What a ride it has been for Hamilton, Ontario’s Monster Truck. While deeming them an overnight sensation might be a tad overstated, there is still much to be said about forming in 2009 and landing tours with their like-minded brothers in The Sheepdogs as well as classic rock legends Deep Purple since then.
It is the group’s tour with another musical legend, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, that will bring them back to Moncton next week. Their show at Casino New Brunswick on Monday evening will mark the third time they are playing the Moncton area since December.
With a sound that harkens back to the groove-influenced rock of the 1970s and bands like Blue Cheer, Monster Truck originally began as a side project for members Jeremy Widerman and Steve Kiely, both of whom were a part of Hamilton rock band The Reason. Joining forces with Jon Harvey and Brandon Bliss, the group served as a means to explore their love of classic rock.
The band’s self-titled EP was recorded by Gus Van Go and Werner F, both of whom helped oversee albums by The Stills and Priestess, and was followed up with the Brown EP which was released nationally by Dine Alone Records last October.
Asked to reflect on the whirlwind nature of the last three years, Monster Truck guitarist-vocalist Jeremy Widerman reflects on what has driven the band to date so far.
“Monster Truck really started with our own hunger to make this style of music,” Widerman starts. “Jon and I would check out these shows by these bands that we felt had this really dangerous sound to their name and would just be let down too often by what we would hear. We wanted to hear a band that was an awesome riff rock band and have classic rock inspired vocals behind them and we just weren’t hearing that. We totally started the band for ourselves, and I think a lot of our success can be attributed to the hunger that we had and that we shared with others. The people working behind the scenes at our label and booking agency deserve a lot of the credit too. I feel that we are one of the rare bands that are totally happy with the work that is taking place the behind the scenes.”
Widerman shares that the group is currently in the mixing phase of the first full-length release, slated to be unleashed this coming fall. Recording at Sound City in California has been a dream come true for Widerman and his bandmates. To be given the opportunity to be in the same studio where Nirvana’s Nevermind album was recorded has been an amazing experience for the quartet so far, he says.
Widerman says that the bulk of the songs that will appear on their upcoming record were written after the group’s early winter tour with The Sheepdogs. The listener’s end experience is of utmost concern to the group as they work to create a record that flows well from start to finish.
“With the Brown EP, we knew that we only had four or five songs that would see the light of day so it was a little tougher to create a real flow with the EP,” he says. “With our upcoming record, we really worked to have those dynamics, the highs and the lows, featured this time around.”
In today’s day and age where bands and stars fade away as quickly as they are made, Widerman says that keeping the band’s momentum moving forward is important to the group. While there is an arguable timeless nature to the music that the group is making, striking while the iron is hot is important.
“It is so hard to gain momentum back once you’ve lost it so we are definitely anxious to get our record out as soon as humanly possible,” Widerman says. “People have shown they are hungry for this music so we don’t want to wait any longer than necessary to get this record out.
“People have asked if we are concerned about people’s expectations of us with this record and really, those are nothing compared to what we are expecting from ourselves. Bands aren’t typically making albums anymore, they make singles, so we deliberately tried to make an album that flowed well from start to finish and is something that will stay with our fans for years to come.”
Article published in July 27, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript