If you haven't heard of this crazy, heavy-edged band you must be living under a rock, cuz their self-titled album went Gold just like their last one, they've opened for such mega-stars as Tool and Evanescence (not to mention headlining their own tours, of course) and they've grown in popularity like one of those tiny foam alligators that you put in water and then they expand over 600 times! Yeah, you heard me. So if you haven't checked them out, do so at www.fingereleven.com, which happens to be a great site, by the way. We got to meet drummer Rich Beddoe at Summersault years ago when he stopped by to pick up some goodies for his locks and give us a signed drumhead to proudly hang on our office wall here at the DreadQuarters!
As an officially sponsored Knotty kid, here is his lil' ode to Knotty Boy DreadStuff:
"Hey, this is Rich from Finger Eleven. I have recently become a new member of the wonderful dreadlock community. The only thing I found strange about having them was finding the right product to maintain them and keep them clean and together. It was at the kickoff to this summer's Summersault festival in Vancouver B.C where I met with Adrianna and the gang from Knotty Boy Dread Stuff. As soon as I tried the product I could tell I had found the best thing for my hair. Knotty Boy Dread Wax keeps my hair together, but does not leave a greasy element in my hair. Just a little bit at a time ensures my hair is looking rocking at all times. The shampoo leaves my hair feeling clean and fresh and takes away any itching or dry skin. Knotty Boy has won me over with all their products and I would recommend everyone to check these cats out . Thanks, Knotty Boy, for everything ."
- Rich Beddoe, Finger Eleven
Did I mention he's a sweetie, too?
Knotty Rich - Finger Eleven
...who couldn't love this face...??
Check out this photo-and-interview chronicle of Rich's dreads over the years. See guys, all dreads, even rock stars', start out crazy but then get better as time goes on. Kinda like cheese!
August, 2000 - Here we have Rich with his bitty-baby locks where Knotty Boy first met him while vending at the Summersault Festival in Vancouver.
Finger Eleven Update Sept. 28, 2001
Well, whaddaya know - we got to hook up with these boys again as they breezed through Vancouver on their Big Noise tour! Rich very graciously agreed to a photo shoot during soundcheck (nothing a few free t-shirts and some product couldn't convince him of - mwahaha) and we got to not only hang out with the dreadful drummer himself while they set up, but he also hooked us up with six spots on the guest list and a photo pass- oh yeah! Great fun was had by all.
Finger Eleven Update Sept. 24, 2003
Here's the interview Knotty Boy's own Knotty Sarah grabbed with Finger Eleven's nappy headed drummer, Rich Beddoe. A sponsored Knotty Kid, Rich gave us the goods on drumming, fame and dreads in September, 2003.
Vancouver, BC - We finally get our chance to catch up with Finger Eleven drummer and good ol' Knotty Boy Rich Beddoe on a beautiful autumnal day in Vancouver. It's been two years since last we saw our guy Rich and his nappy little dreadies. Except they aren't so little anymore!
Beddoe's dreads look awesome. Long, just past his shoulders, they move and tie back without much trouble. They stay good and clear while he's pounding out the beats for Finger Eleven.
So we ask him how the dreads are doing and what sort of comments he gets about them. "It's mostly just kids in person that comment," says Beddoe. "Older people want to touch them a lot. You know, "Can I touch them?" and stuff."
"Most of the time people just tell me they're cool. They say they want to have dreads when they're older. It really makes me keep the maintenance up, although I don't do much to them anymore."
Dreads are just the tip, or top in this case, of the man, though, with Beddoe. During our conversation on a dusty stage floor we meander and mull over fame, image, nu metal, American grease and the merits of eating good sushi. Oh yeah, and what's up with the band, Finger Eleven.
Since breaking out with their first album, the band has changed. Image and fame are something Finger Eleven now deal with regularly. It's been tricky to negotiate the limelight and the rest of their lives, especially if they want to just chill.
Their image as a band has altered as a result. Between their last album and the new one Finger Eleven discovered the whole big trousers and gas masks thing wasn't what they wanted to do anymore. "You know, this is who we are. We're just bums, low maintenance," Beddoe laughs.
Certainly in casual jeans and funky red Adidas, Rich cuts a pretty cool figure; however, when we emerge from the interview he blanches at the site of a line-up of fans, promptly crashing into a velvet rope with an amazed grin on his face. Sheesh, the doors don't even open 'til 8!
Still he's pretty unimpressed by "celebs" questing for fame, then not wanting to deal with it. "You know some of those other bands, I've heard they really hate to meet fans but you know, this is what we do. If you don't like it, you should've got another job!"
One thing he wouldn't be up for is slinging grease at the Waffle House. After touring the US for what Rich describes as "months and months", he never wants to eat in another one. "You know when the grease smears on your mouth and you just cannot get it off?" Yuck, yeah we can imagine.
But for him, Rich doesn't know what else he'd be doing. "If I wasn't in a band that was working out, I would just be struggling to be a musician. This is the only thing I want to do."
Although he does confess that he's getting into digital editing and thinks he would like to try his hand at creating a video for the band in the future.
Beddoe then says the best meal he's had yet on tour was at Tojo's right here in Vancouver. "Last night we just stuffed ourselves with the most awesome sushi. The staff there are so helpful, everything's prepared just so." Hey, another nice plug for our fair city! Thanks, Rich!
For now the band's getting ready for their big tour in Europe with Evanescence. "Touring with a girl's pretty cool [referring to lead singer, Amy Lee]. Makes us clean up a bit," he smiles.
The tour's a big move for the band. Their new album launches them onto the world stage but Rich is also looking forward to some days in off in Paris and Milan. Yet for all the big city lights and action, there's a twinkle in Beddoe's eye when says he's looking forward to playing in Cardiff, Wales where he was born, "My whole family there's going to the show so that's pretty cool." Awww.
So, even with all the trappings of fame and infamy perilously close to him, Rich Beddoe is one happy nappy fellow. He's just so Knotty and nice!
Following this pre-show interview with Rich, Adrianna showed up for Finger Eleven's gig at the Croatian Cultural Center in Vancouver, BC. Here are her thoughts on a superb show and boisterous band.
September 24, 2003- The Finger Eleven all-ages show I was privileged to see last night was all around fan-freakin'-tastic. As someone that has seen quite a few of their shows, but not had the chance to sit down with their albums and really get into the band musically (embarrassing, yes, as we do sponsor the drummer and all...), it was really good to have been there when Sarah was interviewing Rich, as it gave me some real insight into what I saw on stage later that night.
Rich had mentioned earlier how downright ecstatic they were to be playing back home in Canada again for the first time in ages, and they weren't kidding. When the lights finally went down in the Center, what comes blasting over the PA first? That's right, our national anthem, 'Oh Canada', amid roars from happy, patriotic fans. Of course, the roof really came off when they walked onstage and tore into their first song like a pack of starving barracudas. Rich told me later that this was the first time they'd changed their set-list in a while, and because they're the kind of band that doesn't like too many surprises onstage he said things felt a little shaky at first, but there is no way you could feel that from where the crowd was standing. Every word that was crooned and spat, every heartbeat coaxed from the drum kit, every scream and wail from the guitars and bass was heard; the sound was great in this venue.
It had been about two years since I'd seen them last play and I noticed a lot had changed in their stage presence - and for the good. Gone were the electrical-taped arms, huge pants, five inches of spiked hair and gasmasks. leaving true musicians, looking comfortable (and still very cute) in their t'shirts and jeans. Musicians that are, in my opinion, more than capable of standing on their own without the props that tend to pigeonhole artists with that all-too-convenient label known as 'nu metal'.
(As a side note, Jon Davis of Korn recently whined to Rolling Stone magazine that he's fed up with 'nu metal' - the whole style he helped bring to life. Honestly, what's this guy going to complain about next - that his paycheck is just too big...?)
What I heard last night would be classified more accurately as just straight-up heavy rock, with more Tool overtones, if I had to pick, than anything remotely close to Korn or Lincoln Park. Even with the cyber-goth props gone, the band's crazed energy was still 110%, most dramatically demonstrated in guitarist Rick's maniacal stage style (who currently looks like Cousin It locked in a speed-spaz - the guy is ALL hair), Scott up there screaming his guts out, and Rich, who's own playing style still makes him my all-time favorite drummer to watch with his mechanical pops, jerks and black dreads flying.
Rich also mentioned that Finger Eleven has been listening to a lot of older stuff these days, The Band and Faith No More to name a few, that they find to be truly inspiring to their own musicianship. Again, these diverse influences came through in the strength and creativity of their live show. Finger Eleven's sound is far more 'grown up' than the vast majority of crap spewing from the airwaves these days.
Instead of using worn-out emo chord progressions and dead lyrics that induce mere knee-jerk reactions of directionless rage and simple angst from its listeners (St. Anger.?? oh the humanity!), this band's lyrics inspire real emotion and hard thought, and convey it all in a way that doesn't insult their fans' intelligence but rather encourages them to push though whatever it is they're going through, and move on in a more positive direction.
The one thing that really hit me about these guys, though, is that they really, really seem to love the music they make and play. Onstage they gave so much, and honestly, one would have never known these guys have been literally on the road since January, which I found very impressive. Scott was extremely gracious, telling everyone several times how truly happy they were to be playing for us and how nice it was to see everyone again here in Vancouver. The energy was really positive, lots of smiles and good will toward all - amen. I'm glad to see a band that seems to be holding on to their integrity, and handling their increased success and fame gracefully and well.
Finger Eleven will be heading to Europe very soon to begin their tour of Western Europe with Evanescence - nice break! - and expect to hopefully play Vancouver again by next summer. Best of luck to this hard working band!
Sony Canada provided us with four copies of the new Finger Eleven album/DVD that we gave away to four lucky eZiners. Sign up now for your chance to receive music, new products, special deals and other FREE STUFF from Knotty Boy, exclusive only to eZiners - no strings attached!