Gearphoria Vol 4, No 1

CANADA’S Finger Eleven were on top of the world in 2007. Their al- bum, Them Vs. You Vs. Me , spawned the mega hit ‘Paralyzer’ and won the group a Juno for Best Rock Album. The band’s follow-up, Life Turns Electric, dropped in the fall of 2010, and while it performed well in the band’s homeland, it flew under the radar in the US. Today, the band is back with Five Crooked Lines , a 12-track slab of aggression produced by Nashville-based audio wizard Dave Cobb (Rival Sons, Jason Is- bell). So what prompted the Cana- dian quintet to get raw in Tennessee? “The group of songs that made sense together were the more ag- gressive ones,” says guitarist James Black. “So looking for a common feeling for an ‘album’ there just tended to be more than made sense together in the aggressive ones. Once we decided, yeah, let’s go down that path, it just made absolute sense.” Blistering new tunes like the lead track ‘Gods of Speed’, title track ‘Five Crooked Lines’ and ‘Absolute Truth’ defintely showcase an edgier side of the group. After five years of writ- ing and preparing of the new album, the band walked through a punch-list of would-be producers it would like to work with. By a stroke of luck, a mutual friend of the band turned them on to Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music , a critically- acclaimed 2014 disc that broke about every current rule for radio-friendly ‘modern’ country music. “Just by serendipity or whatever a guitar player friend of ours turned us on to it,” explains Black. “We were like, ok… this is a country record, but every once in a while it does something just so upside-down. It was remarkable. So we were about to do this phone call with Dave, and it just hit me that this was the guy that did the Sturgill Simpson record? And we’re going to talk to him about making our record? Shit! Yes! A lot of those conversations end up being the same thing. Producers have their QUICK TAKE u James Black BLACK IS BACK Canada’s Finger Eleven returns with Five Crooked Lines . Gutiarist James Black fills us in... 32 GEARPHORIA SEP/OCT 2015