same arena, adding a new dance pop subcurrent to the pop punk of their first effort.
“We finally just decided that we were going to make the record we wanted to make, and if no one liked it, at least we would could with ourselves,” Matt says. “It’s part of my lust for sound. I am constantly trying to craft certain sounds, moods and emotions directly into the music I make. We tried some new approaches on ‘Galactic Conquest.’ Like we used a combined total of 16 different synths on the record, sometimes all combined to make one sound.”
That adventurous sonic outlook is evident in songs like the hyper-danceable “Love In Your Arms” (written “as a huge pick-me-up for anyone having a bad day, month, or life”), the hauntingly melodic “It’s Beautiful,” (born out of Matt’s realization that he could “stop striving to be close to God, and just accept that I am close to Him”), and the chronically upbeat “Happiness” (a song about breaking up with “the most fickle girlfriend of all: Happiness”).
“Lyrically, Galactic Conquest is a lot more focused than our first project,” Matt says. “Most of what I say on this record, are things that I wish someone had said to me when I was younger. Obviously, the themes match what I've been dealing with in my own life, which are overcoming depression, refusing to be viewed as a statistic, turning my focus outward onto others, instead of continuing to tear my own life apart from the inside.”
“At first listen I hope Eleventyseven newbies feel happy,” Matt says. “At second listen they wonder what the words mean. By third listen, they understand the words. By fourth listen, they call their friends and yell at them for letting them waste 12 dollars on a stupid rock band. By the fifth, listen I hope they have forgiven their friend. And by sixth listen I hope they really like us.”