Motion City Soundtrack play The Arena May 18. Commit This to Memory is out now on Epitaph/Shock.
Progressive punks, MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK are headed our way fresh from a sold out US tour. BIANCA
VALENTINO caught up with frontman JUSTIN PIERRE mid-tour.
The Minneapolis punks have a well-deserved day off their hectic touring schedule today. As Justin sits in the forth story stairwell of a New Jersey Marriott hotel, college kids celebrating their Spring Break whiz by at maximum speed and give the wild haired, bespectacled front man puzzling looks as he does his best to field my questions between raucous distractions.
Being out on the road one would expect tales of late night parties and debauchery but the most exciting thing that's happened to Pierre in the last 24 hours is he's been able to watch a few episodes of season seven of X-Files. "I'm like a big X-Files freak!" enthuses Pierre. "I was very upset as the last three episodes that I've watched are just going super far away from what the X-Files was and meant to me. I know it ends but it's just weird. There was one wonderful episode though that Gillian Andersen wrote and directed, it doesn't fit at all in the X-Files but it's one of the best moments I've seen on TV. It was really beautiful and wonderful. I know television isn't very exciting but you know... that's what I do, I sit in the bus and read books and watch TV."
And isn't the vocalist/guitarist for one of the hottest bands around excited about the fact the band actually have their own bus this tour! One of the perks garnered from the bands rise of late. "It's been nice to be able to tour in a bus" he beams. "You get to get ten to twelve hours of sleep every night which is great for my voice."
So is there any other perks of headlining a sold out tour? "It's nice not to have to talk to all those assholes in the opening bands!" Pierre jokes.
Humbled and still in awe that the band have managed to sell out so many dates Pierre gives an insight, "It's been really strange. It's weird playing for this many people that don't leave before we get on stage. That's a good thing in itself."
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Once the current tour is over the band are off to headline the MTV Campus Invasion Tour, followed by the Vans Warped Tour taking them to the end of June and then once that's done it's in to the studio to record the follow up for last years highly acclaimed, Commit This to Memory.
I could lie and say "Yes!" but the truth is "No" he says when asked if the group have much material for the next album? ''We have a few leftovers from the last record and some demos that we've done. We have super old ideas that we want to go back to and then we have some new songs. Overall I'd say we have close to fifteen ideas that are being worked out.
Explaining how they've been writing a fair chunk of the newer material while sound checking on tour Pierre tells, We don't have any choice because we don't have any free time. Being the headliner means we get more time to soundcheck so we usually do our soundcheck in ten-fifteen minutes and then have another forty-five minutes to screw around on stage and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't.
One of the products of these jams is a song the band have recently recorded for the up coming Superman Returns Soundtrack. That's how we wrote the Superman song. I think it's going to be called The Worst Part, he says. MCS recorded the track with good friend Ely from Girls Against Boys.
Backtracking the conversation a little to speak more on the trappings of rock stardom Justin puts things into perspective, I don't really think I'm at a level where anyone gives a shit or recognises me. It's weird though when people approach you and go Will you wear our clothes? I'm finding a better way to politely decline. I'm kind of old fashioned and very set in my ways. There's only a few things that I enjoy like, Atticus clothing. It's probably one of the only clothing companies that I support.
Recalling a faux rock star moment Pierre laughs, "Every once in a while I'll joke around when it's totally something ridiculous like, when I'm at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with my family and I'll slam my silverware down on the table and scream out to my mom Don't you know who the fuck I am? Give me that fucking turkey!"
On the topic of family Justin is quick to offer, "I love my parents. I think there was a time way back when when my dad would come into my room in high school and take my guitar away and stuff and be like "You've got to get your grades up or you're done with your band'. Now he's turned around and they're definitely very proud of what I have become. I think they thought I was just going to be another drug addict or something worse if there is anything worse? So far, I've proved them wrong."
Probing a little deeper Justin discloses that he's the only person in the band that has a second job he works for his parents! "They own an embroidery company," he tells. "They send me the artwork and I digitize embroidery designs for industrial sewing machines in a language that they can read a translate. It's very boring. It's somewhat interesting I
Another hat the charismatic front man wears is that of filmmaker. "I've been writing a screenplay for almost ten years" Pierre confesses. "I just recently shot a short film. I've been wanting to do it for some time and I dropped like $10, 000 of my own money into the film. I'm very happy with it. It's not the greatest thing ever made but I'm happy that I started something and I finished it and I want to do more. It's called Karen. It's just a short film about a girl who on her day off goes and visits a couple of her friends in Minneapolis and talks to them and then kind of realises that even though they're all crazy and fucked up that they're all leading extraordinary lives. She kind of feels like she's just wasting hers. There's no real ending."
As the interview comes to a close and the comings and goings of college kids in the stairwell get fewer and further between Pierre informs of his plans for the remainder of the day, "We're all going to take a bus into the city. There's this store called Ben Sherman that's having a grand opening today and we're friends with the people that run that so we're going to go say 'Hello' for a little bit. Some of our friends have flown out and we're going to hang out in the city and go all crazy in the city and then come back tonight at 2am, get on the bus and go to sleep and wake up in Cleveland and rock!"
Ah, the rock & roll life... ain't it sweet?