Monster Truck


“Monster Truck is one of the few really great down to earth rock ‘n’ roll bands... they’re hard, soulful and heavy” – Slash

You know where you stand with a band named Monster Truck, right?

For the last two years, this raucous quartet have been busy putting Hamilton, Ontario, on the rock ‘n’ roll map thanks to a remarkable selection of blue-collar rock songs called ‘Furiosity’. With a no-frills style that mixes groove, sludge, stoner rock and vintage sounds, the high-energy combo has made friends in high places by celebrating the simplest and also the finest things in life. In the time since their debut, in true road warrior style they toured Europe and the US playing blistering shows at Download Festival and Hammerfest as well as supporting the mighty Guns n Roses, Slash, Alice in Chains, ZZ Top, Buckcherry, Rival Sons and Vista Chino.

Nominated for Rock Album of the Year at the 2014 Juno Awards in their native Canada, ‘Furiosity’ also introduced Monster Truck to the international market, and now they’re back with another wide-tread slab of horns-up, heads-down swaggering Southern rock that’s entitled ‘Sittin’ Heavy’.

‘Sittin’ Heavy’ is a glorious hard rocking statement, retaining all of the ingredients that enabled Monster Truck to break out of the box whilst continuing a gradual evolution, expanding upon ideas established at the quartet’s inception. Month after month spent on the road has served to improve them as a band, just as it should, fundamentally because they looked around and learned.

“Touring the last record we’ve been privileged to play with a lot of great headlining acts,” says guitarist Jeremy Widerman. “For instance, when we opened for Slash we would pick up on how accurately he controls the Wah pedal, and we wanted to include some of that in our own songs. Or touring with Alice In Chains and watching their vocal harmonies and realising that we needed to strengthen up in that area – so we did. There are so many little ways to hone our sound.”

Don’t be alarmed. Monster Truck haven’t undergone a massive refit, they sound exactly as their name suggests. They’re still irrepressible. And their music has the power to tackle all manner of subjects, including the day to day drudgery that’s served up by the world, and turn them into something positive. The album’s highly contagious first single, ‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’, has been unanimously welcomed as a great rallying cry.

Inspired by a comment made by singer and bassist Jon Harvey’s girlfriend – “She started giving me trouble for playing guitar every day and I replied, ‘This is my job, don’t tell me how to live’” – its message holds true in a variety of situations. “The song is about being independent in one’s life, rather than worrying about what people think or the expectations of other people; just be true to yourself.”

Containing the line “rock ‘n’ roll might save your life”, ‘Why Are You Not Rocking?’ is another of the album’s cornerstones. “We wrote that for the people that stand around at a gig on their cellphones,” explains Jon Harvey. “One night when we opened for Alice In Chains there was a circle of people that stood right in the middle of the stage and at the front talking to one another and using their phones. Why weren’t they having a good time? That’s what they’d left the house for.”

If the album has a theme, it would be a steadfast refusal to be beaten down. The aforementioned ‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’ is pretty self-explanatory, and so, one might say, is ‘For The People’. “Rock ‘n’ roll should be a celebration,” Harvey believes. “We try to do that as much as we can. Everything in life should be a celebration.”

You’re probably wondering about the unusual title? There’s a story. Monster Truck were in the backstage catering room at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee when drummer Steve Kiely, after taking full advantage of an unlimited menu, declared: “Oh, man, I’m sitting heavy.” “Though perhaps you needed to be there to appreciate the humour, I thought it was a great name for an album,” smiles guitarist Jeremy Widerman. “Everybody agreed, which was a pretty unique situation for our band, but we liked the title because it also sounds good.”

And sure enough Monster Truck present the listener with a mouth-watering all you can eat buffet, piling on the riffs, cranking up the rhythm section and serving up all manner of delicious, hummable choruses. This is no mere exercise in bludgeon riffola.

“There’s no need to raise the horns in the air from the start right to the finish,” Jeremy Widerman declares. “So the slower tracks are there to add colour, and that’s something you’ll hear a little more from us on future records. We’ve got people in the band who can really sing, so it would be foolish not to.”

Arriving almost halfway through the record, ‘Black Forest’ is one of those moments of respite. Ushered in by the sound of thunder, the electric piano of Brandon Bliss supplying all-important dynamics and sung with grit and emotion by Jon Harvey, it’s a magnificent song. Ditto ‘Enjoy The Time’, which signs off with a plea to live in the moment before the really bad shit starts happening.

“Yeah that’s it, basically,” Jon Harvey nods. “It’s a theme that we touch upon a lot. We’re saying don’t give up. Don’t put yourself down. I’m not a preacher but it’s important that message gets driven home.”

The Juno award winning, Eric Ratz returns as their sounding board and studio guru as co-producer and with a track record that includes Billy Talent, Three Days Grace and Cancer Bats, Ratz studio wizardry is displayed sublimely on ‘Sittin’ Heavy’ and must surely mark him out as a future heavyweight.

‘Sittin’ Heavy’ is released via Monster Truck’s new home of Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group (Black Stone Cherry, Black Label Society, Joe Bonamassa) in the UK/Europe and Dine Alone Records (City and Colour, BRONCHO, Marilyn Manson) for the rest of the world on February 19, 2016.

All of the little pieces are in place.

Come on in and leave those inhibitions at the door. You won’t regret it…

Band Members:

Jon Harvey (bass & lead vocals)
Jeremy Widerman (guitar & vocals)
Brandon Bliss (organ & vocals)
Steve Kiely (drums & vocals)

Album Art

Sittin' Heavy Album Artwork


NEW Press Photo Fall 2015

Matt Barnes


Things Get Better Single Artwork