Monster Truck have been out in Europe and more recently in the UK supporting stoner rock legends Vista Chino. CackBlabbath caught up with lead singer Jon from the band just before they hit the stage in Nottingham.
Well, good afternoon and thanks for talking to cackblabbath.online. Am I right in thinking this is your first UK tour?
Yeah first one…
First time in Europe?
Yeah, we were here for Download in the summer, which was my official first time, both personally and as a band. A couple of the guys have been over here to the UK before, Brandon did a tour with his old band in Germany so he knows a little bit more than we do but it’s been fun, really awesome.
How did your Download show go?
Oh it was amazing. We got it the last second, we found out a week before the show. It was kind of shocking, our manager came up to us and said “Hey, you guys wanna go to England?” and we’re like YEAH! Are you crazy? So we came over and it was a blast man, it was really cool…Noon on the second stage, we got up there and we were like OH SHIT! There was probably around 5000 people there, so it was perfect. People over here just get excited about rock, over in North America people listen to rock but they also listen to a lot of other stuff. People over here are just passionate about rock and metal, which is very comforting as they just get into it right away.
Is Download a festival that drops on the radar of Monster Truck? Had you heard of it before you played it?
Oh yeah I knew all about it, sure. Most of the festivals over here I’ve heard about through reading magazines. I’ve always wanted to go to places like Wacken, stuff like that but it was never a reality. Then when Download came along we were like AWESOME! We got to see some great bands that week too.
So a lot of North American bands either love Europe or hate it. You find it good?
Yeah, I love it…
They usually moan about the food or the weather…
Well the food’s great actually, people do always say that British food is terrible but it’s not. You guys have better stuff in your grocery store than what we have. Every restaurant has a vegetarian option (I’m vegetarian) and basically you guys have a food reform thing going on right now that’s just inspiring because in Canada we’re miles behind you. We can grow anything in North America because there’s so many different climatic zones…anything can be in season at any time but McDonalds and stuff is still really popular.
You guys are out here with Vista Chino, how did that come about?
Our manager got hold of their manager and I’ve been a huge Kyuss fan so I was excited and it’s great to come out and get to hang out with these guys. They’re really awesome dudes, I had a great conversation with John the other day. It’s great! We get to hang out and talk about what band guys talk about…gear and travelling…
Okay, to my ears you play straight ahead rock’n’roll, what would you say (if anything) sets you apart from the pack?
Sets us apart from the pack? I don’t know…err I’m hoping there’s something but we’re not really looking to be set apart we’re looking for people to have fun with us, if we’re included with the pack then we’re fine with that, you know? Running with the pack is no problem either but you know, it’s up to fans to determine what sets different bands apart. I think we’re just trying to play the music that we like and I wouldn’t want to comment on other bands in the scene. Hopefully the WORLD WIDE rock scene beckons soon…
You are relatively new to us over here, so can you give us a bit of background to the band’s history?
Well we’ve been around for about 5 years in the spring, we pretty much just played in Canada for a long time, Canada is going well, we have a good following and we’ve just started touring when it actually became viable to do so. Now we’re just rolling on through and trying to write some great rock songs and put on a great show every night.
You mentioned one of your guys has been in a touring band. Are you all music industry/band guys?
I’ve always been in indie sort of metal bands so I’ve never had music industry as such because the industry really doesn’t care, but some of the other guys were in bands that were on major labels and things like that. The way our bands going is down to the guys knowing what to do and having been told what to do before, so I’m pretty much like…well you guys know what you’re doing…RIGHT ON!
You’ve just made your music available on vinyl in Europe…
Yeah we’ve got 2 vinyl releases. We took out first two E.P.s and pressed them on a ‘Don’t Fuck with the Truck’ collection ha ha…that’s funny, and we just released ‘Furiosity’ on vinyl too. The vinyl sounds way better, my Dad was a huge vinyl collector. I grew up listening to records so I prefer analogue, the needle hitting the groove makes it sound so huge.
Vinyl’s really taking off again over here, is it the same in Canada?
Well, people are a bit more specific about how they listen to music here rather than in North America, they’re just like “GIMME ALL THAT”, but there’s definitely an interest. I don’t know how many of them have record players but…it look pretty and interesting.
What sort of bands are in your collection then? Where are you drawing your inspiration?
Well…across the board, I listen to pretty much everything. From indie pop to dance music to metal and hard rock, mostly metal and rock to be honest. A lot of classic rock, a lot of jazz, blues, classical…pretty much trying to keep your influences coming from all angles to avoid being a rip-off. If you only listen to hard rock all the time you are going to end up sounding like a hard rock band. It’s easier to get influence from everywhere and all music has been done, there isn’t any new genres coming out and when they do they’re just a hybrid of another genre. It’s best to draw your influences from things that aren’t regularly available to the public. We just had an Italian guy take a lick from one of our tunes, he’s a pop guy and he took a little vocal melody from one of our songs and we’re like…well, go for it!
Is that something you have to be aware of when writing? You don’t want to sound too much of a rip-off of something?
Sometimes we just say ah let’s just do it you know…
So we’ve had ‘Furiosity’ for most of the year. Is it still full on touring or will you have something new anytime soon?
Well we’re doing a Canadian tour which is called ‘Touriosity’ ha ha, and err we come home then we’re in America January-February, then we’re coming back to Europe, with Scorpion Child, we’re doing the ‘Lords of Riff’ tour in the UK and Germany.
Summer Festivals over here?
Jeez let’s hope so, that’d be great!