By Marissa Baecker
Riding through the back roads of Abbotsford, B.C. I passed an outdoor concert venue where I saw The Road Hammers in big block letters. My first thought, “They’re back together?”
I knew that members of the band were big motorcycle enthusiasts. I crossed paths at a motorcycle show with member Clayton Bellamy who, at that time, was living in Nashville and working a solo career after the band decided to take a hiatus. So four years later, it took me by surprise to see the band’s name active.
Active is an understatement.
Not only are they back together, released a new album appropriately titled Wheels, completed a 19 city tour with Doc Walker and Blackjack Billy, wrapped filming a Road Hammers web series scheduled to air on CMT at the end of February, were nominated for CCMA Group or Duo of the Year where they performed live and have been recently nominated for Country Album of the Year at the upcoming 2015 Juno Awards to be held in Hamilton, ON in March and Bellamy guarantees an appearance.
In a recent telephone interview with Bellamy, he said “I came back to Canada two years ago and it was the best thing that ever happened. Door after door has been opening.”
Bellamy credits McCoy for putting the wheels [no pun intended] in motion to get the band back together. He also credits their shared love of motorcycles for part of the content of the album.
“For me – it [motorcycling] is a meditative state,” said Bellamy. “The music business is sometimes insanity. When I ride, I get complete calm. I put on a helmet and the world goes quiet. No cell phones, no noise, no insanity. I can think clearly about lyrics and songs when I ride. I can pick up an instrument and get completely lost in music just as I get on a bike and get lost in the rhythm of the engine and the road.”
The latest single, Hillbilly Highway, currently charting on country music radio, features Bellamy and band mate Jason McCoy riding free on the back roads of British Columbia behind the bars of 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT and Triumph America cruisers.
The best part is fans can actually enter to win the 1750cc, 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT on The Road Hammers website (www.theroadhammers.com) until March 31, 2015.
Why Triumph? It’s their favourite ride. The Thunderbird was McCoy’s ride of choice. Bellamy, formerly had a Street Triple and currently rides “a tricked out Bonneville.” Triumph even came on board with the last tour and displayed an array of motorcycles for fans at each show.
“I come from a motorcycle family,” Bellamy continued. “My dad was a motorcycle mechanic by trade. I was his sidekick. We eat, sleep and breathe motorcycles. I remember as a kid, my dad would ride me to school and I would feel 10 feet tall and bullet proof when I got off that bike. I do it now with my son and I see the same response in him. I love being able to give him that experience.”
The band is currently planning appearances on the summer festival circuit and Bellamy says, “there are no signs of slowing down any time soon.”
A new album is currently in the works scheduled to be released in the summer followed up with a Fall tour to which Bellamy laughs that he would like to follow the tour bus on his motorcycle.
“I don’t think the band has ever been better. We did a lot of growing up and came back together knowing it is going to be for good.”