Sam Roberts Looking For U.S. Breakthrough
After scoring three Juno Awards for its 2003 album "We Were Born in a Flame," Montreal's Sam Roberts Band plans to turn up the heat in the United States with its latest release, "Chemical City."After scoring three Juno Awards for its 2003 album "We Were Born in a Flame," Montreal's Sam Roberts Band plans to turn up the heat in the United States with its latest release, "Chemical City." The set arrives Tuesday (May 16) via Secret Brain/Fontana.
"The frustration of the last record not getting out further to a broader audience in the States is fueling a lot of how we're thinking about ['Chemical City'] and what we plan to do with it," acknowledges Roberts. "We'll do whatever it takes to make sure as many people as possible hear about it. We'll certainly put in the time on the road, which we've always placed as a priority, anyway."
Roberts took some time off between albums, traveling extensively and getting inspiration for new songs. He and the band then hunkered down at the Old Church studio in New South Wales, Australia, to record "Chemical City"
"It seems like the old days of the great rock'n'roll adventures have fallen by the wayside," Roberts says of his journeys. "I remember Jimi Hendrix used to go to Morocco and sit there and smoke hash and write tunes where the desert meets the ocean. That sort of thing appealed to me as an idea. I wanted to live my own ideas and incorporate the ideas into adventures and those adventures into my writing."
And while Roberts feels that he's staking new territory with "Chemical City" both creatively and geographically, he's also aware there is some follow-up pressure in his homeland, where "We Were Born in a Flame" was such a sensation.
"Expectations can be great -- if you can live up to them," Roberts says. "If you can live up to them and exceed them, you can find yourself better off than you were before. There are going to be times where it doesn't work at all and times where it works out that much better than everybody thought it would. And if that's the case, hey man, you're building on what you did before instead of being held back by it."