Area 11 (band)

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Area 11
Promotional photo of the band Area 11.jpg
Members from left to right: Leo Taylor, Alex Parvis, Sparkles*, & Jonathan Kogan.
Background information
Origin Nottingham, England
Genres Alternative rock, metalcore, neo-progressive rock, pop punk, electronicore
Years active 2010–present
Labels Cooking Vinyl, Smihilism Records, Breaking the Boredom
Associated acts My Vitriol, Beckii Cruel, Ghost Cassette, Teasing Demons, Last Constellation, Bloodguard, Superpowerless, Enter Shikari
Website http://www.area11.band/
Members Tom Clarke (Sparkles*)
Alex Parvis (Parv)
Jonathan Kogan (Kogie)
Leo Taylor
Past members Luke Owens
Tim Yearsley

Area 11 is an English rock band from Nottingham, England. The band currently consists of four members; Thomas "Sparkles*" Clarke, Alex Parvis, Jonathan Kogan and Leo Taylor. To date, they have released a number of singles, three EPs, and two studio albums.[1]

The band's sound is heavy with minimal synthesizers and electronic effects that they call modern rock,[1][2] however in their earlier records, Area 11's sound commonly blended heavy metal guitar riffs with a wider more prominent range of synthesizers and electronic effects,[1] which they sometimes referred to as gaijin rock.[3]

Biography[edit]

Area 11 consists of Tom Clarke, Alex Parvis, Jonathan Kogan, and Leo Taylor. They formed on 8 October 2010 in Nottingham during what was described by band frontman Sparkles* as a "disastrous jam session".[4] Founding members Sparkles*, Luke, and Alex then discovered their shared love of anime whilst watching Code Geass episode 22 "Blood Stained Euphy", from which they wrote their first song, Euphemia.

The name "Area 11" is a reference to the anime Code Geass, as Japan is referred to as Area 11 in the series, with its citizens referred to as Elevens, a name which has come to collectively describe Area 11 fans. In fact, some of Area 11's songs are based on various anime, including Code Geass, Death Note, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Naruto, Elfen Lied, Bakuman, Fullmetal Alchemist due to the bands strong fondness of the genre at the time of recording their earlier records. Towards the end of recording their debut album, All the Lights in the Sky, the band decided that they had done all they wanted in terms of writing songs about anime, and stopped writing songs about the animation genre, wanting to explore original new ideas and concepts.[5]

The band has been commissioned to produce music for companies such as YouTube broadcasting group The Yogscast and Namco Bandai Games. Significantly for Namco Bandai Games they produced "GO!! Fighting Action Power" as the credits theme for their Bravoman web-series on ShiftyLook, and later "Wonder Wars" as the theme song for the Wonder Momo anime series.[6]

Area 11's music has already permeated alternative and popular culture, which is reflected their chart success and loyal fanbase of over 100,000 worldwide. They have toured the UK on multiple occasions to capacity audiences.[1]

Musical style[edit]

The band's sound consists mostly of heavy guitars (including 7-stringed guitars) but also makes sutble use of synthesizers, orchestral sections and electronic effects. In contrast to this many songs contain acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitars and emotional piano melodies .[1][7]

In their earlier records, Area 11's sound commonly blended rock and metal styles of guitar with aspects of Japanese music including J-pop,[1] this sound they referred to by the tongue-in-cheek name, gaijin rock as "gaijin" in Japanese means "foreigner". [3] However, they have also been described as alternative rock,[8] metalcore,[8]electronicore, pop punk[8] and neo-progressive rock.[8]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
UK
[9]
UK
Rock
UK
Indie
UK
Breakers
US
Heatseekers
US
Indie
2013 All the Lights in the Sky
  • Released: 31 January 2013
  • Label: Smihilism Records
  • Format: Download/CD
75 10 10 2
[10]
11 42
2016 Modern Synthesis
  • Released: 1 July 2016
  • Label: Smihilism Records (Cooking Vinyl)
  • Format: Download/CD/LP
27
[11]
2 9
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Extended plays[edit]

Title EP details
Blackline
  • Released: 3 September 2011
  • Label: Breaking the Boredom
  • Format: CD/Download
Underline
  • Released: 2 November 2014
  • Label: Smihilism Records
  • Format: CD/Download
Let It Resonate
  • Released: 9 December 2016
  • Label: Smihilism Records
  • Format: CD/Download

(CDs were only offered at December 2016 tour and not available for purchase)

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions
UK
[10][12]
UK
Indie
UK
Breakers

[13]
2012 "Knightmare/Frame"
2013 "Shi No Barado" (featuring Beckii Cruel) 115 12 1
"GO!! Fighting Action Power" 12
"Heaven-Piercing Giga Drill"
2014 "Homunculus"
2015 "Override [B]"
"Versus"
2016 "Watchmaker"
"The Contract"

Members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Tom 'Sparkles*' Clarke - lead vocals, keys/synths
  • Alex 'Parv' Parvis - guitar, backing vocals
  • Jonathan 'Kogie' Kogan - bass, saxophone, backing vocals
  • Leo Taylor - drums, percussion, backing vocals

Past members[edit]

  • Luke Owens – guitar, backing vocals (2010-2012)
  • Tim Yearsley - bass (2010-2011)

Timeline[edit]

References[edit]