Inspiration from eleven artists over eleven new tracks is the impetus for Rodrigo Y Gabriela's sophomore set "11:11," due September 8 on ATO. The duo built a new studio in Ixtapa, Mexico where they wrote and recorded much of the new material on the fly, while also experimenting with percussive and electric elements into the super-charged acoustic style of their instrumental music.
Of the influences culled on "11:11," Rodrigo Sanchez tells Billboard.com that the John McLaughlin fusion group Shakti and recent trips to India and Sri Lanka compelled the duo to create a more "east-meets-west" sound at times. "You'll find little details and I think, the actual idea of getting you there - to give you a flavor of an eastern meets western thing would sound like. I mean it's fun and was pretty difficult to make it happen but I think we did it."
"11:11" follows the duo's 2006 debut, which was wildly successful in world music and folk rock circles. "Rodrigo Y Gabriela" has sold 304,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan. The duo broke out of Ireland, where they had relocated after having trouble with finding success playing in a thrash metal group in Mexico City.
They've since incorporated reinterpreted metal songs into their repertoire, including Metallica's "One" and "Orion" as well as the Led Zeppelin classic, "Stairway to Heaven." "11:11" continues the with hard rock homages, including an ode to Jimi Hendrix on "Buster Voodoo" and a guitar solo from Testament's Alex Skolnick on "Atman." At the same time, they explore more laid back arrangements on "Logos" and the Pink Floyd-inspired title track, "11:11."
"We recorded different and were using techniques and not sounding particularly the same way," Sanchez explains. "That was the idea, to change everything, as much as we could. We were wondering if that was a good thing to do. For us, the sound and the actual album sounds different. You can still perceive that it's us but we can not repeat ourselves all the time."
Starting September 2 in London, Rodrigo Y Gabriela will support "11:11" this fall in both the U.S. and Europe, playing theatres and large clubs.
The track list for "11:11" is: