They describe their sound as being Modern rock, as they draw influences from western rock, while incorporating elements from other genres and cultures.
BiographyArea 11 consists of Sparkles*, 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". 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.
The band has been commissioned by Namco Bandai Games to compose the song "GO!! Fighting Action Power" as the credits theme for their Bravoman web-series through their ShiftyLook service, and later Wonder Wars as the theme song for the Wonder Momo anime series and by the UK YouTube broadcasting group The Yogscast to produce music that would be used during and at the end of the Yogscast's content.
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.
Area 11 inhabit a particular niche in the alternative rock scene, with an exciting twist on bland generic rock. The band coined the term 'Gaijin Rock' to describe their earlier music, with 'Gaijin' being Japanese for 'outsider', or someone who is not native to Japan. This is owed to the fact that Area 11's music is a blend between fast-paced rock, a sliver of pop and heavy Japanese influences. Indeed, many of their songs display this clearly, such as with the use of Koto samples in the intro to The Legendary Sannin, and the use of many Japanese instruments in first two movements of Bōsōzoku Symphonic.
Many of the band's songs are influenced by anime, and the lyrics are based on either specific episodes in the animes or general themes in them. The songs are inspired by: Code Geass (Euphemia, Knightmare/Frame), Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Heaven-Piercing Giga Drill), Elfen Lied (Vectors), Fooly Cooly (Tokyo House Party), Death Note (Shi No Barado), Cowboy Bebop (The Strays), Naruto (The Legendary Sannin), Fullmetal Alchemist (Homunculus), Bravoman (Go!! Fighting Action Power) and the manga series Bakuman (Dream & Reality).
The band stated in April of 2015 that towards the end of recording All The Lights In The Sky, the band began to feel that they had given all that they could give in in terms of writing about anime. Stating, "As much as we loved exploring that universe both lyrically and sonically, there was so much more ground we wanted to cover. We tested the water with our EP Underline, which people responded to very positively, signalling to us that it was time to move on conceptually." Therefore, Homonculus is likely the last song based on an anime. The band also talked about a transition to a new sound that they called Modern Rock saying it would be "heavier and darker, but still uplifting." These statements were validated by Area 11's second studio album Modern Synthesis, where no songs about anime appeared and the music was generally heavier compared to their past records.
Discography - Albums/EP's
A re-release of the EP, under the Yogscast Studios record label titled "BLACKLINE 「COMPLETE」", was available for a short time on Area 11's Bandcamp, containing alternative artwork, demos and remixes, from the 11th January 2013. The track listing was as follows:
- The Legendary Sannin
- Heaven-Piercing Giga Drill
- The Legendary Sannin 【Demo】
- Heaven-Piercing Giga Drill 【Demo】
- Euphemia 【Off Vocal】
- The Legendary Sannin 【Off Vocal】
- Heaven-Piercing Giga Drill 【Off Vocal】
- Euphemia 【Sparkles* Trance Remix】
- Heaven-Piercing Giga Drill 【Echo Inada Remix】
All The Lights In The Sky
Area 11's first studio album All the Lights in the Sky was originally released under Yogscast Studios and later released through Smihilism Records on the 31st January 2013. The album contains three reworked tracks from previous releases and nine new tracks. The track listing is as follows:
- Tokyo House Party
- Shi No Barado (feat. Beckii Cruel)
- Cassandra (Pt II)
- The Strays
- Dream & Reality
- Heaven-Piercing Giga Drill
- Bōsōzoku Symphonic
A re-release of the album, titled "All the Lights in the Sky「COMPLETE」", was available for a short time on Area 11's Bandcamp, containing off-vocals, b-sides, commentaries, and demos from the 19th December 2013.
The full track listing can be viewed here.
- Override [C]
- The Contract
- Red Queen
- Angel Lust
- The Life of a Ghost
- After the Flags
- Panacea and the Prelogue
Discography - Singles
- Knightmare/Frame (2012)
- Shi No Barado (feat. Beckii Cruel ) (2013)
- Heaven-Piercing Giga Drill (2013)
- Go!! Fighting Action Power (2013)
- Homunculus (2014)
- Override [B] (2015)
- Versus (2015)
- Watchmaker (2016)
- The Contract (2016)
Connection to Project S*
Various members of the band have been granted access to the original Project S* Google Document before the Digital Haunt Wiki went live. Since Sparkles*'s own project has been in action since over four years before Area 11's formation, the rest of the band members did not contribute to the initial groundwork of the 'concept album', however it appears the band have all been briefed on Sparkles*'s work due to their evasiveness of question's regarding various topics, such as Cassandra, Pt. II, one of their first songs released by the band not related to anime or gaming.Area 11 created Gigacraft, a Minecraft series on YouTube which is said by Sparkles* to be related to Cassandra. Most of Area 11's songs are assumed to be linked to this concept idea.
The trailer for All the Lights in the Sky 「COMPLETE」 features a screen with Areas 1-20 on it, with various coloured lights. This could be incorporating the band name into the story or concept idea.
Their former Youtube banner features the characters "BA 6" which could relate to "BA 11" which appeared in the ATLITS 「COMPLETE」 announcement video.
- A remixed version of Euphemia became used to be the outro theme to the Yogscast YouTube channel 'BlueXephos' after a copy of Blackline came into Lewis Brindley's hands.
- Many other sections of their songs used to appear on different Yogscast videos.
- The banner image on the Area 11 Myspace page is a picture of mountains. Possibly some connection to the ATLITS art or to the Prologue III art.
- The Band's Youtube channel used to feature videos of the band members playing games, and various comedy sketches written by and starring the band. Most of the gaming videos have been since removed.
- Bassist Kogie has worked on a lot of different sketches for the Area 11 YouTube channel which include Double Leg Cross, Riddles , Cereal , and Monopoly.
- Luke Owens and Tim Yearsley are past members of Area 11.