An interview with Jeremy Widerman of Monster Truck

Hamilton band hits Cactus Jacks on Friday

Monster Truck 2Monster Truck began as a side project but soon blew up. The band is comprised of Jeremy Widerman on guitar, Jon Harvey on Bass, Brandon Bliss on keys, Steve Kiely on drums and everyone on vocals.

“It kind of formed out of some down time we had with these different bands. We just wanted to keep playing and do something a little more self-indulgent, just for us. It was kind of to fulfill our own desires of what we thought was missing from some of the bands we were seeing in Hamilton, and it kind of just spiraled out of control, in a way,” Widerman said.

Monster Truck won a Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year in 2013, following the release of their first album Furiosity, and released their second album, Sittin’ Heavy on Feb. 19. Sittin’ Heavy is a continuation of the classic rock sound they burst onto the scene with in their first EP.

“There are a lot of similarities, I think. More similarities than differences, really. We did that kind of intentionally knowing that we had a lot of success with our last record and we wanted to keep it going. We spent a lot of time thinking about ways that we could take the things that worked, and make those elements even better, and then adding some things to make it more of an evolution to a slightly more mature album,” Widerman said.

Although Sittin’ Heavy is the focus for the time being, Widerman says the band is always keeping ideas for the next album in the back of their minds.

“That’s how it’s got to be if you want to stay relevant and keep your fans interested,” Widerman said.

Monster Truck’s songs have been used in video games NHL 13 and Rocksmith 2014, as well as in an episode of BBC’s Orphan Black. While Widerman loves that that their songs have been introduced to new audiences through these different media, his favourite place to hear Monster Truck’s music has a slightly more Canadian tilt.

“My favourite is being at the hockey arena and hearing it play as the team gets ready for a big power play or something like that,” Widerman said.

Since the band’s inception, Monster Truck has opened for rock icons Alice in Chains, Slash and Deep Purple, and they’re just getting started.

“There’s lots of other bands we’d love to tour with: Airborne in Australia, Rival Sons. Rival Sons we had a short ride with, but that’s something we’d love to revisit because it felt so comfortable. It felt like there was something special happening there where there was no competition. We felt this comradery and felt like we were all working towards the same goal which is making people realize that the rock scene worldwide is healthy,” Widerman said.

For Sittin’ Heavy, Monster Truck expanded their distribution to European and UK markets by releasing with Mascot Records, as well as their Canadian label Dine Alone Records.

Monster Truck will play at Cactus Jacks Friday, Feb. 26. This is the third stop on their Canadian tour, which will be immediately followed by a tour through Europe and the UK.