Grand Theft Bus Heads to Messtival

After a four-year layoff between records, Fredericton jam-rock heroes Grand Theft Bus are set to release a new studio album, Say It With Me, via Forward Music Group on August 28.

The 14-song album marks a sonic departure of sorts from 2008’s Mixed Upwards but is one that Grand Theft Bus member Graeme Walker and his cohorts, Tim Walker, Dennis Goodwin, Bob Deveau and newest GTB member Brad Perry can be proud of.

“Each time we make a record, we try to vary things a little bit. This record is drier and up front; it is kind of like our Rumours album,” Walker says referring to the iconic Fleetwood Mac album from 1977. “Looking back upon Made Upwards, it is quite a washy-sounding record. It is tough to pick things out of the mix. We wanted to make a more direct record this time. It is considerably more accessible in a lot of different ways.”

Of course, accessibility or the lack thereof has done nothing to quell the Bus’s success. The group was road hogs for the first five years of their existence, touring Canada, the United States and Europe.

Walker says that the dynamics and touring ethic of Grand Theft Bus have changed slightly over the last five years with five children and familial responsibilities having entered the picture. It is not a situation that Walker nor his band mates are unhappy with. In fact, the break the band has been afforded allowed its members to seek musical projects outside the confines of Grand Theft Bus, which helped give each of them a greater appreciation for being able to come back to the band when it works for all concerned.

“We used to be a band that toured incessantly,” Graeme says. “The time away from the band has been good. We’ve been quiet but the fact of the matter is, we just weren’t maintaining the same level of profile that we had been in the past. For the first five years that we were together, Grand Theft Bus was our lives and it was great to making a full-time living off playing music but it can also work against you as a band. Once we stopped touring so much, it took much pressure off us a group and allowed us to pursue new and different things.”

Article published in August 10, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript