Finger Eleven to play Kitchener

Rich Beddoe always gets nervous before going on stage, even though he has been playing live shows as the percussionist for Finger Eleven for over 20 years.

“The nervousness just shows that I’m excited for what I’m about to do,” he said in an interview with The Cord.

“I think if you’re not nervous there is something wrong,” Beddoe explained.“Anyone who says they don’t get nervous are medicated or they’re lying,” he added with a laugh.

Growing up in Kitchener, Beddoe is thankful that his dream of becoming a musician in a rock band came true. “I’m really lucky to do what I dreamt of doing as a kid,” he said. “That doesn’t happen for a lot of people so I never take that for granted and I always try to be humble.”

Even still, Beddoe is appreciative of how his life is turning out. “Everyday I pinch myself and think about how lucky I am to be living my dream,” he said.

“People along the way seem to forget what it was like starting out,” he continued. “I live in Hamilton now and whenever I go home I see so many of my friends who are struggling musicians and I’m reminded that not everyone gets to achieve this.”

Musing on what life might be like without Finger Eleven, Beddoe said, “When I was just starting in the band, I didn’t have a whole lot going for me. I was into hacky sack and smoking weed, so who knows where I’d be now. Probably in jail.”

This past October, Finger Eleven released their fifth studio album, Life Turns Electric. “This is probably the most positive, uplifting record we’ve made,” said Beddoe. “It’s a really high energy, positive, rock and roll record with a classic rock vibe to it.”

Unlike many of their past albums, Life Turns Electric doesn’t have the same level of angst or dark undertones. “In some ways we’ve become known for that sound but at the particular moment in time when [Scott Anderson, Finger Eleven’s lead vocalist] was writing this batch of songs there wasn’t a lot to complain about and I think that that comes through in the music.”

The songs on all five of Finger Eleven’s albums are about Anderson’s life. “He writes about what he goes through, his thoughts and things he has happen to him,” said Beddoe.
“It’s funny, if you go back and listen to all the records it’s like listening to Scott growing up.”

Despite Anderson’s heavy lyrical influence, Beddoe noted the importance of each individual member to the group’s dynamic, stating, “We are five differently eccentric people and that’s what makes up our sound.” He jokingly continued, “We are like a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.”

Along with sincerity, the longevity of the music is important to Beddoe. “When we make records we want them to still be relevant 20 years from now,” he said. “It’s always really rewarding that there are no B-sides on our albums, every song is something we can be proud of.”

“We spend a lot of time and take a lot of pride in writing these songs and I think people get that,” he concluded.

Finger Eleven’s Life Turns Electric tour comes to Wax Nightclub in Kitchener on Jan. 25.