Last year, when we interviewed Alain Johannes during his tour through South America, he mentioned the possibility of going back to some unreleased songs from his band Eleven – the group he had with his wife Natasha Shneider and drummer Jack Irons. As it turns out, his plans are coming to fruition soon.
Back in October, Mr. Johannes said: “One month before Natasha got diagnosed with cancer, her, Jack Irons and I got together for two days and recorded five songs, but didn’t finish the words or melodies. So now I’m just getting the nerve to go and try to finish those songs, or maybe just leave them as it is. It’s some of our most powerful, muscular stuff.” Besides that, he mentioned that Eleven still had “a bunch of demos that we did before recording Avantgardedog.” Fortunately, those songs will see the light of day, as it was recently posted on the band’s Faceboook page that a record entitled Rarities is coming this fall. Here is the official statement:
This year, Los Angeles rock trio Eleven is celebrating the 20 year anniversary of their debut album, “Awake in a Dream”, with a new album, Rarities. Founding members Alain Johannes, Natasha Shneider and drummer Jack Irons recorded “Awake” in LA in 1991. They released the single “Rainbow’s End” in November of 1991 and embarked on a US and European tour with the then up-and-coming Pearl Jam. Eleven went on to make 5 critically acclaimed albums before the passing of Natasha Shneider in 2008.
Rarities is due in the Fall of 2011 on Pollen Records and is the band’s first release since Howling Book in 2003. Fans of Eleven can look forward to unreleased 8 track recordings from the period between “Thunk” and “Avantgardedog”, songs from the Howling Book sessions and the last session which took place a few weeks before Natasha’s cancer diagnosis. Both original drummer Irons and Greg Upchurch contribute to Rarities.
The page also confirms that Alain is, in fact, producing Mark Lanegan’s new studio album – from which you can hear two songs here. If you haven’t picked up Alain’s solo album Spark yet, you should probably do so.