Sam Roberts may be a six-time Juno-award-winning artist in Canada -- including two-time artist of the year -- but while touring in the States, he's just in another hard working rock band trying to make it by.
"There's still a lot of variation here. We're not guaranteed to walk in and play like Spinal Tap in the Enormodome ... that's not the reality for us," Roberts said. "We still have to plug away, every record is different, and you hit highs and lows. We're certainly not on a one-way path to super stardom; we're in a working rock-and-roll band you have to take your lumps with your victories.
While in Canada, Roberts plays his rock and roll to crowds in large hockey arenas, theatres and clubs. But when he tours in America, it's not quite the same.
"In the United States, there is an intimacy and a rawness to the shows that I really love. I like the fact that we get to bounce back between the two realities," Roberts said.
And he thrives on the differences between each venue they encounter every night. He believes the differences are what help keep the band sharper and fresh.
The band's newest album, Collider, was released on May 10. In support of the album, the band has about a year and half of touring to look forward to, as high record sales and winning awards isn't enough to keep a band secure and coasting by anymore.
|Sam Roberts Band
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
July 8, 7 p.m.
$12 advance, $14 day of
sectionlive.com, (616) 451-3039
"It feels like when you're playing in a band you're constantly teetering on the edge, especially in today's musical climate you can't take anything for granted," Roberts said. "You can't say, 'Oh, I've sold 10 million records, I've got enough money to retire on a mountain and I don't care what happens from now on.' That's not the case -- you have to work, you have to be on tour. We're not getting royalty checks left and right; you have to be on the road and work for your living."
Collider debuted at number three on the Canadian Albums Chart, and so far so good has been the response from fans on tour. Roberts says the album has a summer vibe to it.
"It all kind of wrapped up in a good summer rhythmic album and I think that's the intention, especially when I did the bulk of the writing in the summertime in Montreal, which is always a celebration because the weather is so crappy for the other eight months of the year. I wanted to capture that feeling in some way," Roberts said.
Although the album is a great summer time listen, the lyrics might not always be as positive as the beat.
"My lyrics are a downer ... that's my method of delivery, you sugarcoat the pill and then all of sudden, you get a stomach ache," Roberts said.