Motion City Soundtrack (04 juin 2005)
How does it feel that your first record made it in AP's top 100 of 2004?
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Pretty sweet. They've been pretty nice to us. That poundcake we sent
them must've done the trick.
Especially with the buzz that's surrounded the first one, the second album is often what makes or breaks a band. You guys seem to feel very at ease rocking out to these songs. How do you feel about Commit ThisTo Memory? How is in an evolution from your first record, I Am The Movie?
I think we're all pretty happy with the way it turned out. I was bummed that one of my favorites didn't make it to the plate, but maybe next time. The biggest difference for this record when compared to the last one is that all 5 of us wrote these songs together within a 2 year period as opposed to the first record which was done over a longer period of time with other people involved in the writing process.
What is behind the record title?
It's a line in the song, "hangman," and perhaps it's also a bit of sarcasm directed at me. Maybe it's an order. My memory is not so good.
This is your first CD for Epitaph - I believe I Am The Movie was somewhat comleted when you joined the label - how's is going with Epitaph? How did you end up hooking up with them in the first place?
Epitaph is great. Very artist friendly which is the most important thing to us. Mr. brett e-mailed us and we thought it was a joke. When we arrived in LA we found that it wasn't and he and his wife came to 4 of our shows in california and even helped us load our gear into our van on one of the nights.
How prepared were you going into the studio?
Before going into the studio we went to LA and wrote for a month. We had half the record written before arrival and finished the 2nd half before going into the studio. So we were pretty damn prepared.
How did you end up hooking up with Mark Hoppus to produce the CD? Is it because of your existing partnership with Atticus? How does it feel being his frist client?
A guy named Brendan Kline who works for Atticus gave Mark our cd and thus worked as a facilitator in the friendship to come. We went on tour with Blink 182 in Europe and asked Mark if he'd produce the record because he liked our band and wanted to get into producing. It's pretty rad that his first project turned out decent. He seems to be happy with it and so are we.
How did the recording go? How was this experience different/better/worse than the previous?
This experience was a lot less stressful. Mark didn't lock us in the basement and beat us with chainsaws or threaten us with naked pictures of Bea Arthur when we made a mistake. We also had a lot more time and money which made things run more efficiently. I didn't blow out my voice on this record and we didn't kill each other. so it was a good experience.
Can you tell us about some of the people that you have as guest appearances on the record?
Patrick from Fall Out Boy made me sing on their first record, so he was strictly payback. He actually sang the part perfectly on the first take, but we made him do it a dozen times just so he wouldn't get cocky. Robb and Patrick from Limbeck are friends and they have
records on Doghouse, "Hi, Everything's Great," and "Hey Everything's Fine." Since the song they sing on is called, "Everything Is Alright," I thought it would be funny to have them sing the names of their records on our song. Mark sang on "hangman" because I couldn't get that part right. Also, i just wanted him to refer to himself as a "stupid fuck." I thought that would be funny too.
Everything Is Alright and When You're Around are both absolute pop gems. Do you guys plan on issuing either one a s a single, or making a video for any of those, or...?
We shot a video for "Everything Is Alright" in Canada with Chris Grismer and Chris Mills. I believe it is also gonna be our first single. We’re saving "When You're Around" for our double.
How does MCS write songs? Is it a joint effort, or does someone usually come in with a part and averyone else builds on that, or....
We all write together. Some more than others but it usually evens out in the end.
Your band is generally classified as pop-punk. Not that this isn't happening with every single genre, but the whole thing is pretty much been there, done that. As pop-punk as this band can be, you still incorporate different bits and pieces of other genres into your music. Is that how you manage to stay interesting?
Hopefully. I think the interesting fact is that if we each had our own band, none of them would sound even remotely like we do as a whole. We're all into different things which is what i think makes it somewhat fresh. That and we're all avid fans of breakdancing. Eventually when we get our shit together we're gonna start a crew.
Jesse's keyboards are fucking genius - how does he do it?? They are slightly less proeminent on this record though. Is that a conscious decision or did it just happen?
I wrote most of the keyboard parts on the first record because he hadn't joined the band at that point. I would play guitar and then switch to keyboard so each had to be interesting. on this record we tried really hard to place instruments carefully. If we didn't need something, we'd leave it out.
As a young band, you did the right thing and toured massively following your first release. What did you learn on your first tour as a band together? Any memorable moments?
We've been touring since 1999 i think. So we didn't really know any different. We tour because it's the only way we can make money and pay the bills and none of us want desk jobs. We're just getting to a point where we don't have to lug around equipment and i never thought i'd say this, but it's fucking sweet! I even forgot how to restring my guitar
recently, which was very embarrassing. We've come a long way.
MCS has been lucky enough to pair up with huge bands like Blink 182, Reggie And The Full Effect, for touring purposes. How did that help put MCS on the map?
People come to see those bands and unfortunately if the want a good place to see the show from, they are forced to watch us. Some of them thankfully dug what we threw at them.
At what point did Motion City Soundtrack realise that this was it, that you were now wearing the "full-time-touring-band" badge? Was there a turning point for you guys?
Not really. We've always been a full-time-touring-band.
I was surprised to find 1000 Paper Cranes on the Atticus Dragging The Lake 3 comp - that song, although by far one of my favourites, is heavier than most of your other songs; how did that one end up on there rather than some other song?
It was one of the earliest songs we ever wrote and was scratched from "i am the movie." That's how it got on.
What bands out there are, in your opinion, not getting the attention that they deserve?
Limbeck. They are they are the greatest rock band of this decade. Everyone should purchase "hi, everything's great," and their new record, "let me come home," which comes out in august of 2005.
You've done quite a few comps, including a contribution to the Police tribute album as well as a spot on Fearless' Punk Goes 80s - are you 80s music fans?
Definitely. That's when we all grew up. We are products of the 80's. Not many people know this but we are all actually 45 years old.
What bands, both past and present have been/are an influence on your sound?
afghan whigs, ben folds five, bjork, braid, cursive, death cab for cutie, del tha funky homosapien, the dismemberment plan, ex models, flaming lips, fugazi, guided by voices, jawbox, jesus and mary chain, kathleen edwards, limbeck, mercury rev, pavement, piebald, pixies, poster children, prince, promise ring, the rentals, rilo kiley, smoking
popes, sunny day real estate, superchunk, that dog, tom waits, ultimate fakebook, the weakerthans.
What is your idea of success for MCS?
Being able to pay our bills and play music for a living. Josh and i have always talked about how that is our ultimate goal and we are on the verge of attaining that.
What is your biggest accomplishment/what do you feel most proud of with this band?
I'm proud of the records, but my all-time favorite moment was playing a sold out show headlining first avenue in Minneapolis. It's the place I used to go see shows when i was in highschool and beyond.
What would you be doing today if you weren't in this band?
I'd either be a digitizer for an embroidery company, making movies, working at video update or dead.
If you had to put out a benefit show, where would you hold it, what cause would you support and what bands would be playing?
I'd love to do more of that. We've done a few events in the past and they've turned out great. It really doesn't matter what it's for as long as it has some positive impact.
What is going on with MCS in the next year?
Tour tour tour. Maybe i'll eat a sandwhich and then we'll tour some