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Origins of the Songs

Origins of the Songs

by Mat on November 25, 2008

Christian had asked about where the name One Eleven comes from for the song entitled that off of the album Origins. Troy needs to chime in for the official story, but it has to do on the basic level of 111 being the number for a train coming into the Moberly railroad station house. It might not be a much bigger connection to the lyrics or “song meaning” than that. We used to like to name songs things that were also capturing our thoughts and imaginations at the time of writing the song. Many times the name was capturing a moment for us much like the song did.



Some of those remind me of New Order’s method of naming songs: seemingly inexplicable. 🙂 While we’re waiting for Troy to weigh in – how about Space 380 while we’re on the subject..?



I remember a story of a time long ago, one my father would tell of a man named Kenny. A gentle natured guy, Kenny could often be found walking the streets, often near the train yards or at the local college basketball games. I recall seeing him walking alongside the tracks, and I asked my dad… “What is that he is carrying?” He said… “Oh, that? Well, that’s his Big Chief tablet.” So, every time I saw Kenny, I noticed he always had the Big Chief with him. When we’d pass by, he would wave like his life depended on it, like he was ‘living in the moment’. Kenny has autism, or something of the sort. While his speech slurred and his motions jerky, his attention to even the smallest things are amazing. Inside the Big Chief, were numbers and calculations of every game, every train on the track, every detail of everything he saw and witnessed.

One day, Kenny asked which train my father was going out on, and dad said… “The One Eleven.” Every time thereafter, when we saw Kenny, he would shout it out. While the song is enmeshed with feelings and emotions beyond one individual, it is a promise, really, that there is a place saved for a person like Kenny.



That is such a cool story – I mean, that could BE a very cool short story. I shared that one with my wife last night and we were both just “how cool is THAT?!” Plus, just to see what something like that would mean to a person like Kenny… and to appreciate that is uncommon. One Eleven has always been one of my favorites and the story just kind of adds a layer to a song that to me was always very amorphous and more about the emotions in invoked than about any one particular thing… in fact, for me, what it stirs is often different from one listen to another which I think is just amazing. One Eleven is one of two songs that have ever stirred me to actual tears – not sorrow, but kind of a hopeful elation kind of thing… I will always remember driving down the Earth City Expressway listening to it in my convertible, with the top down, crying and laughing at myself at the same time. Very very awesome. 🙂



Troy has an awesome guitar sound (as usual) that sparked a riff, a rhythm, and eventually a song. The guitar sound has a bit of delay and it was dark. Whenever we wanted to jam on it at rehearsal, we just called it Space Song. Once we recorded it and needed an official name, we kinda liked that…Space Song. But, we looked at the delay settings (380 mila-seconds) and added the 380 to the mix. So, Space 380 was born. Then, we I started my company in 1998, I wanted the company to connect with The Follow, as we’d be the primary artist my company would manage, book, and promote. So then, Space 380 became a company name.

Thanks for asking these questions C. It’s nice reminiscing a bit.



I love hearing these stories, actually – one of the things I most lament about music these days is that there isn’t a STORY to it… or an IT to it. Here’s a single, here’s a bunch of people we auditioned and put together for you, you guys seem to like kind of thing so have some more, etc. etc. I guess I’ve always taken music very seriously and I get almost offended by those who take a cavalier attitude toward it – which is not to say that I don’t have a love for some bands who are just ‘fun’ music, just that if it’s contrived I get aggravated… or whatever. This stuff is awesome! 🙂




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