Finger Eleven has been keeping it tight since 1995. The acclaimed rock quintet joined forces with Sum 41 and is currently on the appropriately named Strength in Numbers Tour.
Finger Eleven vocalist Scott Anderson talks success and strength in numbers.
How did two small words like finger and eleven come to have such colossal meaning?
When we were looking for a name we were already in the studio working on our first record. I was cutting vocals for “Thin Spirits” and singing the lyrics: “Finger eleven pointing the other way.” The idea behind the line is about following your heart and doing what you want to do. The guys were listening behind the glass and stopped me, “Dude, what are you talking about? Finger eleven?” So I explained it to them. The guys immediately liked the idea and we adopted the name. It certainly made for a convenient mission statement for the band.
How does it feel being the frontman of a band that has kept it together since your first recording in 1995?
I’m not sure I consider myself a frontman. My rock and roll duties are shared between a drummer, a bassist and two guitarists. The guys do so much work. They bring so much energy on stage that all I really have to do is sit back and sing which is a wonderful position to be in. If I look left, right or behind me there is so much kinetic energy happening that it’s quite contagious. It feels good.
It must feel good to comeback after four years and have the album so well received.
A lot can happen in four years. If you have the balls to be away for four years and then put a record out, you’d better not expect anything from the public because they’re expecting a bad ass album at the very least. We took all things into consideration. That’s why we took the time to deliver something that we thought was great.
What is your definition of success?
Success as far as Finger Eleven goes is defined right when the album is finished. How much did we compromise? When everybody is happy that’s when it was time to release the record. If the record worked out the way we wanted it to then that’s where success comes from.
Did you foresee Them Vs. You Vs. Me’s success?
No. It’s mind blowing. Sometimes you put a record out and it flops, and sometimes you put a record out and if the stars align, somebody else outside your band cares about the album.
Numerous musicians venture outside of their bands to pursue solo projects. Has that crossed your mind?
It’s too much fun being in a band. I never thought of going solo. I just don’t have the yearning. We were friends before we were a band and I’m not sure why I would go anywhere. I feel indestructible in this band.
Is Finger Eleven’s strength in numbers?
Yeah! The other day our bass player went home for a couple of days while the band stayed on the road. We had three days off on the road and we started feeling like we were missing a component. When you’ve been on the road for six months staring at the same faces, you get sick of everyone. But as soon as somebody leaves you get separation anxiety. It’s an incredible sense of solidarity. Nothing can replace that. There’s definitely strength in numbers when it comes to Finger Eleven.
What have you accomplished with the band that you couldn’t have as a solo artist?
We learned how to make a career out of doing what we love together. That’s our biggest accomplishment.
Before becoming an accomplished band did you have any idea of how long you wanted your career to last?
I know exactly how long I want to do this for. When the next album is not as good as the one before that, I’ve got to pack it in at that point. The point when we’re doing this for something other than the music would be an embarrassing time to be a band. There’s a quality control within the band and when that quality diminishes I’ll know we have to stop making records.