Monster Truck are a four-piece Canadian Rock Band from Hamilton Ontario. With the release of their latest album on Mascot Label Group – True Rocker out 14th September 2018 and exciting UK Arena Tour with Black Stone Cherry Headlining and fellow Special Guests Cadillac Three. It is a certainty that you will be hearing a lot of the loud, authentic rock that defines Monster Truck. As they say Don’t Fuck With The Truck!
Jeremy thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule on album launch day and the eve of New Music Festival, Sudbury, Ontario tomorrow.
BD: Today is release day for True Rocker. What a fantastic rock album. The tracks are varied, Rock n Roll, Southern Rock Blues inspired and heavier numbers. What were your influences growing up in Hamilton that have led to the creation of the Monster Truck sound?
JW: A mix of sounds, Grand Funk Railroad love the North American riff rock founders of Arena rock in the late 60’s, early 70’s. I found them in the 80’s they were an amazing band that got off the radar after a bad legal battle with their manager. They never got over the pond. Other influences include bands as diverse as Led Zeppelin & Black Sabbath.
BD: How did Monster Truck form and was it your mission to be the ambassadors for rock that is loud and exciting when you got together 10 years ago?
JW: Certainly not like that, it was just for fun, a band for fun and our own enjoyment playing in our town Hamilton. The sound caught on quickly we had a meeting to see if we should then take it on the road. Glad we did decide to take to the road. We didn’t want the whole music industry thing – a label, Managers again. Taking the band more seriously going on the road was a bit of a conflict for me as I had just left all that behind me. We didn’t want to be a front for the Music Industry we wanted to be independent. Now we have record label Dine Alone Records and licensed to Mascot Label Group. BD: How has this impacted on the Trucks attitude and are they happy with your slogan ‘Don’t Fuck With the Truck’ JW: Don’t Fuck With the Truck they love it the slogan works. We are not going to use anything else; back in the early days we sold so many T-Shirts with it on that they paid to keep us on the road. Monster Truck will always be true to our music and still, we are out there having fun.
BD: As the guitarist in the five-piece, with bass and vocals up front with Jon in control how does this affect the dynamics as the focus is on the man with tool box and bass guitar?
JW: Not thought about that, it has always been this way so it is obvious we’ve not thought about our positions on stage; it does and always should happen naturally. That is the case with Monster Truck.
BD: The opening track and album title track, is a celebration anthem almost a religious homage and endorsement to Rock n Roll with Dee Snider as a guest. How did this winning collaboration come about?
JW: Dee has been a fan of the band for a long time. When we got to that section he was the best person to ask. So sent off the idea to Dee, he recorded it in his studio it was perfect on the first take.
BD: The blues harmonica adds an extra dimension harking back to the roots of rock and the blues. Who played the harmonica on Devil Don’t Care and other tracks?
JW: On the album, it is Jim Aaron a resident of Ashton, Carolina. If the harmonica is not there on the song it is noticeable, though we will not have the harmonica when playing live we would love to be but another musician and added costs. It was Dom Weller’s idea to include the harmonica adding that another element. It definitely adds extra excitement. Hopefully, we will be big enough to have a harp player on tour with us at some point.
BD: The first single Evolution, is this an indication of a change of direction or is the different sound, more mainstream popular rock another tier in the Truck’s soundscape of having fun?
JW: For the radio success. It did achieve success, it got tons of play in Canada and America. The concept behind the song was to add another layer to the record.
BD: You and Jon write the songs how does this partnership work and who is the wordsmith? And who gets to set the main melodies and riffs?
JW: Jon does the lyrics and I do the riffs. With Jon we get completed songs then we all work together. We talk about where we want to go, how we want to build the album its general vibe. I do the guitar arrangements and solos. The guys Steve and Brandon also have lots to say in how a song is going to be executed.
BD: Monster Truck are back in the UK touring with Black Stone Cherry and Cadillac Three, we are all hoping this will be an opportunity to hear True Rocker live… As a band, you tour a great deal what do you do to relax?
JW: To relax I love to bake sourdough always lots to learn with bread making. I have got a garden grow my own veg and doing culinary type stuff. We are all looking forward to the tour and UK and Europe is one of our favourite places to play a show. The time off the road is good sometimes being on the road gets a little much. As much as I love playing the shows I am not looking forward to being on the tour bus 24/7. I have just started a new relationship and have realized for the first time how tough it is going to be away from my girlfriend. I am scared how much I am going to miss her.
BD: The album closes with a quieter slower number The Howlin’ what was the thinking behind the track listing of the album and not repeating the format of the opening track with a rock fueled anthem to close ‘True Rocker’?
JW: We have always done on every album a dramatic concluding song. It gives an ending to the album. We thought start hard and fast and close with an epic song. It feels appropriate a complete song and creates an album with a story that runs through. The vibe and dynamics are a journey over the whole album. It is a lost art, though not so much in rock, big rock to consider the idea of the album as a whole rather that a bunch of singles put together. It is something I enjoy. We take the approach If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix it, people do it all the time fuck around for no reason. Except for their own eyes, own self-gratification they just have to keep tinkering change just to do something else. This approach can be a little bit manic, over thinking the music going down the rabbit hole by keeping twiddling the knobs.
BD: What would be the show/festival that you would travel back in time to see and who would you take with you to enjoy the fun
JW: Hendrix Live – I would take my Dad he is a huge live music fan. Or A Grand Funk Railroad show in North America, they got me into all of this. BD: That is fine have both it is a time machine… Love listening to music and new bands you should check out Elder, I think they are playing best rock in the world. They are from Boston and are touring UKthe soon, I recommend you check out Reflections of a Floating World.
BD: Thanks for your time and will check out the band and see you when you play at Cardiff Motorpoint on the 5th December 2018.