Published: January 04, 2008 10:41 PM EST
By: Isaac Joseph Davis Junior (Juniorscave.com)
Punk / Pop
Punk Music has never sounded better than with the Pop Punk Band Borderline Eleven. The group first came together in November of 2005 as a way to do something to kill some time but quickly turned into something that each member decided they wanted to pursue further. Now the Southern New Hampshire band is gaining fans in the Indie music industry with their melodic punk style of music. Check out a recent Q & A that I did with the band recently when I had a chance to review their EPK (Electronic Press Kit) on Sonicbids (Online Music Resource Community).
Isaac-Joseph: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for the magazine. I wanted to first start off by asking you guys to announce the members of the band and your positions with the band.
Dan Charpentier—Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals
Luke Mason—Lead Guitar, Backup Vocals
Joe Campbell—Bass Guitar, Backup Vocals
Andrew Mason—Drums, Sometimes Vocals
Isaac-Joseph: You guys were formed in 2005. What have been some of the biggest changes since you first began as a band in 2005?
Borderline Eleven: Our musicianship has gotten tighter, and our songwriting has definitely improved. Hey, the fact that we ARE seriously songwriting! When we first started, we did mostly covers and fooled around with our own stuff.
Isaac-Joseph: I really like the name Borderline Eleven. Who originally came up with the concept of the name and what is its meaning?
Borderline Eleven: We actually did one concert as "Turning Point", but when we researched the name to make it officially ours, there were too many other bands with the same or similar name, so we had to find something new. We were sitting at practice throwing out all kinds of crazy ideas when we laughed about wanting to get so big that we could create our own amps with dials that would go past 10 all the way to… 11. There it was! Soooo, on a scale of 1 to 10, we are "Borderline Eleven".
Isaac-Joseph: The Internet is an integral part of many new bands’ success. What role do you feel that the Internet has played in your own success of getting your music across to the masses?
Borderline Eleven: The Internet has been HUGE in our growth! From communities like MySpace, Celebrate, and FaithFreaks to all the .com radio stations, podcasts, and e-zines, it has been amazing. Who would have thought that a young indie band from New Hampshire could have their music played on stations based in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cape Cod and elsewhere in their first year! As of this interview, we have been in the number one spot for requested songs on www.BandRadioLive.com since December 15, 2007. We are also on www.iRadioLA.com as well as other stations, and we get requests for gigs through MySpace often. Having an electronic press kit that can be constantly updated, emailed or viewed online is so much easier to use than the typical hard kit. And e-zines like Juniors Cave give widespread exposure with the simple click of a mouse! We have only begun to learn about all the opportunities available to musicians on the Web, and more appear almost every day!
Isaac-Joseph: I read in your bio that you actually where invited to play in church on a regular basis anything that you guys wanted. How was that experience working and performing weekly in the church? What were some of the highpoints about performing for this type of crowd?
Borderline Eleven: Well, this is the church where we met each other. Once a month, they would host an open mic night, and that's where we started to try out our own stuff. We would do a cover or two and then play a song we had just finished writing and then end with more covers. People were actually very receptive to our own music and were very encouraging, telling us to keep going, that they liked our stuff. Each month we would add another new song, sometimes finished, sometimes still a work in progress, sometimes messed up in performance. But they were our testing ground, encouraged us, and kept saying we were welcomed to come back whenever we wanted. It was a safe and nurturing environment. They were very gracious through our mistakes and jitters. They really affirmed us. Not sure where we would have found the opportunities to test all this out to see if we had something people would like had it not been for them.
Isaac-Joseph: One of the reasons that I love this band is that you guys make a conscientious effort to have clean lyrics. How important are clean lyrics for you as a band?
Borderline Eleven: Well, we have our Christian backgrounds to thank for that. There are a lot of secular bands out there that we basically like, but there were a lot of problems for us with either their subject matter or the profanity in the lyrics. So we wanted to put music out there in the styles that we personally like but with lyrics and topics that would be positive and uplift, not embarrass or offend. We also are pretty selective with our covers. We listen very critically. If a song has profanity or even one line of reference to a lifestyle choice we don’t want to promote, we won’t do it, no matter how much fun it would be to play. Basically, if we proclaim that Jesus Christ guides our lives but then do raunchy or tasteless stuff, that's pretty hypocritical, dishonoring of Him and us; sets a bad example and makes our witness a joke. We're trying to show you don’t need dirty lyrics to have fun making good music.
Isaac-Joseph: In August of 2006, your first EP was released. What have learned as musicians since you released that EP and what responses have you received from fans about this EP?
Borderline Eleven: Our fans ate the EP up. In September of 2006, we let a friend borrow a rough copy and the CD circulated around her school. A few weeks later, they requested us to perform at an upcoming school event and we sold lots more that night. It was our first group following of any type, and it was pretty exciting for us that early on—another confirmation that we were on the right track. As musicians, we are constantly trying to figure out our style, as all four of us like different kinds of music and trying to blend them into our songwriting makes for some creative, crazy musical sessions! It's been over a year since the EP was released, and as it is our only CD to date, fans are looking for the new stuff that we've been doing in our shows over the past year. Between school, homework, sports, jobs, and gigs, getting into the studio has been a challenge. As has getting the moolah [money] we need for studio time and CD duplication....
Isaac-Joseph: What would you say has been the biggest achievement for Borderline Eleven in 2007?
Borderline Eleven: Considering that we are typical young American guys aged 16, 17, 18 & 22, it’s probably that we actually gelled as a band and got serious with the time for regular rehearsing, songwriting, and gigging with everything else going on in our lives. We thought we'd be doing great if we managed 10 gigs in the year. We actually finished in November with 30 gigs on the books, so that was pretty cool.
Isaac-Joseph: What advice do you have for others who are just getting started in the music biz?
Borderline Eleven: Well, as we are pretty much getting started ourselves, we don't have a lot of experience or advice. But just figure out what you want to do, get down to work and approach it seriously. If you’re looking to do it as a job, there is a lot to learn; and you really have to treat it like a job to make it anywhere. Keep your eyes open for any gigs possible, but do your homework on where and what the gig is. For your first gigs, it’s best to pick places where people will be forgiving of mistakes or nervousness—we've had plenty of both! And if you're lucky enough to have parents or others who support you and help guide you along the way, then respect their efforts and even listen to them once in a while. They can see you from a different view and might pick up on things you don’t. They certainly have your best interests at heart. Event organizers have actually been surprised to deal with us through a manager, and without her we wouldn’t be nearly as far along as we are today, so don’t be afraid to let a parent or adult friend help you with things like booking and merchandise. Dan's mom keeps us on track and does our booking so we can focus on the music and improving the elements of our show.
Isaac-Joseph: What can we look forward to in the year 2008 from the band?
Borderline Eleven: We are really praying that we will make it into the studio to record and release our first full-length CD. We are about half way there with the songs we need, so our songwriting needs to continue, too. We are always working on expanding our gig schedule, so we hope to at least match, if not exceed, the number of gigs we had last year.
Isaac-Joseph: This is what we call our Shout Out time. Give props to anyone and everyone that matters.
Borderline Eleven: Wow, there are so many people to thank! We've had some anonymous angels step forward this year to help us out financially, so we'd like to acknowledge them—they know who they are. Our managers and roadies Ron and Monica—how would we ever get to our gigs without Ron's van or be held together without his duct tape?! (We like the blue tape...anyways…) Then there are our families who are at as many of our shows as possible—the Masons and the Campbells. It’s always great to see their familiar faces in the crowds—especially when we play far from home, like Connecticut! Kudos to Oasis Christian Church who embraced and helped birth us; John P. and his great work recording our songs for the EP, Steve and Chris who stepped in as our unofficial official gig sound guys, and Ben who miraculously stretched some donated funds into an awesome sound system; Luke's new wife Sarah whose future as a band wife is yet to be experienced; sis Kelsey and friends Mandy and Mary who have manned our merch table so willingly and graciously, as well as friends like Nate who have tagged along just to help carry our stuff around; the event organizers who trustingly took us on for their events, had a great time and asked us to return, and local merchants who put our posters in their storefronts. And all our awesome friends and fans who have supported our efforts by coming to shows, buying CDs and t-shirts, taking concert pictures, and promoting us on their websites. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun doing this without their excitement and support.
Isaac-Joseph: This has been the best Shout-Out EVER!
Isaac-Joseph: Shameless Plugs: Reveal any new releases, tour dates, guest appearance, or anything else that you would want us to know about...
Borderline Eleven: As we are coming out of a month of time off in December and with 2008 just beginning, we'd like to encourage your readers to stay in touch with our activities by visiting our websites regularly: www.borderlineeleven.com and www.myspace.com/borderlineeleven. All our developing band news and updated gig schedule will be posted on those sites. Please tell a friend or two or eleven about our band, request us on the Internet radio stations, and tell more people about who we are and what we are doing! Drop us a note AND lots of hits and spins on MySpace which could just help us be a featured artist on the site one day!! We appreciate all the support as we grow. God bless everyone. Remember, following Jesus is the most punk rock thing you can do!!!!