Hamilton hard-rock group Monster Truck will be performing at the Tail Creek Raceways in Nevis later this month.

Hamilton hard-rock group Monster Truck will be performing at the Tail Creek Raceways in Nevis later this month.

Keep on truckin’

Its name alone would bring Hamilton hard-rock group Monster Truck to the attention of some (mostly young, male and pickup-driving) Central Albertans.

Its name alone would bring Hamilton hard-rock group Monster Truck to the attention of some (mostly young, male and pickup-driving) Central Albertans.

So it’s a good thing, for the band’s longevity anyway, that its music lives up to — or even surpasses — expectations.

Monster Truck wasn’t just spinning its wheels when it released the critically acclaimed album Furiosity last year, before going on tour with the group Alice in Chains and after winning a 2013 Juno Award for Break Through Group of the Year.

The award was nice, but doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things, said guitarist Jeremy Widerman. “It’s a very superficial award that’s governed by the music industry, and people pulling strings who have their own motives and agendas.”

Monster Truck is really all about the music and the fans, he added.

For that reason, Widerman is looking forward to performing with his group at the Alberta’s Own Independent Music Festival, which runs from Aug. 29 to 31 at the Tail Creek Raceways in Nevis.

Everything about the outdoor event “sounds like it’s right up our alley,” he said, adding that it should be a fantastic time, providing the weather co-operates.

“It’s always up to Mother Nature. … When you’re messing with the gods, it’s fingers crossed and you hope it’s a good one.”

Monster Truck is cruising through a smooth year so far, having just returned from Europe where hard rock is especially popular in countries such as Germany. “You hear about how the rock scene is on a downward turn here, but not over there,” said Widerman, who sold tons of Monster Truck CDs and played to enthusiastic crowds.

The 33-year-old admitted it’s hard to know why the pendulum has swung away from rock and towards commercial pop in North America. “I’ve given up trying to reason with it … it’s hard to be on the other side of the pendulum, but you’ve just got to concentrate on what you’re trying to do.”

Since forming in 2009, the band that includes lead singer and bassist Jon Harvey, keyboardist Brandon Bliss and drummer Steve Kiely, has mostly been following one road map: “People liked our first two EPs (the tunes Seven Seas Blues and Righteous Smoke became Top 10 radio singles), so we stuck to the game plan and decided we’re not going to go all over the place” on Furiosity, said Widerman.

At the same time, band members welcomed the chance to show a bit of diversity on their first full-length album. The guitarist, who’s influenced by classic rock groups such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath, added “We could add a few more flavours.”

These are apparent on the record’s quieter tunes. The band revealed on its website that more than a year was spent playing For The Sun live to perfect it before recording. And even so, Widerman spent two days in the studio just recording the intro and solos, leaving other band members wondering if he would ever be satisfied.

In contrast, My Love Is True was a last-minute down-tempo addition to the album, but it shows a more soulful side of Monster Truck.

Not every hard-rock band aims to have a ballad per album anymore, such as KISS’s Beth, Alice Cooper’s You and Me, or Ozzy Osbourne’s Mama, I’m Coming Home. But Widerman, who shares much of the songwriting duties with Harvey, believes it helps to stretch in a different direction every now and again.

“Canada has been very supportive of us. We’ve been getting radio play nationwide,” said the guitarist. This means Monster Truck can now show up in places where the band has never played before and still have fans in the audience.

“It makes it easier to tour the country and play.”

For lineup of bands and ticket information about Alberta’s Own Independent Music Festival, visit www.albertasown.ca.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Most Read