Finger Eleven ready to party

Justin Brake
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Band looking forward to repeat performance at Salmon Fest

When Finger Eleven returns to the Island to perform at Salmon Festival Saturday, they know it's going to be a party.

These are the sentiments of James Black, guitarist for the Canadian post-grunge hard rock outfit, who disclosed his fond but blurred memories of Newfoundland in an interview with The Telegram.

Members of the band Finger Eleven return to perform at the Salmon Festival in Grand Falls-Winesor this weekend. -Submitted photo

When Finger Eleven returns to the Island to perform at Salmon Festival Saturday, they know it's going to be a party.

These are the sentiments of James Black, guitarist for the Canadian post-grunge hard rock outfit, who disclosed his fond but blurred memories of Newfoundland in an interview with The Telegram.

Last summer he and his band mates played alongside Nickelback, Staind and Buck Cherry in Bay Roberts, and despite the fact that their instruments and gear never made it to the show, says Black, they still managed to have a good time.

"We ended up somewhere (on George St.) with rain slickers on chanting some oath. We got screeched in and decided we would jam. It was so terrible that they may have revoked our Screech," he laughs. "They may have taken it back."

Since last summer Finger Eleven has continued touring in support of its 2007 album "Them Vs. You Vs. Me" and managed to earn invitations to some of Europe's biggest summer festivals, but in early June lead singer Scott Anderson sprained his neck and all overseas plans were cancelled.

"He (was) doing everything, like acupuncture, seeing physiotherapists, massage therapists, anything with a therapist after it," says Black.

Anderson made a full recovery since the interview with Black and the band now in the midst of a U.S. tour with Seether which they will take a break from to fly to Newfoundland for their second Salmon Festival performance.

"We've been fortunate that we've been able to go out there as much as we have ... because there are a lot of obstacles that stop you from going there and money is usually one of them.

"But somehow we've managed to go and do these big shows out there and we have a blast every time."

In 2005 the band joined The Tragically Hip and David Wilcox on the Salmon Festival stage, another event that enriched their fondness for the Island.

"For all the years we had been touring Canada we had never met the Hip," Black explains. "So that was a cool moment for us. Our first show ever, Little Bones was one of the songs we played, so when we finally got to meet those guys and have drinks with them, it was part of our Newfoundland experience."

This year the band joins Canadian alt-country veterans Blue Rodeo on the diverse roster, which also includes Hedley, Crash Parallel, Metric, Papa String and hosts the Trailer Park Boys.

Black says he was unaware of the other bands on the bill but quickly embraced the unique variety of acts.

"I like the idea that it's diverse," he says. "The more diverse the show, the more diverse the audience and the better chance you have of reaching someone that maybe would have written off your band."

The band will also be reuniting with Mike Smith (Bubbles on Trailer Park Boys) who they knew from his days playing in Canadian rock band Sandbox. In fact, the last time they saw Smith was on their way to Bay Roberts last summer.

"We went to Bubbles' Mansion, his bar, and he treated us like gold there," Black says with slight enthusiasm. "It was amazing. He's got the best hook-ups. He plays this weird-looking character (on TV) and then he just buys this bar and has babes everywhere."

Finger Eleven will spend the summer touring the States but is making Salmon Festival one of only two Canadian dates.

Judging by Black's recollections of past visits, there's an obvious affection for the province which is likely their motivation to return again so soon.

"The first time we ever went to Newfoundland we walked by this one bar and everyone was so friendly that we made it our place to hang out for the next four days.

"That's our memory of Newfoundland," he says, "hazed in alcohol."

For more information on the festival, visit www.salmonfestival.com.

Organizations: The Telegram, Trailer Park Boys, Tragically Hip

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Bay Roberts, Europe U.S. Canada

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  • alex
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Weren't they here in the mid 90's under the name RAinbow Butt Monkey's . maybe not the entire band, but some of them...

  • alex
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Weren't they here in the mid 90's under the name RAinbow Butt Monkey's . maybe not the entire band, but some of them...