Interview with Monster Truck guitarist, Jeremy Widerman

The Canadian four piece have a busy few months ahead having just kicked off a 5 month tour starting on their home turf and I’m predicting 2016 is going...
Photo credit Matt Barnes

Photo credit: Matt Barnes

Following their debut – Furiosity in 2013, which was enormously well received, Monster Truck have just released the eagerly awaited follow up Sittin’ Heavy – and they have come up trumps again. This album is classic rock at its very best with enough original twists and turns to get your attention and keep you hooked, it was more than worth the long anticipated wait.

The Canadian four piece have a busy few months ahead having just kicked off a 5 month tour starting on their home turf and we’re predicting 2016 is going to be a huge year for the band. Karen Hetherington was fortunate enough to get a chance to put some questions to guitarist Jeremy Widerman.

MGM: How did the formation of the band initially come about? I’ve read that some of you were still playing in your previous bands in the early days of Monster Truck – this must have been challenging?

JW: It really wasn’t because we weren’t really taking MT all that seriously at the time. ?It was more of a hang out where we would drink and smoke weed and maybe write half a song once a week. ? As momentum grew though we began taking MT more seriously and the other bands started to take a back seat, until we finally hit a breaking point. ?That was really the only tough part was telling the members of the other bands that we were moving on to this.

MGM: You have once again retained the services of Eric Ratz. How much of an influence does he have on your music?

JW: He has a pretty big hand at helping us find our sound. ?It’s always a collaboration though as far as honing down the arrangements and finding all the tones for the record. ?It’s what makes working with him really fun. ? We go back and forth and really find a way to meld all of our input together to find a great balance between everyone’s ideas. His most important solo undertaking is generally the mix where he tends to work by himself and have us arrive for very small refinements. ?

MGM: Your debut album, Furiosity got fantastic reviews, why the long wait for a follow up?

JW: We were kept very busy with the touring of Furiosity and the introducing of the band to many new territories was a major undertaking. ?In addition to that we had to spend a large amount of time honing all the songs on Sittin’ Heavy to ensure we didn’t suffer a sophomore slump with this release.

MGM: You played Download 3 years ago and I see your back again this year. How did you find it? Did you get a chance to check out any other bands while you were there?

MGM: It was our very first introduction to the UK which is to say we got the very best introduction to the culture of European and UK rock festivals that you could ask for as a Canadian band and we are very much looking forward to returning. ?We were able to see many impressive bands however for me The Hives and Ramstein stood out the most for me as both shows were most impressive.

MGM: I think you have a really distinct sound going on yet your style is versatile, who would you list as your biggest musical influences?

JW: Grand Funk Railroad and Rage Against the Machine

MGM: Who has been your favourite band/artist to tour with and why?

JW: Rival Sons for sure. ?It felt very comfortable and was hugely inspiring to play with a band that is in a similar position as us. Although they are much further along in exposing their music I think there’s a common bond in the feeling that we are always trying to prove the rock scene isn’t only about the heritage bands and reunion tours. ?There’s lots of great new rock music and I think they are the perfect example of that.

MGM: In 2013 the band won the Juno award for Breakthrough Band of the Year, this is a great achievement, did it come as much of a surprise?

JW: Massive shock is the only word I can use to describe it.

MGM: I’ve listened to the new album “Sittin’ Heavy` and it’s incredible. Was the diversity of musical styles covered a conscious decision or a natural process?

JW: It was a very natural process. ?I think a conscious effort was there to ensure we didn’t go too far in varying all the styles and not the other way around.

MGM: I’ve seen your tour schedule for this year and its pretty hectic until the end of June, what are the plans for the band after this?

JW: I don’t know! You are asking the wrong guy!

MGM: Any interesting stories to share from life on the road?

JW: I must say this is one of my least favourite questions. I think the best anecdotes and stories come from a few drinks and a natural recollection. ?Maybe another time!

MGM: Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope to see you on stage in the very near future!

JW: Thanks for the support!

Sittin’ Heavy was released on 19th February 2016

monster truck dates

Tour dates as follows:

Date / Venue  / Location

Mar 08 / Le Cercle / Quebec, Canada
Mar 09 /Corona / Montreal, Canada
Mar 11 / Phoenix Concert Theatre / Toronto, Canada
Mar 12 / Phoenix Concert Theatre / Toronto, Canada
Mar 29 / Rockpalast /Bochum, Germany
Mar 30 / Privateclub /Berlin, Germany
Mar 31 /Strom /Munich, Germany
Apr 01 /Melkweg Theatre /Amsterdam, Netherlands
Apr 03 /La Maroquinerie /Paris, France
Apr 05 / 100 Club /London, United Kingdom
Apr 14 / The Joint /Las Vegas, NV
Apr 18 /Modesto Centre Plaza /Modesto, CA
Apr 20 /Silver Dollar Fairgrounds /Chico, CA
Apr 24 /Downtown Phoenix /Phoenix, AZ
Apr 25 / Abraham Chavez Theatre /El Paso, TX
Apr 26 / Lonestar Amphitheater /Lubbock, TX
Apr 30 /Welcome to Rockville /Jacksonville, FL
May 06 / The International /Knoxville, TN
May 07 / Carolina Rebellion /Charlotte, NC
May 11 /Prairie Capital Convention Center /Springfield, IL
May 14 / Northern Invasion /Somerset, WI
May 15 / Fargo Civic Auditorium /Fargo, ND
May 18 / Track 29 / Chattanooga, TN
May 20 /Rock On The Range /Columbus, OH
Jun 12 / Download Festival /Donington, United Kingdom
Jun 17 / Grasspop /Dessel, Belgium
Jun 25 / WTFest /Brantford, Canada

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Photo Credit: Ange Cobham

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