By Trevor Morelli
CALGARY – It’s 2 p.m. on a warm, muggy day in Montreal. Lunch hour is over, but workin’ man Sam Roberts is out for a stroll. He’s busy tracking a new album with his band, but today it’s his turn to grab the sandwiches for everyone.
“It’s my job today to pick up lunch. You can have a firsthand tour into a Lebanese sandwich joint in Montreal. This is a real, authentic part of the music experience, me paying for lunch.” he laughs over the phone.
Recently, Roberts has been busy laying down new material since writing is something he tends to turn off while the band is deep into the tour and promotion cycle. “There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re out there on the road not putting everything that you possibly can into every single show,” he remarks.
“For me, that requires little to no distraction from the task at hand, so writing is one of those things where you can get lost in it very easily. I’ve been writing a lot the last year. We’re still technically touring for TerraForm (released in 2016), but the tour has thinned out for sure.”
In the studio since last spring, sound-wise the new record under way continues the journey TerraForm started, with Roberts reflecting on what the band is and what the next chapter should be like. “Every time I start writing, I always feel like I’ve got to keep going down the road that I’ve been travelling in the previous record. Have I come to the logical conclusion? Every record you have to get your machete out and hack a few weeds out of the way to see where that path was taking you. At the same time, especially at the beginning, you’re looking back and going, ‘What is the essence of this band? What are we? What have we been?’ While Roberts feel “there’s little touches of records gone by, and where TerraForm was heading,” the new release is not a “conclusion, but definitely the next step in whatever direction that was going to be.”
In the meantime, Roberts is looking forward to coming back to Calgary this month where he’s made many friends and devoted fans over the years. “Playing out West feels like playing at home now. There are very few places in Canada where we don’t spend a significant amount of time. We now have friends and people that we’ve known over the years who we look forward to seeing. It’s almost the same thing as playing a show in Montreal when we play in Calgary now.”
And some delicious craft beer from Big Rock Brewery, where his show is scheduled, doesn’t hurt either.
“For me, any chance to go to Western Canada is an opportunity to be relished, to be in the big open sky and to see the mountains, especially when the weather is still nice. And especially that this one is centered on people who like beer. This is a match made in heaven, basically!”
Sam Roberts Band plays the Big Rock Barnburner Sept. 15 at the Big Rock Brewery (Calgary).big open skies, Big Rock, Big Rock Brewery, Sam Roberts Band, The long and winding road