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Sam Roberts is thankful for his muse

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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The Sam Roberts Band released its sixth album, “Collider,” last month, but the Montreal group’s namesake frontman says he never takes it for granted that the songs will always be there when he sits down to write.

“You’re always thankful that whatever well of music you have in you is deep enough to see you from one record to another,” explains Roberts, 36, who endeared himself to these parts with the song “Detroit ’67” from 2008’s “Love at the End of the World.” “There’s always that moment of discovery, almost a sigh of relief that you’ve still got songs in there, because you’re never quite sure ...

“For me, when I’m not making a record, I don’t write songs. Chances are I won’t write a song now for a year. That’s scary. So I’m grateful that it works when I need it to.”

To record “Collider,” Roberts and his bandmates also chose a new environment (Chicago) and a new producer (Brian Deck). And through Deck they were introduced to other musicians, including members of Califone and Antibalas, who added new sounds to the mix and expanded the sonic palette the group drew from.

“That just brought a whole new dimension of unpredictability and the unknown into the process,” Roberts notes. “This is a process that can be very contrived and controlled. Whenever you bring in other musicians, you’re ... acknowledging that and allowing that anything can happen.

“These guys had no idea what they were going to be playing to. We never sent them the record in advance. They came in, and literally halfway through the first listen to a song they’d say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m getting an idea to this,’ and they would start freestyling on it. It was a very spontaneous way to make a record.”

The Sam Roberts Band and Zeus perform Wednesday, June 8, at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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