Motion City Soundtrack is a band based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their first CD was I Am the Movie, followed by 2005's Commit This To Memory, both a complete success. In this interview, SPB asked questions to both Matt (guitar) and Justin [Pierre] (Singer/guitarist)
Scene Point Blank: If you had to marry a male celebrity, who would it be and why?
Matt: Well, it would have to be someone who could, you know, sing me a nice love song... so with that in mind, some sort of crooner, let's go with Jeff Buckley. That man could sing. I'd need some songs in life.
Scene Point Blank: If you could go to a restaurant where the waiters were dressed as anything that you wanted them to be, what would it be?
Matt: Something appetizing and friendly. Definitely not cucumbers, I don't like cucumbers. Let's go with a nice, big veggie dog with sunglasses. They're tasty.
Scene Point Blank: New York or Tokyo?
Matt: That's hard. I like them both, but for the same reasons because they're both visually amazing and overwhelming. Um, I'm going to say Tokyo because there's so many more bright colours.
Scene Point Blank: If you had to buy a wife from a foreign country, what would it be?
Matt: Well, I think that's incredibly wrong, but if I were ever going to do that, I don't know... probably Australia or Britain. Britain has a nice accent.
Scene Point Blank: What was your High School Senior Prank?
Matt: Um, I don't think we had one. It was something really lame where people were like 'Hey, don't show up tomorrow' or something stupid like that.
Scene Point Blank: What band stickers do you have on your car?
Matt: I don't have a car, but when I did, I had a Radiohead sticker. And my girlfriend's car, I guess is kinda my car, has a Gogol Bordello sticker on it.
Scene Point Blank: Do you prefer Myspace or Purevolume?
Matt: Oh. Well, I'm not on myspace anymore. Myspace was cool, it just overwhelms me. So, you know, I just like to get on and check my e-mail and get off, it just became too much so I just got rid of it. Purevolume is awesome, it helps a lot of bands... but so does Myspace. I think Purevolume is a little more focused on the music. On Myspace, people want to get on and check their pictures and their comments, and I don't think that people really check out bands on Myspace. Maybe they are, but I would go to Purevolume to check out [new music].
Scene Point Blank: What's the craziest show you've ever played?
Matt: The craziest show? Um, there's been a bunch of crazy shows in regards to energy and audience and people crowdsurfing into us. We played a show in Salt Lake City in February on our headlining tour and there was no barricade and the stage was not tall. So they were just literally people walking onto stage. I think in just one song, someone counted 35 people crowdsurfing onto stage. So, that was pretty crazy.
(Justin walks in. Matt: "Hey, you want to tag team it? Or...". Justin: "Oh. Yeah. I was just gonna...")
Justin: You know, there's one show and I don't know if you were in the band yet, but Portland, Oregon. Where we played upstairs and the beams weren't high, and the crowdsurfing kids hit their heads on the beams. I think the venue was called the Black Cat? The something cat. They changed the name.
Scene Point Blank: Justin, how do you get your hair like that?
Justin: Oh. It's a complicated physics equation. I like to combine 30% physics, 68% play dough. So, it's like really, honestly, just volumizing spray and lot's of it. It's in an orange can.
Scene Point Blank: Have you guys ever seen Drop Dead Gorgeous?
Scene Point Blank: What do you guys think about that Minnesotan stereotype?
Justin: Uh, I think it's definitely true, as far as the accents go. Like, especially Fargo. And uh, [Matt] would know even more, I think. 'Cause Josh and I don't uh…
Matt: You don't really have an accent. Josh's girlfriend does.
Justin: My parents have an embroidery company that they run in Stillwater, Minneosta, right next to Wisconsin, and I think that it's more of an accent than our kind of redneck Minnesotan... that exaggerated accent, there are people who really talk like that, even all of the way up to North Dakota. I think just that whole area. […] I watched a lot of Woody Allen movies when I was younger and I tried to replace my accent with like New York.
Scene Point Blank: Which stop have you enjoyed most on the tour?
Justin: Today was actually a great show.
Matt: The Florida show. No. Charleston, Raleigh?
Justin: The vocals are good, but usually when the vocals aren't as good, I'm just having fun and going crazy. I had a really good day today and yesterday, I think. Yesterday was the yellow t-shirt day.
Scene Point Blank: Yellow t-shirt?
Justin: Some kid threw this nasty, sweaty, dirty yellow shirt and I put it on because people are always like, 'Take your shirt off!' and I'm always like 'No, put your shirts on!' I don't know, I thought it was funny.
Scene Point Blank: How has your look changed since you were younger?
Justin: When I was younger, my parents used to dress me in really cool clothes. I've got these pictures of me with long sleeved striped shirts under my shirt, with diapers and a hat. And then they started buying me clothes with my name on it, like, 'Justin!' and so it was really sad, and then I think I went from that into all black, like Metallica t-shirts. I pretty much don't have a specific look, I wear what my mom buys me sometimes. Band t-shirts, I don't know, we do a lot of trading.
Matt: The jams phase... Motley Crue t-shirt phase, and uh... ended my super preppy phase in High School. Then the thrift store phase after that.
Scene Point Blank: Do you remember doing anything out of the ordinary to gain a crowd when you first did shows?
Justin: Oh! We tried to play our songs well. I guess that was the only way to impress people was by playing well. We always wanted to play music that was fun. We wanted to have fun ourselves, and if you're not having fun on stage... you know.
Matt: Abide by that rule, have fun doing what you're doing.
Scene Point Blank: What's the weirdest outfit that you've seen on tour?
Matt: There's this guy who's got a great body, muscles and everything. Like tan buffed and tattooed, but with girl shorts that aren't big, it's like, come on man, we get it. You look good.
Justin: I'd say anything that Hellogoodbye wears. It's fucking ridiculous. They can pull it off, though. Props. Whatever 'props' means.
Scene Point Blank: Are you guys putting out a new record anytime soon?
Justin: Yes. We're still writing the songs, we've got like two songs for it.
Scene Point Blank: Most fans like to have a band whose music changes, are you planning on keeping the same sound or mixing it up a bit?
Justin: I think it's more about your talents, like your limits. The only thing I've really thought about is just the swearing, how much is on the record. We got labeled with a parental advisory last record, and I don't think I would want to do that again.
Matt: We did have a clean version at Wal-Mart.
Scene Point Blank: So what do you guys think about censorship?
Justin: I try to look at it from a parental point of view. I mean, I don't have any kids, but I think that there's a lot of worse things you could do, like forcing your kid to go to Church every Sunday. I don't know, to me, organized religion is just bullshit. But, that's my own personal thing.
Scene Point Blank: So what's your take on organized religion?
Justin: It's kind of like the mob. I mean, if you believe in something, that's great. But imposing your opinions on other people isn't what it should be about. It's a touchy subject.
Matt: Censorship and religion should come down to parenting. I mean, you're in charge of this little person.
Justin: Lenny Bruce's whole point was bringing up children using curse words because then they'd have no appeal. It would be out in the open. We're going to lose the meaning of these words and their effect. His whole schtick was based on shock value, but he was making himself void in what he was saying for a cause.
Scene Point Blank: What did you want to be when you were little?
Matt: An astronaut or a musician.
Justin: A hamster.
Scene Point Blank: Who in the band is the most responsible?
Justin: Matt. I'd have to say Matt.
Matt: Me too. (laughs)
Justin: I think Josh tries to be responsible but he drops lots of things out of his pockets. Jesse fails. Tony, I think just doesn't care about anything. So, Matt.
Scene Point Blank: What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you?
Matt: I've had two embarrassing things that have happened to my pants. One involves my pants being wet when I was in kindergarten, I peed my pants at lunch. I told everyone that I spilled my thermos in my lap.
Justin: What did you have in your thermos? Pee?
Matt: I told them it was lemonade. I ripped my pants in third grade. A girl was chasing me, and so I slid down the slide and my jams got snagged and tore. She laughed.
Scene Point Blank: What do you think about the straight-edge movement?
Justin: I think that if that's what you're into, do it. But I don't think that people should beat each other up in the name of something.
Matt: I'm definitely into pacifism, so if you don't want to drink and do drugs, that's great. That's perfect.
Justin: Lead by example other than forcing things down people's throats, like religion.
Scene Point Blank: What was the last movie that you saw in theaters?
Matt: Nacho Libre. We all went together.
Justin: It was a Nickelodeon movie. I didn't know that.
Scene Point Blank: What's one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
Matt: I was on the tennis team in eighth grade.
Justin: Oh! In third grade, I was a Larkin Dancer.
Scene Point Blank: A what?
Justin: People outside of Minnesota probably don't know what that is. It's like a group of these dancers that were on star search a lot.
Scene Point Blank: What's your favourite Chinese food?
Justin: I'm a fan of the broccoli. It's different, I don't know how to describe it. It's not like a tree, it's more weedy? Snakey.
Scene Point Blank: What is your trademark if you have any?
Matt: I've been stumped. Probably my lip ring, because it's attached to my lip.
Justin: I had one on my eyebrow once. I've still got the scar. I drank a lot of beer, and this girl took a needle and did it. It didn't go through the first time, so she got a different needle. Anyhow, it didn't close up, and the next day I was eating pizza and I leaned over to bite something that blood just poured out of my eyebrow. I think it's because when you drink alcohol, your blood thins, so it wouldn't clot.
Interview by Katie.