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As singer Sam Roberts finds his self-titled band catapulted into Canadian stardom, he is still managing to keep it real. The Montreal-based Sam Roberts Band's most recent album, "We Were Born in a Flame." led to it winning big at Canada's 2004 Juno Awards for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. A sensation in Canada, the group is now establishing a name for itself in the States. Fans in Western New York will have a chance to see the band play when it returns Saturday for a 6 p.m. show in the Sphere Entertainment Complex, 681 Main St.

Now on a short reprieve from a hectic touring schedule, lead singer Sam Roberts spoke with us via telephone earlier this week.

Where has this tour taken you?

I can only speak for myself and the band, and our experience of it was that we played in front of a lot of people who we normally wouldn't have been able to play in front of, and I think we planted a little seed in each and every one of them that hopefully helps them to grow into full-fledged fans.

How are things going for the band in terms of your newfound popularity?

I don't think that we will ever say that we are anything bigger than what we are. We're just trying to make a name for ourselves. Not just make a name, but have people react and connect to the music that we're making, and the way we play it.

You put on a powerful performance at Thursday at the Square last summer. Where do you, as an artist, find the inspiration for that kind of passion?

Everybody finds their fuel in different places. For us, we're a group of friends first and foremost. We're like a little family almost. Every time you make music with people that you want to spend time with, that makes a big difference right there. And then there's the fact that we worked really hard for a long time to get to where we are and to have these opportunities given to us. It's almost euphoric every time I get up there because it's what I've dreamed of doing for pretty much my whole life, and that's a well of inspiration that's seemingly bottomless.

How has playing in Buffalo been for you?

That show at Thursday at the Square was a great experience for all of us. We've played in Buffalo at the Tralf and Mohawk Place before that, and things had already started to go well. Now I kind of feel like we're going to go back to Buffalo and we'll have a real fan base. And that's what we've been looking for everywhere. So Buffalo is sort of a prototype of what we'd like a lot of cities in the U.S. to be like.

You're all over the airwaves in Canada, but are you getting any radio play in the states?

It's sporadic, but I think that in the states it's mainly been based on our touring. That's our most effective weapon. There's really a direct relation there between you and your fans and that can't be duplicated in any other way.

Tickets for the show are $15 (box office, Ticketmaster, Home of the Hits, New World Record). Call 852-3900.

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