Jeremy Widerman is the guitarist/vocalist for the Canadian hard rock band Monster Truck. The 4 piece group from Hamilton, Ontario released their first full length album titled “Furiosity” in May of last year. The band is set to kick off 2014 touring with Buckcherry and Media Mikes had the chance recently to speak with Jeremy about the tour, his dislike of music videos and his take people’s perception of Canadian bands.
Adam Lawton: Can you give us a little background on the band?
Jeremy Widerman: The band started in Hamilton, Ontario and all of the guys in the band were pretty familiar with one another because of playing in the Hamilton music scene. We wanted to start a band that we could keep to ourselves and do what we wanted. We wanted to be free of self imposed rules of what we should or shouldn’t be. We started out wanting to be a bar band that would play once or twice a month just for fun. We wanted to be able to stay in control of everything as a group.
AL: When did you realize that the band could/should move forward?
JW: Things became pretty apparent within the first six months of the band. A lot of the songs came together really quickly which gave way to us being able to start doing shows just as quick. It was in those first that we knew we had something that could be expanded upon. It took us a year however to actually go for it.
AL: The bands first full length album “Furiosity” came out almost a year ago. How has the reception been?
JW: The record came out in May of 2013 and we knew that if things were done properly and we did things the way we wanted we would end up with something that could be quite successful not only with our fan base but also to new listeners as well. We worked on “Furosity” for a year because we felt this momentum that we knew we could capitalize on. The record took a little longer than we had initially thought it would to complete but once we sat down with the mixes we were all really confident that we achieved what we had set out to do. The release has gone really well as did the subsequent tour. You never know what to expect when it comes to the music industry but things have worked out well and we have gotten a lot of great opportunities because of that.
AL: Do you feel coming from Canada has influenced people perception of the band here in the United States?
JW: Yeah for sure! That’s just one of those things you can’t avoid. We try not to pay much attention to that stuff as it’s sort of a natural occurrence. I think it’s going to happen no matter what. You are going to have a stigma attached to you no matter what. If ours is that were from Canada that’s fine by us. From our perspective as proud as we are to be from Canada and be Canadians I don’t know if Canada really provided me with the kind of bands I wanted to hear growing up. We don’t take a lot of influence from Canadian music and people have told us that we don’t sound like other bands from Canada. I think that has been a bit of an asset for us moving ahead in the United States and overseas as there is a certain Canadian rock sound that bands have. Whether it was conscious or subconscious it’s something we don’t have. It could be because our influences didn’t come from Canada and that we have tried really hard to ovoid that stigma. Naturally being from the country will cause some assumption and we are ok with that.
AL: The band has put out a couple lyric videos recently but nothing featuring the band. Have there been any talks to do a full music video production for any of the songs off of the album?
JW: We actually wrapped shooting on a video for the song “The Lion” a few days ago. Lyrics videos are something that I am not a huge fan of. The label likes to put them out to help promote the songs but other than that I’m not really sure what they accomplish. (Laughs) Music Videos in general are kind of hard to understand these days. With YouTube going downhill because of all of the add implementation it has really hurt things. On our YouTube page you won’t find the ads because we chose not to monetize the site. I thought the true beauty in YouTube initially was that you could bounce from video to video without being force fed advertisements. From my perspective videos are fun to do when you have a good idea and it fits with the music. We have sort of shied away from videos this past year but we have been asked to do some recently and it’s just part of the business.
AL: Can you tell us about the bands tour plans for 2014?
JW: Starting January 20th we will be out on the road with Buckcherry. We had sort of a slow start in the States building the band and that is something we want to work on throughout this year. We will be out for a month with the Buckcherry guys and then we have a couple weeks off before we head over to the UK, Europe and Germany. After that we will be back in States and on tour for three weeks with Alter Bridge. Once that run wraps up we will be out on another run with some really big bands however, I can’t announce that one just yet. We are really looking forward to getting back out there.