Sitting Down with One11Twenty

[Photo by Bailey Bryant]

I recently had the chance to sit down with One11Twenty to talk about their musical influences, processes, and recent single, “Stuck.” The trio consists of multi-instrumentalist Kyle DelFatti, drummer Mitch Mueller, and vocalist Tim Jordan. All three guys went to the same high school together and were all in the same band Kate’s Hat, but eventually split off for college. Now Mueller and DelFatti both attend Seattle University, while Jordan attends Emerson College in Boston. Even with the distance, the band still continues to create new music.

CK: What influences you while writing, and what is your writing/production process like?

KD: For my process, I’ll get some idea in my head and show it to Mitch, and he’s like the gatekeeper on whether or not we should go forward with it. After, I’ll make a foundation of a song and then Mitch and I spitball ideas on what would be good. We get a chord progression idea and then Mitch puts his drum part over it, but during this, we’re sending this back to Tim. Eventually we’ll send a final version to Tim so that he can write lyrics for it.

TJ: My process of writing lyrics for (the song) is actually kind of funny. I’ll get the track that (Mitch and Kyle) send me through each stage, until it’s final. When they sent me “Stuck,” I went and played the song and recorded myself on Photo Booth. I was just spitballing a melody rather than focusing on lyrics first, with gibberish lyrics over the track so I could get the feel for what I wanted. Once I figured out a format of what I really wanted it to sound like, I just plugged in, so to speak, lyrics to that format to gibberish.

CK: Do you have any production influences?

KD: I feel I can find how I feel about music and how it makes me feel at any given time. I wouldn’t say I have specific influences for how I’m trying to sound, but more of how they influence me. If they made me feel a certain way, I will try to make a similar feeling through music. I really like to draw upon what made me feel that way.

MM: The ridiculous level of the song.

TJ: Mitch usually will have an opinion on something, and Kyle and I will say, “Mitch, that’s ridiculous, why would you say that? You’re shooting down our ideas.” Some amount of time later, it will turn out that Kyle and I will arrive at the same decision. Mitch has a habit of speaking only when something needs to be said.

CK: When did you begin playing instruments?

KD: I’ve been playing for 12 years. I started with guitar. I play that, bass, kind of the drums (but Mitch is far superior drummer than I am), all the brass instruments, saxophone, violin, double bass, viola, and piano.

MM: I play the drums.

TD: I sing, but I didn’t even consider myself a singer before I met Kyle when we were in the same high school a capella group.

CK: Was there a particular moment when you knew you wanted to play music and be in a band, or did it just happen?

KD: For me, School of Rock. Watching Zack Mooneyham play the guitar made me want to be in a band, but what made believe we could actually do it was more of a continued developing feeling. There was this one occurrence in our first band, where we were playing a show and we played a song we wrote that day. In a moment within the song, it just stops, where nothing happens; it’s a super fast-paced, dance-y song. We were playing and people were dancing, and then we just stopped and someone in the crowd looked up at me and was like, ‘What’s going on!’. We had control over people, how they felt, and how they were moving. That’s where I was like, “I want to do this.”

TJ: One of our songs meant something so deep to somebody that they had a very emotional response at a very important time in their life, and that resonated with us because, before that, we saw our music almost as a selfish thing we were doing for ourselves because it was fun. But then seeing someone’s authentic response to something we had put so much work into was one of those moments that made me want to be a musician. Music is the thing that makes me feel things, and to produce that response in someone is all that I can ever ask for as a musician.

MM: I wanted to play drums because of Paul Simon’s “The Obvious Child,” and the snare stuff, but seeing how “Stuck” is doing with this band, and seeing the continuing progress [is another moment for me].

CK: Along those same lines, how does music affect you, and what does it mean to you?

KD: Everything that I feel at any given time can be summarized with a song. I usually listen to the way the melody and chords interact with each other first, and how that makes me feel. I [can] feel a certain way at the time, but then a song can put the cap on that, and it’s presented how I feel, or a certain time in my life. Going off of that, I kind of categorize the times in my life based on the music I listen to.

MM: I don’t really express my feelings that much to other people, and playing music is a way to get those emotions out.

TJ: I listen to music all the time; that isn’t an [understatement]. All the times I’m awake; I’m listening to music. Music is a life enhancement that I am able to connect with. Music is just the thing in my life.

CK: Who are some current artists you’re listening to?

KD: I’ve been listening to a lot of BORNS, throwback disco hits, and Miike Snow.

TJ: I’ve been listening to Frank Ocean, Amy Winehouse, Miniature Tigers, and Bon Iver.

MM: Listening to Young the Giant, The 1975, and AWOLNATION.

CK: Your recent release, “Stuck,” has now received more than 2,000 views on YouTube already. What does that feel like, and how does seeing the success of “Stuck” you and the future of One11Twenty?

TJ: What’s cool is this is the first song we released on other platforms than just Spotify and SoundCloud, and each platform has had such a significant response. When you go to our Spotify, it’s not only the first song that goes up because it’s gained the most amount of views in a certain amount of time, but we also have 2,000 views on our YouTube, so it’s like we’ve spread ourselves out as far as platforms. As a musician, right now, we’re able to affect a certain amount of people. My goal as a musician, and really as a band, would be to help anyone and everyone in any kind of way with our music. As a person, you want to help people in any kind of way, and for us, this is the most real and effective way we can help people. If we are able to help anybody, that’s the goal for now and the future.

KD: We are super fortunate to have gotten our song on a Spotify Finds playlist, and now we’ve gotten 800 plays with just that alone. We were also recently fortunate enough to get verified on Spotify, which is a really cool feeling. From here, we’re just going to try and keep building. We’re going to try and keep on making little steps until we are where we want to be, and until we can support ourselves by doing this. Almost like creating a legacy for ourselves.”

Be sure to keep up with One11Twenty: SoundCloud | Facebook 

CELENE KOLLER | “Free Mitch” | KXSU Music Reporter


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