ELEVEN's History
Johannes first burst onto the L.A. club scene
in the early '80s as a member of the potent experimental punk trio
What 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
.
 
Of 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 a

.
At the request of an artist friend,
Slovak
, Irons, Flea,
and another Fairfax High friend,
Anthony Kiedis
,
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
the same week in 1983 -- would share members
on and off for several years;

Slovak
would soon leave What Is This to
rejoin the
Peppers permanently, while Irons
exited following the band's 1985 album,
which was produced by
Todd Rundgren.
There has to be an
Element of Danger

meaning that the music takes you somewhere

that you have never
thought is possible

The 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.

It was a girl, I could barely see the features.
I said,
Who are you?,
and the girl said,
'My name is Natasha & we're going to meet.

When Alain's mom opened the door, Aaron said,
'This is Natasha,' and his mom's eyes were
enormous. Natasha thought,

'What a strange reaction.'
She said, 'Nice to meet you,'
but his mom had that glazed look...
                    with huge eyes.

Natasha walked into Alain's home...
Saw his
silhouette against the window.
It was a bright day ... he was swinging a
talkbox tube with a musical loop
                    over his head.

Her entire being said, yes, that's the person.

     I hadn't even see this person yet.
I just recognized him
.

Alain & 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 themselves,

Walk the Moon
,
issuing an album on MCA Records.

With successful U.S. and European tours
with Cornell in 1999
and early 2000 behind them,
the members of Eleven now
unveil their own striking work
on "Avantgardedog."
The album successfully and seamlessly
mates a wealth of the musicians' influences.

When Irons rejoined the fold in 1990, Eleven was officially born.
The trio released three widely-praised albums:

     Awake in a Dream (1991)
     Eleven (1993)
     Thunk (1995).

Irons would again exit in the midst of sessions for "Thunk"
to join Pearl Jam

His 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.
Shneider recalls,

We had to go to the cashier to pay
,
and this kid goes,
'Oh! You're Alain and you're Natasha from Eleven!
The only tape I had, which broke and is stuck in my
tape player, is an Eleven album!
I've been a huge fan!'

Greg Upchurch then became a memeber of Eleven

 

Bio written by Chris Morris

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