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Thoughts of Sam Roberts gives his take

On songwriting

"I tend to let ideas percolate for a good while, before they sort of announce themselves as songs. I get ideas on the road, but they usually don't become songs, per se, until I've had that time of reflection, when the best music seems to arrive."

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On Buffalo

"Buffalo has always been a great city for us, and one we love to return to. I really enjoy the dichotomy we get there, between these crazy, sweaty, intimate club shows at the Town Ballroom, and then the big outdoor Thursday at the Square shows. Both are fantastic for different reasons. At the Town Ballroom last time, we played to an audience that really knew our music well, and that can create an energy all its own. At the Square, those same people are there, but then, there are all these other people there who have never heard of us. We love that challenge -- to think that we might make some new fans out of people who arrive totally unfamiliar with us. That's exciting.

"Buffalo is also special for us because it's one of the few cities where we have a short trip back home to Toronto, so we can hang out and meet people after the show, and not have to rush right off. It's always fun to go down and see (owner) Pete (Perrone) and all the folks at the Mohawk."

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On touring

"We've certainly toured a ton, and I think all that road work had a huge effect on how 'Chemical City' turned out. We've come to really understand each other, as musicians and as people, and we can sort of implicitly understand where each other wants to go. That made us feel really free to go wherever we were capable of going, musically.

"It also had an impact on how I write songs, because when you know the musicians you're writing for so well, you can't help but sort of hear them in your head when you're writing. We've grown so close, and it really has benefited the music."

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On the next album

"We've already started it. We're working with ('Chemical City' producer) Joseph Donovan again. We're excited about what's been happening so far. Maybe we'll play some of the new stuff in Buffalo!"

-- Jeff Miers

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