Fear not, Monster Truck fans of Metro Moncton, the Hamilton-based hard rock band has not forgotten about you.
Since bursting onto the Canadian music scene with 2011’s Brown EP, the band has made a habit of touring Atlantic Canada, both on their own, but also in support of acts like Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, The Sheepdogs, and more. Incidentally it was August 2014 when Monster Truck was touring Canada supporting Seattle’s Alice In Chains that the group last played Moncton.
The gap since then and the group’s show at Casino New Brunswick this coming Sunday night marks the longest stretch of time the band has gone without playing the city. According to Monster Truck guitarist Jeremy Widerman, fans have not been shy about voicing their displeasure over their absence from the city via the group’s various social media outlets.
“We’ve heard from a lot of folks that haven’t been happy about it being so long since we’ve played Atlantic Canada,” he says. “It’s nice to finally be getting back east, especially to a great rock town like Moncton.”
In the group’s defense, the last two and a half years have been filled with a flurry of activity. Not only did the band release their hotly anticipated sophomore album Sittin’ Heavy just over a year ago, Monster Truck has dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to touring throughout the United States and Europe.
In fact, just one week after the group’s tour with Billy Talent comes to a close, they will be heading back overseas to undertake 21-date tour that will bring the group through the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain.
“Playing Europe is a bit of like entering a time machine,” Widerman says. “There, we are in a position that we were in Canada four or five years ago, where we are regularly playing 800-person capacity rooms. Additionally though, the label we are working with for Europe is intimately familiar with the market and have helped us make those repeat trips in order to grow our fanbase.”
It turns out it was another Canadian rock band – Nickelback – that played a part in helping build the group’s European fanbase as well. This past fall, Monster Truck supported their Canuck compatriots on a six-week tour of the continent, playing to sold-out arenas night after night.
Much like Monster Truck’s Canadian success was built show-by-show and city-by-city, Widerman sees the group’s European fortunes unfolding in the same manner.
“On our first couple of tours through Europe, much like we saw in Canada, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. We had a spate of great support shows land in our lap and just went for it. In much the same way I felt as though we were filling a certain musical void at home, that same reality worked to our benefit in Europe. We’ve been very lucky with respect to how things have unfolded.”
As the band’s profile has grown over the last seven years, so have the expectations of success that come as a part of being in a successful rock band. Widerman acknowledges that, throughout the making of the group’s latest album, Sittin’ Heavy, the band did its best to avoid getting caught up in the expectations of others and simply set out to make the best record they could at the time.
“When we started this band, everything was rooted in fun. We wanted that spirit to carry over to this album, and is something that comes through in these songs. We definitely felt the pressure, but we tried not to worry too much about it. We very much approached the writing of the material considering how the material would go over in concert, but also keeping radio in mind as well,” he says.
If there is one thing Widerman says he and his bandmates wish they could change with respect to Sittin’ Heavy is they would have liked the album to be released sooner than it was. The significant amount of time the group spent on the road in support of their 2013 album Furiosity proved to be a bit of a double-edged sword, inadvertently contributing to the 32 months between studio records. The group is determined to not let history repeat itself when it comes to the release of its next studio effort.
“A third album is on the horizon. We’ve got a stable of songs in various states of completion to work on, and are hoping to get back in the studio by the end of summer. In a perfect world, we would keep the gap between albums to under the two-year mark. We’ll see what happens next time around.”
What: Monster Truck with Billy Talent and The Dirty Nil
When: Sunday March 5, 8 p.m.
Where: Casino New Brunswick, 21 Casino Dr., Moncton
Tickets are $43.48 plus tax and service charges. Advance tickets are available at the Casino Gift Shop, by phone 1-866-943-8849 and online at casinonb.ca