Panic, caffeine, and pizza. These were the only ingredients that Motion City Soundtrack’s lead vocalist, Justin Pierre, had in his life when preparing for the band’s UK tour.
Along with guitarist Joshua Cain, Pierre is the only founding member to remain in the band’s current lineup, and though the band haven’t toured the UK for six years, they have built up a strong fan-base that Pierre has great admiration for.
“The fact that we haven’t been here in over two years has made a few people restless and hungry for blood, but the kids have been total winners. We’re having a blast and promise not to neglect the British fans like we did for the last few years.”
The five-piece band officially formed in 2002 and recorded their first album “I Am The Movie” which they self released. Considering that most of the band members have been playing since the early 90s it took them a while to make it to where they are now.
“I think all of us would be doing what we are doing on any scale, no matter what level,” Pierre said, “one day it just happened, but we’d been heading towards it all along.”
Pierre was adamant that playing music for the love of it is the right thing to do: “I think you have to do what you do for yourself because it makes you happy. That’s the most important thing.”
He is wary of the music business and takes nothing for granted: “If ‘make it’ means being able to play your music for a living and not have to have other jobs to support that dream, I would say that is a noble goal,” Pierre said, “but going about that took us several years and secretly, I still have a second job.”
But it doesn’t look as though Motion City Soundtrack need to worry too much about moonlighting. Their latest album “My Dinosaur Life”, saw their first release under Columbia records become a huge success in the United States’ charts: “We had to find new ways of doing things and turned several obstacles toward our advantage.
“We wrote the record over the course of half a year and one broken arm [drummer Tony Thaxton].”
Thaxton’s accident didn’t prove to be much of an obstacle though, as Motion City Soundtrack seem to keep going no matter what comes their way – broken arms included.
After performing together for nearly a decade now, everything seems to be running “like smooth jazz, but smoother” for them. A large part of this is probably down to their indifferent attitude towards the critics.
“Everything’s not awesome to everyone all the time. You know?”
Pierre is also unfazed by genre labels such as ‘pop punk’ which are frequently applied to Motion City Soundtrack: “You can call us flower if you want to. It makes no difference to me.”
The band has been touring the UK for the last two weeks and Pierre says he likes it here despite the awful spring weather: “The UK is amazing! I love the grey weather. I’m an indoor type so I prefer it dark and cold. England is my kind of town. Yes, I know England is not a town. I make awesome jokes.”
But touring isn’t always as glamorous as it may sound: “The worst thing is losing your voice in the middle of a tour and having to be silent 22.5 hours out of the day just to get a sound for the two hours you perform on stage.” says Justin.
That silent period doesn’t always guarantee a pitch-perfect vocal either: “I didn’t say a good sound, just a sound.”
Bad performances seem to have a profound effect on Pierre, as though he feels a real duty to make every performance great: “When I have a great show, I am ecstatic. When I have a bad show I feel as though I have ripped off the entire crowd and my guilt is immense. Thank you Catholic grade school,” he said.
Motion City Soundtrack’s UK performances are over for now though, so Pierre will have time to warm up his vocals for the band’s next tour in the states in April. And Pierre seems optimistic about the future for Motion City Sountrack: “There will be massive touring and high-fives across the universe!”Tweet