Canadian rockers Monster Truck recently released the follow-up to their 2013 Juno Award nominated, Furiosity.
Monster Truck has hit the road hard over the last couple of years, touring with the likes of Guns Nâ€™ Roses, Slash, and ZZ Top to name but a few and have used their touring experiences to develop and refine their sound. The title of the new album is Sittinâ€™ Heavy and arenâ€™t they just?
The album is being released in Europe via Mascot Label Group. Dine Alone Records is releasing the album in Canada and the United States.
National Rock Review recently caught up with the bandâ€™s lead guitarist Jeremy Widerman to talk about Monster Truck’s new album, their touring plans for the year and their new video.
NRR: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us here at National Rock Review, we really appreciate it.
Jeremy: No problem.
NRR: So where about’s do we find you today?
Jeremy: I’m in my apartment in Hamilton.
NRR: We would like to speak to you about your new album which is titled “Sittin’ Heavy” which is released in Europe on the 19th February via Mascot Label Group. Could you tell us a little bit about the album and the inspiration behind it?
Jeremy: Yeah, the inspiration part is quite tough because it was written over the course of three years, so you really can almost take any classic rock or grunge or punk or modern rock band and probably throw them into the pile. Especially considering the breadth of different artists we’ve played with over the last five years.
It was really just something that we sat down to work on as soon as Furiosity was done. We were able to actually start pre-production and production on the album at the beginning of last year and we really just wanted to take the things that worked about Furiosity and expand on them a little bit.
NRR: The second album, as they say, is usually a challenge for a band, it can make or break you, the whole second album syndrome so to speak. After the success of your debut album did you feel the pressure to follow up at all?
Jeremy: We’ve been asked that a lot and a lot of the times, or all of the time I always refer to the fact that the most pressure that we always feel and not just on this record, but any record is always exerted on us by ourselves. We have a pretty high standard in which we operate, individually and as a group.
You know when we sit down to work on an album we know exactly what we want to get out of it before we even begin. It’s really the only kind of benchmark we use to gauge whether or not the record is ready to be finalized, mastered and put out. The only difference with this was maybe that we got near to the end and had lost sight of where we really wanted to go with it and it kind of needed to be pointed out to us by management and our label that we needed a couple of more songs for the album.
It was a little hard to deal with at first, but once we kind of looked at it and I mean took some time off and then looked at it closer we realized that we did need to add some more material and we just wrote more songs and did another session and we were able to finish up the record that way.
NRR: What’s your favorite track on Sittin’ Heavy and why?
Jeremy: This is one of those things that changes as time goes by. At the moment, my favorite song to play is “New Soul” and I only really look at that from the perspective of playing it live because that’s the only way that the album exists to me at the moment. I haven’t really listened to the album itself in a long time, so there’s a lot rehearsing going on at the moment. I like that song “New Soul.”
NRR: You recently took to the streets of London I believe on board an actual Monster Truck to promote the new album. What was the general reaction to that when you were traveling through London?
Jeremy: I mean being that it’s a publicity stunt and a very literal one at that, you know there’s a lot going on that has nothing to do with the band where it’s just kind of a spectacle. The real benefit of it was having a good place to do interviews and you know have a bit of fun with it and get some great photo’s for press. So quite a good idea by our new label in Europe/UK and just basically a real fun way to spend the afternoon.
NRR: There’s a line in the song “Why Are You Not Rocking” which says “Rock and Roll might save your life, might save your life tonight” that’s quite poignant. I was wondering how did you come up with that and where did it come from?
Jeremy: It came from, as most things do with our band, it came from a joke, not to be taken too literally. It was really just something that we came up with for all those situations where youâ€™re kind of looking at a group of people or individual and wondering why they are not rocking and quite literally asking them for an answer or explanation.
As for that specific line itself, it was written by our singer Jon Harvey so I’d have to ask him to see where he came up with that from. Again, it’s really all meant to be in fun and kind of as in a front to anybody who doesn’t quite get it or doesn’t quite understand the world of rock and roll or what it means to be kind of tied up in it or captivated by it.
NRR: You recently released your latest video for “Don’t Tell Me How To Live,” could you tell us a little bit about the concept behind the video?
Jeremy: It was basically derived by our manager Oli. He really just really sat us down and I think he knew that we’ve kind of gotten into the habit of having a little too much fun with the music videos because we don’t really like doing music videos. So we are always just kind of screwing around it. I think he really wanted to go push something a little more serious and a little more big and he just wanted it to be very big and very impactful.
So he kind of sat us down months and months ago and just kind of laid out the plan. I just want to make you guys look like a big rock band and he just wanted to have a real kind of industrial and overblown vibe, shot overhead with drones and big lights and I think we achieved all of those things quite well. It was a big testament to the director Gavin Black and his team and Oli for coming up with the concept and working hard with them to find the location.