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Fireworks Magazine Online 63 - Interview with Monster Truck

MONSTER TRUCK

Interview by Alan Holloway

The Canadians are coming, and spearheading the latest invasion are beardy riff merchants Monster Truck. With the rallying cry of 'Don't Fuck With The Truck', this four piece have been promoting their 2013 album 'Furiosity' for a while now, slowly building on the UK foothold they gained at last year's Donington shebang.

The latest venture is named the 'Monsters Of Riff' tour, which sees them paired with Texan band Scorpion Child, not to mention the late addition of Welsh blues masters Buffalo Summer. Before the gig, the first of the tour, I sat down with band's guitarist and general mouthpiece Jeremy Widerman, a man with a big smile and a beard meant for stroking (although I resist).

Monster Truck first came to the UK with last year's Download Festival. I assume you had a great time doing it.

'Amazing, it was a lot of fun. It was a last minute add on, so we weren't expecting it and the next minute we were flying out here. We got the first spot on the second stage and it was everything we'd hoped for.'

'Furiosity' is a wonderful album title. Who came up with such an apt word?

'Our drummer, Steve, came up with it. He came up with that the first year or two that the band existed. He's like 'If we ever do an album we should call it Furiosity... is that a word?', and we're like 'No, it's not!'. It actually is in some languages, but not in English! Some countries have a definition for it, a translation for it, but it's not actually in the English dictionary. It kind of fit the theme for the band, so we just went with it.'

It's been out for nearly a year now, so how have the sales been going?

'Amazing. In Canada they were waiting on it, so out of the gate it was doing great. It's kind of been a slower burn in the UK, it's almost just started in the last couple of months. We're getting a little bit of extra time on releasing the next record 'cause it's still sort of new over here.'

Although this is the first night of the tour, I understand you played Hammerfest last night, which is a pretty Metal heavy festival. How was that?

'It's a lot of fun, a real Metal festival. It was a little weird for us, being one of the only Rock bands on the bill, but it was really organized and run well, so we had a lot of fun.'

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine for Melodic Rock Music

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You must be pretty psyched that tonight's show is sold out.

'We got the ticket sales a week ago and were super surprised to see the sales have been excellent. It's usually the other way round, you're trying to put a tour together and you're looking at the sales and it's sad, so it's nice to see people over here are so enthusiastic. We can't wait to see how it goes.'

Without being insulting, your music is pretty basic at heart, very head down riff heavy Hard Rock. Is there a reason for this?

'That was the plan from the beginning, to be very basic and very straightforward and catchy. Half of the reason is because the original plan was just to play in our home town in bars for a couple of beers and we expected to be very drunk. We were thinking that "keep it simple" would be beneficial to just being able to play it properly. As the band developed and we got a big following in Canada we started developing the songs more and trying some different vibes, stuff like that. It's changed a little bit, but we've tried to stick with that straightforward powerhouse riff Rock.'

So there are no plans for a Prog concept album?

'Yeah, don't hold your breath waiting for that one! We might get a little bit more expressive on the next record, but I don't wanna do wrong by our fans. I'd always hate it when a band would do that to me. I really like what we do, it's what I'd wanna listen to when it comes to Rock music and I would hate to deviate from that too much.'

I assume that you are working towards the next album whilst doing all this touring.

'We're working on some songs right now, we want to make sure we develop the record in a long winded kind of way, being able to listen, edit, add, change... all that kind of stuff. We don't want to get in the situation where we have nothing and then we have to force out a record. I don't expect to record it for a while, which is good, because we can play the songs live, see how people feel about them, see how it feels to us onstage'

Whilst I have you here, would you like to dispel any stereotypical views our readers may have about Canadians?

'I prefer to reinforce the stereotypes, actually. I am insane about hockey, I love it, and I'm missing it. I'm wearing a lumberjack shirt, I've got the beard. It's cold as fuck right now, and I'm so glad to be out of there because it was getting really tiresome.'

Is there a pecking order in the band?

'It's a full democracy when it comes to decision making. No one gets to dictate which direction we're heading on any given subject. It's always a vote, and everyone gets their input. To me the real strength and success of the band is the four members – everyone is a really integral part to the band. If you lost any one member it would really fuck the dynamic up. Everyone's got their strengths, everyone does their part. Brandon, our organ player, handles a lot of the business side of things with the book keeping, the money handling and everything. Jon does a lot of the lyrics, almost all of the lyric and melody writing, and Steve is like a Swiss army knife, he's really great at arranging vocals and harmonies and song arranging in general, he just has a great mind for harmonies. I just, you know, talk!'

The support band are sound-checking now, so let's finish with your 'best and worst' of the UK.

'The best thing about the UK is definitely the vibe of Rock and Roll. It's very strong here, people are very enthusiastic about it. We get a great response from people who have never seen the band before, which sometimes has been a bit of a problem in the U.S. Worst thing is your fucking power. We bring our North American amplifiers over here, and we've got all this fancy electronic gear to try and regulate the voltage to our amps and I've had nothing but fucking issues for the past two years trying to get that shit up and running. It's a small price to pay. '

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