Monster Truck Interview

Jeremy Widerman speaks to Planet Mosh about touring, the future and his love for Nirvana.

“This is our first real time in the UK,” says Jeremy Widerman, the bearded gunslinger for Canadian four-piece Monster Truck. Taking a break from sound check to talk to Planet Mosh, he is in great spirits as the minutes tick away until their 7 date jaunt across the UK with Vista Chino properly begins. “We played at Donnington which is quite separate from the cities so it was a different experience. We were on at noon; it was a little weird for us because we were jetlagged too. Everyone had been camping for two days so they were really enthusiastic.”

Monster Truck debut UK tour
Monster Truck debut UK tour

Playing as the sole support act on this tour, Jeremy reveals this is familiar territory for the band. “This is pretty much the only way we’ve done this in Canada and the United States. We’re used to being a support band and having to carve out our own welcoming so we’re comfortable with it.”

Monster Truck first burst on the scene with a four track, self-titled EP which had critics drooling. It’s follow up; The Brown EP had the critics salivating once more.

“We didn’t have the a lot of resources [to record a full length album] at first,” Jeremy explains. “We had the songs for a full album but we would have had to record them quicker and at a cheaper studio. So we made the decision to do 4 songs really well as opposed to rifling off 10 or 12 songs. It gave us an idea of how we wanted to record the band and gave the fans a sense of what our band is like. Then with the second EP we focussed on writing songs which would gain a bit of momentum. We didn’t realise just how much momentum they would gain.”

Now, with their debut fell length release, Furiosity, the band have cemented their reputation as one of the best modern rock n’ roll bands. It’s a record that they created with a great deal of focus.

“It was about getting the record done exactly how we wanted it, we wanted to make sure the production value was up there and we didn’t disappoint our existing fans. We’re really proud of how it turned out.

“On top of that we wanted a diverse where it wasn’t like The Brown EP which was just five rock songs and done, we wanted to have a couple of slower songs on there that made you feel like you were going on a journey as opposed to just rushing through it. We had a few of those slower songs when we were doing the Brown EP and we kept them so we had a diverse pallet for the full length. We definitely wanted it to feel like it had a beginning and an end and with the vinyl it had a strong side A and B. We just wanted it to be a really strong collection of songs with no weak parts.”

Father time, it turns out, has helped with the band’s rise to prominence, when the band won a Juno award for Best Breakthrough Artist.

“The record came out after we won the Juno award which was perfect. We won the Best Breakthrough Artist award off the back of The Brown EP and that was given to us about a month before the full length came out which was a great introduction to mainstream media in Canada. We hit the ground running.”

Plans for a second album, to help fuel and maintain their current momentum are in the pipeline.

“That’s probably the only factor of my life I actually look that far into the future,” he says of the band’s long term plans. “We’ve starting thinking about new material but we’re probably not gonna be able to sit down with it for another year [with tour schedules]. We’re always recording lots of riffs and ideas on our phones so we’re prepared for when we need a new record. We don’t wanna do what a lot of bands do and rush their second album and not live up to the standard they set with their first.

“I’ve been playing for 19 years now,” he continues, casting his mind back to before his musical endeavours began. “Nirvana’s Nevermind is the record that made me want to play guitar. I listened to a lot of classic rock before that but I think that a lot of those guitar players are so amazing it made it feel out of reach to me but Nevermind and punk rock coming into the mainstream made me feel I could emulate what I heard. It gave me the kick-start I needed to pick up the guitar.

“I could connect with the people in the band a lot more, it felt more akin to how I felt. With the older bands I didn’t understand the culture behind it and I was young and they were old, it didn’t connect on a lifestyle level that grunge and punk did.”

For a full list of tour dates and to get yourself a copy of their stunning new album, head to:
www.ilovemonstertruck.com

About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.
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