It's been a while since the acclaimed Canadian quintet Finger Eleven had a blast sharing its brand of alternative rock with the First State.
"We had a lot of fun," Finger Eleven guitarist Rick Jackett said during a recent phone interview with the Dover Post, fondly recalling the band's Dewey Beach show several years ago.
The good news for both Finger Eleven fans, and the band as well, is the guys will soon return as a special guest, opening up for their fellow road-warrior pals, 3 Doors Down, on the final night of the 94th annual Delaware State Fair in Harrington on July 27.
Jackett, who's a big friendly teddy bear beneath his long black licorice locks, dished on some of the songs his band might play at the fair, his favorite Finger Eleven tune, the direction of their forthcoming album and more during his interview with the Post.
Q Will you be playing any of your unrecorded songs when you come to Delaware?
A No, I don't think we will. We have one song that was released on the last record that we've been playing live. It's called "Minds On Fire." For the most part, we've actually just gone back and started some songs we haven't played in a long time. So we've put them back in the set. We're very sort of wary about playing [new] songs before we feel like they're finished because they go through so much transformation.
Q Of the songs in your catalog, which ones are you really looking forward to playing?
A One of the songs we haven't played in a long time is called "Slow Chemical," which became the theme song for the wrestler Kane for a long time. We didn't play it for a long time because it sort of belonged to him and his character. Not like literally belonging to him, but it felt like it wasn't our song and it was his song now. Then he recently stopped using it as his intro, so were like, "Hey, it's our song again [laughs]." We started playing it live again and it's really a lot of fun because we haven't played it in a lot of years.
Q What's another song you're excited about playing that you haven't performed in a while?
A We're doing another one called "Drag You Down" off our second record, which is a real fun live song that's got a lot of energy. That's a song we haven't done in a long time. We decided we're going to bring the heavier old stuff back into our set that we haven't played in a while, so it should be a lot of fun.
Page 2 of 3 - Q What's it like when you're performing some of these song you haven't touched in years? Does it bring back memories of the things you were experiencing during the times when those songs were new?
A Sometimes the songs have that ability to bring you back to the moment. But for the most the part it's usually just sort of like you forget about a song, you forget about how fun it is to play a song or you just forget the feeling, because each song has its own feeling when you play on stage. And that's probably the most exciting thing. It's sort of in the moment that you're enjoying it and it's like "wow."
Q Outside of their music, what makes 3 Doors Down cool guys?
A We've known them for a long time and we've done a lot of touring with them in many different settings. We always have a good time with those guys and they're just down-to-earth cool dudes. We're all traveling musicians and we're all a bunch of fun-loving guys.
Q Is there a particular album you're going to be playing the bulk of your songs from?
A We try and play pretty much stuff from our whole entire career. I'm proud of all of it, so we try to put as much of it in as possible.
Q Do you have a favorite song?
A It truly changes all the time. Right now one of my favorite songs we're playing is a song called "Tip," which is the title track off the first record. It's a nice, heavy riff. It's a real head-bopping kind of riff and just a fun thing to play and a song I haven't thought about for a lot of years.
Q Will you guys slide in your favorite cover songs?
A [We'll] use some cover songs in there. We've actually been doing a cover of a Nirvana song, "Polly." We got asked to contribute to a 25-year anniversary for "Nevermind" and we covered "Polly," so we just started doing it. "Polly" is such an awesome song.
Q How would you describe the band's sound on your upcoming album, compared to your latest project?
A I think it's just a little bit simpler. We broke it down to basics again and started not worrying so much. We put a lot of time in the studio when we make our [records] and you tend to get caught up in the ability to do things. You just have more options when you get in there and that can be a little dangerous and you start adding too much on to your records.
Page 3 of 3 - Q What are some of the stories you guys are telling on the new record?
A That I cannot answer. Our lyrics are written by our singer, Scott [Anderson]. And that's his world.
Q I thought Scott would've shared this with the band
A Sometimes. But a lot of times it's sort of like… we're fans of his lyrics also and it's fun to not know what he's getting at so we can still kind of enjoy it on a fan level where you can kind of make up your own story.
IF YOU GO
WHAT 3 Doors Down concert featuring Finger Eleven at 94th annual Delaware State Fair
WHEN 7:30 p.m., July 27
WHERE Delaware State Fair (M&T Grandstand), 18500 S. DuPont Highway, Harrington
INFO delawarestatefair.com or call 398-3269