BLACKFINGER – No More Colours
September 25, 2017, a month ago
A lot has happened to Blackfinger since the rockin’ doom band released their self-titled debut album in 2014. First and foremost, mainman behind the mic Eric Wagner, of Trouble fame, moved to Pittsburgh. Secondly, he assembled an entirely new lineup for When Colors Fade Away. Not that anyone would really notice: the music is still regal and stately doom of an extremely high calibre, Wagner upholding the legacy of prime-era Trouble (we’re talking second self-titled and Manic Frustration) with this pair of albums just fine.
“I think it’s cool,” says Wagner about the new album. “It’s a little different than the first one, different guys. I think it came out great. Right now there’s actually enough material for probably two more records. So I’m excited about this one and playing with these guys.”
As for the move and the lineup change, Wagner says the move was “because of a chick” (“I mean, I don’t know what other reason there would be,” he says with a laugh). Once there, he got an offer from an old comrade from his final years with Trouble.
“Dave Snyder, the drummer, he actually was the touring drummer during [Trouble’s 1995 album] Plastic Green Head. He’s from here. He was like, ‘Hey, man, why don’t we get together and jam?’ I wasn’t planning on it, and then I thought, well, it’s kinda cool, and to call it Blackfinger, with all new guys… I’m always in search of something new that gets me high, because that’s not an easy task anymore. The guitar player [Matthew Tuite], he’s from Chicago but he lives here too now; he’s married to Mary [Bielich] from Derkéta. And [bassist] Matt Cross, Dave brought him, and I’m glad. He’s an amazing bass player. Then last year Terry [Weston] from Penance and Dream Death joined. We had most of the record written, I like to get everybody involved, so everybody feels like they’re a part of it and it’s not the Eric Wagner Band, I hate that. He had a sack full of riffs too, so I sat down with him and we picked out some of the ones I thought would fit with this particular record, and here we are.”
And where we are is When Colors Fade Away, an absolutely fantastic representation of the soul and character that oozes from Wagner’s voice, backed by a rock-solid band laying down both upbeat and down-slow doom anthems for the ages. When we talked to Wagner when the self-titled album came out, he said that that one was fuelled by the two divorces he was dealing with: his marriage and his split with Trouble. You’d think that three years later there might be a bit more cheerfulness in his music, but rest assured, doom fans, it’s as glum as always.
“Well, I think it takes a long time to get over certain things,” says Wagner about what’s influencing him this time around. “Both of those two things you just mentioned were almost 30 years; I met my wife probably around the same time I joined Trouble, so those were the two things I knew all those years. Everything changed, and you go through different periods of grief. The first album, the common thread in it was colours; it wasn’t on purpose or anything. I was talking about different colours, the feelings behind things—blue skies, all the leaves are brown, there are different emotions. When I was done with the last album that title popped into my head right away; 'what happens when those colours are gone?' It’s a metaphor for things. So, really, the premise of this album is everybody needs to confront their dark side in order to get to the light, which isn’t necessarily heaven, but the light as far as feeling good and where everything is not so dark all the time. Whether I made it through there on this album yet or not, I’m not sure, which is cool because it makes for another record (laughs).”