Sam Roberts (singer-songwriter)

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Sam Roberts
Roberts performing at Mercury Lounge in New York City in February 2014.
Roberts performing at Mercury Lounge in New York City in February 2014.
Background information
Born (1974-10-02) October 2, 1974 (age 49)
Westmount, Quebec, Canada
OriginMontreal, Quebec, Canada
GenresIndie rock, alternative rock
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • violin
Years active2000—present
Member ofSam Roberts Band, Anyway Gang
WebsiteSam Roberts Band

Sam Roberts (born October 2, 1974) is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter who has released seven albums. His debut EP The Inhuman Condition, reached the Canadian charts in 2002. He and his bandmates have released three albums as Sam Roberts and four albums as Sam Roberts Band. He is also a member of Canadian group Anyway Gang, who released their debut self-titled album in 2019. Roberts has been nominated, together with his band, for fifteen Juno Awards, winning six, including Artist of the Year twice (2004 and 2009) and Album of the Year once (2004).

Early life and Northstar[edit]

Born in Westmount, to South African immigrants who had arrived in Montreal three weeks earlier,[1] Roberts grew up on Cedar Avenue in Pointe-Claire, where his family moved to when he was five years old. Roberts is an alumnus of St. Edmund Elementary School, Beaconsfield; Loyola High School, N.D.G.; John Abbott College, Ste. Anne de Bellevue; and McGill University.[2] He holds a BA in English from McGill University, graduating in 1998.[2] Roberts' first band was William in 1993, that changed into Northstar in 1998. As William they put out a single, "Piranha EP" on Northern Assembly Records in 1996, while as Northstar they released a self-titled independent EP in 1998,[3] but broke up in 1999.[4]

As "Sam Roberts" (2002–2010)[edit]

After disbanding Northstar, Roberts recorded a twelve track demo, "Brother Down",[2] which formed the basis for the EP, The Inhuman Condition released in 2002. Recorded with Jordon Zadorozny, Roberts "recorded a song a day".[5] Roberts signed with artist manager Dave Spencer and began to perform live. With the assistance of Linda Bush at Universal Music Publishing Canada, he signed a publishing contract with UMPG and a record contract with MapleMusic Recordings. MapleMusic released the six track EP culled from the demo with Roberts noting that "it is not something I had intended to be my first real foray into the music world but I couldn't turn my back on such a chance". It included two breakthrough singles, "Brother Down" (released in mid-2002) and "Don't Walk Away Eileen" (released in late 2002) which were heavily promoted in the Canadian market.

In August 2002, Roberts signed with Universal Music.[6] In November 2002, Roberts won the CASBY Award for "Favourite New Artist".[7] In 2003, he released his major label debut album, We Were Born in a Flame, with the singles "Where Have All the Good People Gone?" and "Hard Road" garnering success in the Canadian market. The album achieved double platinum sales status in Canada and won two Juno Awards in 2004: Album of the Year and Rock Album of the Year, with Roberts winning the Juno award for Artist of the Year.

Sam Roberts performing at Lollapalooza in 2007.

Roberts’ second album, Chemical City, was released in April 2006, with the first single "The Gate" topping as a No. 1 hit on Canadian radio. The second single, "Bridge to Nowhere", won the Juno Award for Video of the Year in 2007 and the album achieved platinum sales status.

Roberts' third album, Love at the End of the World, released in May 2008, debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian album chart,[8] a first for Roberts. The lead single, "Them Kids", debuted on iTunes on March 4, 2008. Roberts again won the Juno award for Artist of the Year and the album took home Rock Album of the Year and reached gold sales status.

As Sam Roberts Band (2011–present)[edit]

Roberts released his fourth studio album, Collider, on May 10, 2011.[9] It is the first album under the moniker "Sam Roberts Band" instead of "Sam Roberts".[10] The first single, "I Feel You" was officially released to Canadian radio on February 28, with an iTunes Canada release of March 8.

On November 20, 2013, Roberts announced the release of next album, Lo-Fantasy,[11] which was released by Paper Bag Records on February 11, 2014.[12] Sam Roberts' Band released the Counting the Days EP on April 18, 2015. In 2015, the band collaborated with Toronto's Spearhead Brewery to release the "Sam Roberts Band Session Ale".[13]

Their sixth studio album, Terraform, was released October 28, 2016. On September 12, 2016, a North-American tour was announced to promote their new album. Terraform was later nominated for a 2017 Juno Award for Rock Album of the Year, losing to The Tragically Hip's Man Machine Poem.[14]

The band's seventh studio album, All of Us, was released worldwide on October 16, 2020, on Secret Weapon / Known Accomplice.

On October 20, 2023, Sam Roberts Band will release their new album The Adventures Of Ben Blank, featuring the tracks "Picture Of Love" and "I Dream Of You".

Sam Roberts Band members[edit]

The members of Sam Roberts Band as of 2020 are:

  • Sam Roberts (lead vocals, guitar)
  • Dave Nugent (lead guitar)
  • Eric Fares (keyboard, guitar)
  • James Hall (bass)
  • Josh Trager (drums)

Past Members:

  • Corey Zadorozny (drums)
  • Chet Doxas (tenor saxophone)


As Sam Roberts[edit]

As Sam Roberts Band[edit]

  • Collider (2011)
  • Lo-Fantasy (2014)
  • TerraForm (2016)
  • All of Us (2020)
  • The Adventures Of Ben Blank (2023)

With Anyway Gang[edit]

  • Anyway Gang (2019)
  • Still Anyways (2022)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Juno Awards[edit]

The Juno Awards is a Canadian awards ceremony presented annually by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 "Brother Down" Single of the Year Nominated
New Artist of the Year Nominated
2004 We Were Born in a Flame Album of the Year[15] Won
Rock Album of the Year Won
Artist of the Year Won
2007 "Bridge to Nowhere" Video of the Year Won
Chemical City Rock Album of the Year Nominated
2009 Love at the End of the World Artist of the Year Won[16]
Rock Album of the Year Won
"Detroit '67" Video of the Year Nominated
2012 "Them Kids" Video of the Year Nominated
Group of the Year Nominated
Collider Rock Album of the Year Nominated
2017 TerraForm Rock Album of the Year Nominated
2021 All Of Us Rock Album of the Year Nominated

MuchMusic Video Awards[edit]

The MuchMusic Video Awards was an annual awards ceremony presented by the Canadian music video channel MuchMusic. Roberts has received five awards from fourteen nominations.[17][18][19][20]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 "Brother Down" Best VideoFACT Won
Best Pop Video Nominated
Best Independent Video Nominated
Sam Roberts People's Choice – Favourite Canadian Artist Nominated
2004 "Hard Road" Best Director Won
Best Cinematography Won
Best Post-Production Won
Best Video Nominated
Best Pop Video Nominated
People's Choice – Favourite Canadian Artist Nominated
2006 "The Gate" Best MuchMoreMusic Award Nominated
People's Choice – Favourite Canadian Artist Nominated
2008 "Them Kids" Best Director Nominated
Best Post-Production Won

Notable performances[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sam Roberts". Montreal Gazette. March 28, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Higgs, Jennifer. "Sam Roberts". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Northstar (10) – Northstar". Discogs. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Sam Roberts Biography". MapleMusic Recordings. Archived from the original on September 25, 2009. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  5. ^ LeBlanc, Larry (July 27, 2002). Roberts set for 'Inhuman' Success. Nielsen Inc. p. 41. ISSN 0006-2510. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  6. ^ Sam Roberts Signs With Universal. Chart Attack. Archived from the original on July 3, 2003. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  7. ^ "Simple Plan, Treble Charger Win At The 2002 Casby Awards". Chart Attack. Archived from the original on May 13, 2003. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  8. ^ "A whole lot of love for Sam Roberts". Toronto Sun. May 30, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
  9. ^ "Upcoming Canadian Releases for 2011!". January 12, 2011. Archived from the original on July 13, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  10. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Sam Roberts Band Confirms New Album 'Lo-Fantasy' Out Feb 11!". Paper Bag Records. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.
  12. ^ Taylor, Luke (March 27, 2014). "The Current's Guitar Collection: Sam Roberts". The Current. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  13. ^ "Cure for what ales them: Sam Roberts' craft beer collaboration saw rockers hopping for a new hit". nationalpost. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  14. ^ "Here Is the Full List of 2017 Juno Winners". Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  15. ^ "CARAS Scores A Hit With 2004 Juno Awards". Soul Shine. April 5, 2004
  16. ^ "Self-proclaimed 'mainstream' Nickelback reigns at Junos". CBC Arts, March 29, 2009
  17. ^ "OLP leads Much noms". Calgary Sun. Canoe, Inc. May 22, 2003. Retrieved November 20, 2008.[dead link]
  18. ^ "MuchMusic Video Awards '04". Calgary Sun. Canoe, Inc. June 8, 2004. Retrieved November 20, 2008.[dead link]
  19. ^ "Billy Talent, Kardinal up for MuchMusic video honours". CBC. May 24, 2006. Retrieved November 20, 2008.
  20. ^ "Winners". MuchMusic. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2008.

External links[edit]