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Sam Roberts goes coastal

Sam Roberts: Juno-winning rocker, hockey-playing Quebec native … future sociologist?

Sam Roberts: Juno-winning rocker, hockey-playing Quebec native … future sociologist?

“It would be an interesting study to go province by province and make some sort of blanket cultural statement based on the response crowds give to a rock ’n’ roll band,” Roberts said in a phone interview.

“There really is a huge, huge shift from one place to the next.”

He would know. Roberts is in the midst of a Canadian tour that will bring him across the country. He first toured Canada in 2002. Since then, he’s crisscrossed the country …

“I don’t have the exact number,” he said. “But it’s a helluva lot!”

And here’s what he’s found: We all love to rock, but we rock in different ways.

“Sometimes, there are unbelievable shifts in the way people respond to rock ’n’ roll music,” said Roberts. “What you learn over the years is it’s not necessarily that they don’t like it — that’s the collective behaviour, that’s the collective response.

“So when you go to Saskatchewan, the response is completely different than the completely over-the-top, bordering on out-of-control response you get in the Atlantic provinces.”

Unlike some artists, Roberts makes it a point to go coast to coast when he goes on tour.

“What we’ve done right from the beginning is try to hit all 10 provinces at least on our run across the country,” said Roberts, whose most recent album, Love at the End of the World, was released in May. “We just figured that’s how you do it! Why wouldn’t they want to hear you in P.E.I. as much as they want to hear you in Alberta?

“I guess we consider ourselves a band that prides itself on getting out there and playing for anybody who will listen to us.

“If you’re in a band, your motto should be: If you’re working, things are good. So it’s hard to complain about all the work at the moment.”

 
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