Sam Roberts Band Creates Pandemic-Proof Music

Sam Roberts is holding tightly on to his optimistic views of the future. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has cast a dark confusing cloud over the music industry, the Canadian indie rocker believes music lovers will find a way to celebrate together again.

“I’m just trying to keep a naively optimistic outlook on everything,” he tells BTRtoday. “At some point, like anything, people will bounce back—we’re resilient by nature and I think too that this has been a real reminder of how much seeing a band on stage is an important experience that we all love and need in our lives.”

Their newest album All Of Us was just released yesterday, Oct. 18, on Known Accomplice Records. The album bursts with echoing guitar that hits heavy but lingers softly within your mind. Roberts says they’ve actually been working on this album for a couple of years now and were recording until the day before quarantine lockdown in Montreal.

“We just squeaked in at the deadline, so that was a huge relief,” he says. “The thought of putting it [the album release] on hold any longer would’ve driven us insane.”

All Of Us is Roberts’ most introspective album to date. His lyricism tends to revolve around other characters’ stories, whether he observed them in real life or created them in his head. But Roberts dug deep into his own psyche to write tracks like “War Chest” and “Ghost Town” where he lays his feelings and experiences out to bear.

“I find it personally difficult to look back into my own life and examine memories and the meanings of my experiences as a child and growing up,” he says about songwriting. “I just took the plunge and tried to write about myself and my life growing up and how that shaped me and how that shapes my vision of the future or how I would like it to be.”

Sam Roberts Band “Youth”

Roberts says these songs are “pandemic proof” and he proves it by keeping the show going. The group recently played several drive-in theater shows where they sang to a crowd sitting in their cars. He admits it was weird at first, but he quickly adjusted and remembered how good playing live music feels.

“it [felt] a little Star Wars… like droids at that point—almost, a bit Sci-Fi,” he says about playing to cars. “It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve spent on stage playing in front of people, like living breathing people, after five minutes, it felt perfectly normal to be playing in front of these cars, it just felt great to be playing.”

Roberts says the global crisis has helped spark some inspiration and that he’s back at writing. In the meantime, he hopes everyone holds on to that love for live music and when the pandemic ends they come back and join his band for a show. Listen to the entire interview with Sam Roberts Band and All Of Us in its entirety on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.