DistractionWhat’s your biggest distraction as you strive to follow Jesus?
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eleventyseven adventures in Eville
The scene is small town South Carolina. The highlights include Super Wal-Martâs grand opening, dinner at the pizza buffet with the football team, and a makeshift skate park in an abandoned warehouse. But just outside the county limits, three friendsâMatt Langston, Jonathan Stephens, and Caleb Satterfieldâhave turned one of their parentâs living rooms into a practice space for their band. This small town trio of friends that came to be known as eleventyseven has been delivering catchy songs and high-energy live shows since they met in high school. The release of their third studio album, adventures in Eville, promises yet another round of musical mayhem, with content ranging from high energy fun songs that talk about cyborg robot squirrels and a sidekick dog named Grover Cleveland, to real-life relationship issues. Last year, the group was able to slow down and spend more time with friends and family at home. This gave them the opportunity to reconnect with the real world and focus on exactly what they wanted for the new record.
âWe want the music to mirror who we are and what we are genuinely passionate about,â explains lead singer Matt. âAs a band we are pretty diverse, and as a writer, sometimes Iâm inspired to write about emotionally personal things, and sometimes about things that mean absolutely nothing at all. They are both parts of who we are, and we need them both just as much. Thatâs sort of where the title comes from. âEvilleâ is that place in my head that I go to just be myself, where itâs all-okay. Sometimes itâs dark and scary, and other times itâs super positive. It's important to embrace all of it.â
Staying true to who they are, this album is full of their trademark catchy pop hooks, with lyrics that are able to create a deeply personal connection with the listener. Influenced by pop-punk greats such as Weezer and Blink 182, the guys endeavor to carry the torch of music thatâs just fun.
âWe want our show to be more about the crowd than us,â says Jonathan (drummer). âSo many bands cater their show to themselves and their image ... weâve always had much more fun just being us. People need fun. They need songs that donât always make sense, songs that can just let them breathe and enjoy life.â Such a song would be âEvil Genius,â which was inspired by one of Matt's close friends who had a crush on a girl and did not know how to tell her.
Kelly doesnât know that Iâm an evil genius with a sidekick dog named Grover Cleveland / and sheâll never know that we could take over the world with robot squirrels
âEvery kid in high school walks around thinking something like, âMan, if all these kids knew how cool I looked at home playing Metallica solos, everyone would know how truly awesome I am.â Thatâs what the song is trying to capture,â Matt says.
Other songs that highlight the bandâs love for life would be âProm Song,â penned for Mattâs younger 17-year-old sister. âI had horrible prom experiencesâ Matt recalls, âso even if she has a really bad one too, at least she'll have a song to show for it.â
Although eleventysevenâs electro/rock sound is filled with frenetic energy, the band does not hesitate to address some serious topics with songs like âBest I Can,â which touches on the subject of relationships.
We both feel the pain, we just say it different ways / Hear my heart before you hear my lips
The song ends with the statement: Love is holding on when all the world is telling you to leave
Matt shares, âI wrote this song after talking with a friend of mine whose parents were divorced. No matter what the situation, kids of divorce carry that burden of a broken home forever. It affects their sense of self-worth, identity and views of future relationships. Most relational problems I witness or encounter all stem from the smallest things. Simple disagreements or disappointments can morph into gaping holes between couples or even friends. If we forget to just communicate, we can become the center of our own universe, and thatâs the scariest place Iâve ever been.â
Serious or not, eleventyseven delivers heartfelt passion with each song on adventures in Eville. As expressed in the song âTrying,â the band wants to continue the path they have been on to wake up everyday and quite simply enjoy what they do. âWe want listeners to know that they can be part of something so much greater than just a fan base. We want our music to be a direct vehicle for friendships to form, for stories and experiences to be shared, and for fun to be had,â says Matt.
They want to let their fans know that nobodyâs life looks the same, so just show up and be ready for whatever comes their way. The songs on this album may bring a smile to your face, but the desire of the guys in eleventyseven is for their listeners to find a happiness deeper than any lyric or circumstance.
Matt says, âIâve learned that I have no clue what is going to make me happy. But who cares? If all I care about is what makes me happy, Iâve missed the point of life. So many times we equate happiness with the fulfillment of a dream or goal, and it never is.â Instead, he believes that the greatest peace in life comes from resting in who you are, and doing what you love to do, not in pursuing who you think you want to be or what you think will make you happy.
So stop searching and join the guys for some adventures in Eville. Perhaps youâll find that what youâve been looking for has been there all along.