Monster Truck sittin’ pretty with Sittin’ Heavy

Canada’s Monster Truck began as a “sonic affront to the very industry its members were bred from,” according to bio posted on the band’s Facebook page. Members Jon Harvey (lead vocals, bass); Jeremy Widerman (guitar, vocals); Brandon Bliss (organ, vocals); and Steve Kiely (drums, vocals) says they felt “more like cogs in the music industry machine” before breaking away to “forge their own path” as Monster Truck. “It was admittedly a bit selfish from the get-go as we only were looking to please ourselves,” laughs Widerman. “We just wanted to mix all of our favorite hard rock, punk and classic rock favorites into something raw and basic.”

An official band bio notes Canada’s Monster Truck plays “loud-and-proud hard rock that mixes strutting '70s-style arena sounds with a dash of grunge-era sneer.” Since emerging in 2009, Monster Truck has released two EPs and two full-length albums. The latest release is Sittin’ Heavy, a full-length project via Toronto-based Dine Alone Records that’s currently No. 6 on the Canadian Albums Chart and No. 21 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart. Meanwhile, lead single ‘Don't Tell Me How To Live’ is No. 27 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart and No. 29 on the Mediabase Active Rock airplay chart.

Widerman says there was no single influence or inspiration behind the new album because it was written over the course of three years. “So you really can almost take any classic rock or grunge or punk or modern rock band and probably throw them into the pile,” he tells National Rock Review. “Especially considering the breadth of different artists we’ve played with over the last five years.” Widerman adds he’s also confident the band can avoid any sophomore slump following the success of 2013’s Furiosity.

“I always refer to the fact that the most pressure that we always feel—and not just on this record, but any record—is always exerted on us by ourselves. We have a pretty high standard in which we operate, individually and as a group,” says the frontman, who promoted the album in London by driving an actual monster truck around the surrounding streets and roadways. Monster Truck is also promoting Sittin’ Heavy by spending the summer and fall touring venues and festivals in Canada and Europe. The band’s only U.S. stop is May 28 in Buffalo, New York.

Widerman explains the decision to focus on Europe is based on the fact there’s a large Monster Truck fan base in that part of the world. He also reveals that in addition to touring, the band will be planning the next Monster Truck album. “We’re always writing new music,” continues Widerman to NRR, “and we’re always aware that as much fun as it is to release this new record and to bask in the opportunities that it provides, the only way to continue moving forward is to always be aware of the next album. That’s something that we’re already starting to think about and trying to figure out how much of it we’re gonna have to work on whilst on the road and start planning/scheduling in those breaks to come home and start working on the next one.”

Watch Monster Truck in the official music video for ‘Don't Tell Me How To Live,’ the lead single from the Canadian hard rockers second full-length album, Sittin’ Heavy.

As A Matter of Fact…

* Hamilton, Ontario, hard rock outfit Monster Truck was formed in 2009 by three members the area's most popular bands. Guitarist Jeremy Widerman and drummer Steve Kiely had played with the group the Reason, while keyboardist Brandon Bliss worked with Saint Alvia.

* Singer and bassist Jon Harvey was added to Monster Truck in 2010, followed by a four-song, self-titled EP the band distributed at shows. The group signed to Canadian indie label, Dine Alone Records, releasing a six-song EP in 2011 titled, The Brown EP.

* The Brown EP tracks ‘Righteous Smoke’ and ‘Seven Seas Blues’ got regular airplay on Canadian rock radio, and several other cuts got a vinyl re-release in 2012 on a 12-inch LP titled, The Don't F**k with the Truck Collection.

* Monster Truck joined forces with the Sheepdogs in 2012 for a sold-out tour of Canada. The band also opened several Canadian concerts for hard rock legends Deep Purple. In 2013, Dine Alone had struck a distribution deal with Universal, and Monster Truck released its full-length debut album, Furiosity.

* Furiosity reached No. 13 on the Canadian Albums Chart, and the band picked up a Juno Award as Breakthrough Group of 2013. Monster Truck continued to tour throughout North America and Europe. Highlights included a performance at the U.K.'s Download Festival and dates opening for Alice in Chains.

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