When the Red Hot Chili Peppers first told their friends and family what their band name was they must have been met with anything from outright laughter to harsh criticism because frankly, it’s a really fucking stupid name. But it has become synonymous with the men and their music and the same is sure to happen with Canada’s newest (and quite frankly awesome) rock export Monster Truck.
Guitarist Jeremy Widerman has endured quite enough questions about the band name and laughs at the Chili Peppers being mentioned as a comparison. “Man I always use that as an example too,” he exclaims. “What a stupid fucking name but now no one flinches when they say ‘Yeah man, I’m going to see the Chilis’.”
Starting out in 2009, it has taken a while to release their debut album (with two EPs preceding it) but when Furiosity finally arrived, people took notice; they debuted at number 13 on the Canadian Billboard charts and won a Juno award this year for Best Breakthrough Band – a far cry from their previous few years of trekking around North America in an old bus and playing in backwater bars.
“Recognition from the industry and from our peers is such a fleeting joy,” he says. “We relished that night at the Junos and it was good for what it was but it passes. The real asset in winning that award, this is where my cold-hearted business side comes out, was the acceptance we now have with mainstream media in Canada. It was a door opener. I think a lot of people were dismissive of the band just because of the band name, they weren’t paying attention to the rock’n’roll, and they were suddenly forced to cover us.”
The rock’n’roll is blistering, aurally assaulting rock reminiscent of Motörhead, RATM and The Black Crowes, but without being held back by nostalgia. It’s this formula that is working for them, as Wilderman knew it would. “There are definitely surreal moments where it’s like we just can’t believe what’s going on,” he says. “But at the same time, at least from my perspective, I truly knew we’d done it right and we’d reached that goal that we knew we could with this album.”
After a failed recording session at Sound City Studios with Kevin Augunas, Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Three Days Grace, Cancer Bats) helped the band achieve what they knew they wanted. The reality is, if they had’ve kept quiet, if Wilderman himself hadn’t been the first to step up and say the album sounded like shit leading to the eventual decision of their label Dine Alone to fund an entire new recording, mixing and mastering session, Monster Truck would probably not be releasing the album in Australia, not be doing so well in the charts and most definitely be Juno-less.
Wilderman knows that communication has been the key so far in the band’s success and will be even more important as things continue growing. “Touring together and being together so much can be tough, and to keep things on an even keel I think the key is for us to always have an open dialogue and to bring things up in a way that’s not judgemental or attacking,” he says.
“We’re gonna have to investigate this moving forward, I think it’s something that every band has to figure out. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because I really want us to think about writing our next record and to do that I think you need to have that really fun space and open dialogue where no one is playing against each other.”
BY KRISS WEISS
Furiosity is out now through Dine Alone Records/Caroline.