Canadian rockers Monster Truck have been together for a decade. Their 2016 album Sittin’ Heavy made some serious waves and put them on the road with Nickleback. Now their are back with their new album and are continuing their monster touring schedule by hitting the road again with Black Stone Cherry later in the year. We caught up with bass player and frontman Jon ’Marv’ Harvey to find out about the Truck.
YOUR NEW ALBUM IS CALLED 'TRUE ROCKERS' , WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A TRUE ROCKER? I think whatever you feel, it's open to interpretation. If you think being a true rocker is wearing a leather jacket and skull rings, if you think it's wearing a gold shirt, that's ok; it's whatever you want it to be. It's about people identifying with one thing, like being in the same gang rather than a proclamation. People are welcome to make their own assumptions of what it means, it's like a good book - people get different things from it. THE ALBUM IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM SITTIN' HEAVY, WAS THAT INTENTIONAL? We wanted to put out a record that was more fun and more exciting. It wasn't a conscious thing to make it different, that's just where we were at when we were writing songs. Sittin' Heavy was two years earlier and we were a long time on the road with that record so we all changed as people. For me True Rockers is a progression of who we are as people. THAT PROGRESSION IS AN EVOLUTION OF THE BAND, IS THAT WHAT YOU CHOSE THE TRACK EVOLUTION AS THE LEAD SINGLE? We mainly picked that song because of the sound of it. It's a modern rock song. We just thought we would throw our hat in the ring and try to put out a big banging, radio rock song. WE'VE HEARD IT PLAYED ON UK RADIO, SO IT'S WORKED Any radio love is much appreciated because it's hard to get now. There's more and more bands and the rock pond is big, so we really appreciate it. THE BAND HAVE BEEN TOURING A LOT IN RECENT YEARS, HOW DO YOU COPE WITH BEING ON THE ROAD FOR SO LONG? You just fall into your own rhythm. For a long time I didn't go into the city, I just hung out in the arena, it was consistent for me. People crave routine, it's good psychologically. When you're doing that [touring] there's no routine. You have to make your own and make sure you wake up the correct time, do certain things during the day like work out and eat. You have to do it or you are just spiraling out of control. The idea before the show is to be as relaxed and as true to yourself as possible and not stress yourself out. You have to do it to keep you head. I'm always thinking and we're always writing songs, you can't turn it off. So it's important to have those moments where you just relax. WHAT ABOUT LOOKING AFTER YOUR VOICE ON THE ROAD? I do vocal training now, so a lot of the problems I used to have I don't have anymore, but my voice still gets tired. THERE'S A MIXED BAG OF SOUNDS ON ALBUM, HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THAT? We just tried to do as much as we can and stay true to ourselves. The more ways we can push it, the more beneficial it is for us in future releases.
THUNDERSTRUCK WAS AN IDEA FROM SITTIN' HEAVY, WHY DID YOU BRING IT BACK FOR THE NEW ALBUM? It was better now. The only thing we really kept was the organ riff. It's a totally different song, we got better at songwriting so we were able to resurrect it. I've got outtakes that I still have in my pocket that I might bring out for future songs. When you have something good you don't have to abandon it just because everything around it sucks; you just wait until you're good enough and bring it back. HOWLING IS ABOUT SPIRITS AND GHOSTS, SO YOU BELIEVE IN THE SUPERNATURAL? I lived in this in this basement and saw this white figure walking around, it wasn't scary. I'm fascinated by it, I'm not afraid of anything like that. It's either there or it's not, the more you see of it the more you can calculate your own opinions. I always saw it when I was half asleep, there's things that happen that we can't explain. The song was just an honest question, sometimes things happen, but who knows if things are real or a dimensional shift or not, it's fascinating and fun for me to think about mysteries and aliens. When I was a kid I was so scared of that kind of thing, and that genuine fear never goes away. WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU HEARD THE ALBUM BACK FOR THE FIRST TIME? I'm a terrible critic of myself, so that's the wrong question for me. If something's done well then I'm proud of it, but I still want to work better on the next one. DO YOU THINK TAKING THE RISKS ON THIS ALBUM CREATIVELY HAVE PAID OFF? For us creatively I'm sure it paid off and that's probably the most important thing. It opened up a lot for us personally and in a positive way. For us it's an old album because we've been sitting on this for like a year and a half. I'm ready for the next thing, it's funny for me to be talking about this album because I'm already writing songs for the next one. A LOT OF CANADIAN BANDS HAVE SAID THAT THEIR MUSIC IS MORE POPULAR IN OTHER COUNTRIES, DO YOU HAVE THE SAME VIEW? Canada is cool but we've been road dogging in Europe and the UK so we've not really played Canada. I was in Europe in 2016 more than I was in Canada, it's a weird thing. We have to put the effort in where we want to make the market, our goal is to play shows over there. we have a market in Canada and can play shows there, but we really want to build one overseas just to make this viable, we can't just rely on Canada, you might get 16 shows here a year if you're lucky, so you have to get outside of Canada. WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION TO WRITE? I have to write from personal experience because I'm not very good at telling stories. I'm a pretty open book, but I get a couple of stories here and there. But for me Everything should be be inspirational. I'm looking out here right now at a tree and a telephone pole and you can find something in that. WELL, GLEN CAMPBELL FOUND INSPIRATION THERE FOR IN WICHITA LINESMAN. Exactly! DO YOU HANG OUT TOGETHER WHEN YOUR NOT TOURING? Jer (guitarist Jeremy Widerman) is my best friend and we've been friends for like 20 years, we're all great friends, we all hang out. We're like brothers. When you have been on the road for 6 years and you come home you have no friends, you've missed all the weddings and birthdays and you come home and they are your closest friends: it's beyond friendship. You can fight and it doesn't even matter anymore. We have a common goal and when your focus is the same it's pretty easy to get along. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO BANDS JUST STARTING OUT? Do what you want to do, if it's pure of heart it will probably succeed. Don't listen to anybody else, don't let them tell you what you should be doing. Never do anything for money, do it because you feel it's the right thing to do. And be cool, because nobody likes a dick.