Motion City Soundtrack's new album, Even If It Kills Me, is full of songs as addictive as its first single, 'Broken Heart.' Frontman Justin Pierre told PopEater, "A lot of it is about failed relationships." While writing the band's follow-up to 2005's 'Commit This to Memory,' Pierre was in a strained relationship that eventually fell apart. "I don't know if it was a premonition or what, but I think deep down inside I knew what was going on."
Obviously there's a story behind every song on the record, and Pierre took a break from MCS's current tour to talk to PopEater about a few of the standout tracks on the new album, which hits stores on September 18.
One day Matt [Taylor] was just tooling around on the piano that we had in the rehearsal space and he came up with this cool thing and I just started singing. We were trying to figure out if we wanted to add other instruments to it or if we wanted to just keep it piano and voice, and after debating a while we ended up just sticking to the bare bones. I was a little worried because I thought it was too Ben Folds, but Tony [Thaxton], our Ben Folds fanatic, said, "Nope, it's not too Ben Folds. In fact, it's not Ben Folds enough." As far as the story goes, it's based on a conversation that I had with that girl. I mean, I took liberties and I think it's okay. I'm not as good as Ben Folds or Tom Waits, but they're definitely influences as far as writing from different characters' point of view, and so I guess I did that with 'The Conversation.'
'Last Night' was one of the first full songs we wrote and it just happened. Josh [Cain] was doing this finger picking thing, which was really weird for us, and then just everything about that song didn't seem like us. It just happened, and it was pretty much right on the spot. I think I actually wrote all the words in one sitting. I changed a few things, but the words on the demos are exactly what they ended up being. That, to me, is the sign of a good song; when it just kind of writes itself lyrically. I draw a lot of inspiration from movies and random weird things, and I don't know if should divulge this or not, but there is kind of a code to that song. I'm going to reference one movie and that's all I'm going to say, but there's a movie called 'Memento.' Think of that movie and then listen to that song again. It might make more sense.
To be perfectly honest, that one is kind of our political song. I just really like the line "Hello helicopter." I swear that's got to be a Braid or Hey Mercedes lyric, because Bob Nanna writes some amazing, amazing lyrics, but I couldn't find it anywhere so I hope I didn't steal it from him. But Josh said, "Hey, why don't we try to write something political?" I said, well, we don't stand for anything as a band (at least we don't really try to). The only way I could write something from a political point of view is because I'm an apathetic human being. So it's a political song from an apathetic point of view. That's the best way I can put it. I try not to be too heavy-handed. It's kind of just a laundry list of things that bum me out. And we got Max [Bemis] from Say Anything, Shawn [Harris] from the Matches and Rachel [Minton] from Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer to sing on it, too.