first burst onto the L.A. club scene
in the early '80s as a member of the
potent experimental punk trio
Is This, which also included two old friends from
Bancroft Junior High &
Fairfax High School,guitarist Hillel Slovak & drummer
These compatriots were joined for a time by another
Fairfax schoolmate, Michael Balzary,
known to his friends as .
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his band's early days, Johannes recalls with a laugh,
"The short-term goal
at this time was winning the Gazzarri's 'battle of the bands' on Sunday.
We came in second, because the band that
won brought their own audience in
the request of an artist friend,
Slovak, Irons, Flea,
and another Fairfax High friend,
threw together a punk-funk group for a one-night
show at a local club; this What
Is This offshoot
took the name the
Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The two bands -- which won major-label contracts
same week in 1983 -- would share members
on and off for several years;
Slovak would soon leave
What Is This to
the Peppers permanently,
following the band's 1985 album,
which was produced by Todd
has to be an
Element of Danger
that the music takes you somewhere
that you have never
between Alain & Natasha was |
eerily foretold to Johannes:
"I had a dream the night before that I told
my mom about.
In the dream, there was a teeter-totter,
there was a person counterweighting me.
was a girl, I could barely see the features.
Who are you?,
and the girl said,
'My name is Natasha & we're going to meet.
Alain's mom opened the door, Aaron said,
'This is Natasha,' and his mom's
enormous. Natasha thought,
'What a strange reaction.'
said, 'Nice to meet you,'
his mom had that glazed look...
Natasha walked into Alain's home...
Saw his silhouette against the window.
It was a bright day ...
he was swinging a
with a musical loop
entire being said,
hadn't even see this person yet.
I just recognized him.
& Natasha moved in together
within 2 weeks of their first meeting.
They began collaborating on a new
What Is This album.
With Irons' departure from the group,
the duo rechristened
Walk the Moon,
issuing an album on MCA Records.
successful U.S. and European tours
with Cornell in 1999
and early 2000
the members of Eleven now
unveil their own striking work
The album successfully
mates a wealth of the musicians' influences.
Irons rejoined the fold in 1990, Eleven
was officially born.
The trio released three widely-praised
a Dream (1991)
Irons would again exit in the midst
of sessions for "Thunk"
join Pearl Jam
replacement was quickly found,
in an incident that recalls the kismet of
Johannes and Shneider's first encounter....
Shneider had bought Johannes a set of
& the pair went to the Guitar Center in Hollywood to purchase a video about
playing the Indian drums.
We had to go to the cashier to pay,
'Oh! You're Alain and you're Natasha
The only tape I had, which broke and is stuck in my
player, is an Eleven album!
I've been a huge fan!'
Upchurch then became a memeber of Eleven