“Five Crooked Lines” Led Us Here: Finger Eleven
Ever since the announcement of the possibility of a new studio album being on its way, fans in the inner circle of Canadian rock heavyweights Finger Eleven have been eagerly anticipating their seventh offering.
Since their previous release in 2010, Life Turns Electric, the band has been touring extensively and spending more time on the road than in studio. The album was announced to come out in 2014, but due to some band rearrangements, that didn’t happen.
Well, after all the waiting, it’s finally here.
“It was a longer process this time,” says lead singer Scott Anderson, speaking from his home before hitting the road in support of the newest album Five Crooked Lines, slated for a July 31 release.
“I wish it didn’t take 4-5 years, but we had a label change and a personnel change, so that definitely slowed the process.”
Anderson says they went to Nashville with a bunch of comprehensive demos and banged out the new album at “break-neck speed.”
“I usually find being in studio boring, but this was a lot of fun. A lot of songs didn’t make it, but that was with a purpose. We wanted to go with mostly heavier songs.”
The band had written enough material in the last few years to have a solid selection to ensure they could select the best songs that fit together, instead of having 12-13 songs and hoping they fit together.
“We’ve usually been going for a typical sound that we got comfortable with, but there was a slickness to it that I think the band wanted to get away from.”
Anderson touched on their last album Life Turns Electric, and described it as a “collection of solid rock songs that flowed well together.” He elaborated that they felt like they were chasing a certain sound.
Of course they love their music to sound great in an arena or on the radio – their smash hit song “Paralyzer” from the 2007 album Them vs. You vs. Me definitely comes to mind – but this time, they wanted to go back to their roots that made them a staple in Canadian alternative rock – the brand they established with their first studio album Greyest of Blue Skies.
“For years we got pigeon-holed as a nu metal band, and we didn’t think that was good for anyone. If you’re a nu metal fan, and you’re looking for salvation from Finger Eleven, well then you’re fucked.”
The first single from the new album “Wolves and Doors” that was released June 9 is a shining example of those roots shining through again, and the fans are loving it. Unlike most singles chosen to support a new album, this one came out of nowhere for Anderson and wasn’t intended to be the studio single it is today.
“It was a far more natural process, I didn’t want to say “organic,” but there it is. And I think that’s how we got to a song like “Wolves and Doors.” There’s some DNA in there, it definitely sounds like us, but when we recorded it in Nashville, nobody was talking about it being any kind of single or focus track.”
But when they got back, the backing team for Finger Eleven kept freaking out over this song, Anderson was shocked because he could think of 4-5 songs to listen to before that one, but the powers had spoken.
“We just treated it like another cool song, so when they said it was the single, we were cool with it. There’s another song on the album called “Blackout Song” and we had 7-8 different versions of it, and it kind of got away from us. It became too friendly and wasn’t what we wanted at all, but we really shook up the guitars and we beat the hell out of it. We made another tough decision, but so happy that song got saved and made the record.”
Not many bands come out with this strong of an album at this stage in their career, as Anderson so simply puts it, but he also says that they are far from too comfortable and will always have something to prove.
“No matter what you think of us, give us 30 minutes and we will change your fucking mind. We are unique in so many ways. We are misunderstood in a wonderful way, the answer is in the music.”