January 2, 2007

2007 Previews: Finger Eleven

After bands really hit the mainstream, they are given a few options.

1. They can start writing songs that flow more into the mainstream sound. Hoobastank fell into this trap with their latest release, "Every Man For Himself". Sometimes it works and sometimes it falls apart. EMFH barely made a noise in the stream of music.

2. They can try something new. This could be either a negative reaction to their success (Live's "V," the Beatles' latter catalogue) or just wanting to try something a little different (Sum 41, Lostprophets).

3. They can self-destruct (The Doors, Nirvana).

Finger Eleven came to this crossroads following the golden reception that their single, "One Thing," received and continues to receive. They responded by heading for Door #2. Their release "Them Vs. You Vs. Me," due out in March, promises "keyboards, xylophones, a lap steel, violin, banjo, and other assorted instruments," according to SoundScan. The leadoff single, "Paralyzer," is a dance-rock track that vaguely recalls "Deep Enough" off Live's album "V". The rest of the album ranges from F11's typical fuzzy rock to country, touching on various styles throughout. Over a hundred tracks relay-recorded over the Internet are pared down to 12 for the final cut.

Finger Eleven will support this album by opening for Hinder in the upcoming months.


Laura said...

I think this depends a lot on your definition of mainstream, and whether you believe what is considered "mainstream" can change. If Finger Eleven's music (or that of any other band, really) has become popular enough to be entering the mainstream, why change? Obviously there is something about them that people really like; if they change they might lose that appeal. (Obviously any band is going to change over time, what I mean by "to change" in this comment is "to drastically and intentionally alter the direction in which one's music is changing".) If the music that is becoming mainstream does not have the same feel/sound as what is currently considered "mainstream", maybe it's time for the definition to change.

RyTunes said...

I agree with you to a large extent, but at the same time no one wants to feel boxed in.

I think that bands start to feel pidgeonholed if they are expected to play the same sounding music over and over again. It's one thing (ha, ha) to know what fans like and try to do more of it, but another when fans start to expect something certain. Plus, and I'm sure you can appreciate this, part of being musically gifted is wanting to play with sound freely. With more fanbase comes more revenue, and with more revenue more avenues open up. You can be a little freer with your sound if you have the money to cover it, so why not?