Motion City Soundtrack are interviewed by

Intervew by: Amanda

How long have you been with this tour and what's going on after?
JUSTIN: So far about a week.
JOSH: We started on the 30th in Toronto.
PHIL: Hey!
JUSTIN: That's Phil. He's in Flashlight Brown.
JUSTIN: I think we get like two weeks off.
JOSH: Yeah, and then we have some dates with Count The Stars and then a couple tours that we don't know if we're getting or not. We might go to Europe for a while. Then we're gonna come back and in July do a tour with Reggie and The Full Effect.
JUSTIN: Gonna be awesome.
JOSH: And we're doing the end of the Warped Tour.
Have you been to Europe before?
JOSH: I've been there personally, not as a band.
JUSTIN: I'm really scared because I don't like to fly... last time I flew, I...
JOSH: I'm going to put him in a straight jacket. I don't wanna deal with it. Bound and gag him.
JUSTIN: Okay, well last time... No, I don't wanna tell you about the last time I flew.
Oh, go on.
Go on, go on...
JUSTIN: Well.. okay, let's just say I took advantage of the free drinks in first class.
JOSH: Did you fly first class last time?
JOSH: Let's upgrade this time.
JUSTIN: By the way, this is the worst smelling, worst tasting thing you could ever... It's called Singers Saving Grace... it's basically pure ginger.
JUSTIN: Yes. Can you smell it?
JOSH: (laughing)
JUSTIN: (breathing heavily outwards)
(laughs) No, I can't.
JUSTIN: Okay, good.

What's your song-writing process like?
JOSH: Usually what happens is...
JUSTIN: I come up with ideas and Josh beats me up.
[everyone laughs]
JUSTIN: Then he takes those ideas and then he steals them and calls them his own.
JOSH: Then I go "These are great ideas that I came up with!"
[everyone laughs]
JUSTIN: Anyone in the band has an idea...
JOSH: In the past, usually Justin and I have the ideas and at practice we throw them in the fire and if they work, they work right away and if they don't, they don't.
JUSTIN: And we've learned that... through the course of writing that... there are some ideas that you keep trying to come back to and they just don't happen. Within the first like...
BOTH: Half-hour
JOSH: Of playing a song, either he'll have the melody written that we're gonna like and he's singing it... he knows if he's going to sing something. He just comes up with it... like he just freaks me out, he just sang that within the first five seconds of me playing that part for him.
JUSTIN: And sometimes I get lucky enough to get the words right the first time.

Who are some of your influences?
JUSTIN: Josh and I have more of the same influences than the rest of the band..
Well... since I'm talking to you guys...
JUSTIN: There's the main three that we totally love.
JOSH: Pixies, Jawbox and Superchunk. Those are bands that peaked out in the 90's. And of course, I listened to "Steady Diet Of Nothing" last night and remembered that everything I do is ripping them off, so I guess Fugazi. Not like... it doesn't come across like that, we don't sound like Fugazi, but I think ... I like to make that things happen like that. Guitar noises like that. Songs to be what they are. We're influenced by bands that weren't enormous in the early 90's, but were definitely the mainstay of the 90's.
JUSTIN: And that was it for us too... goin to see shows in the 90's. It was like so awesome to see the bands that you never heard of. I remember seeing Sunny Day Real Estate open for Velocity Girl. I had no idea who they were and ran out and bought their CD right away. Then they became...
JOSH: Some of my friends saw them play a basement that was smaller than a closet in Minneapolis. It was the thing happening then.
JUSTIN: Minneapolis in the early 90's was awesome... then everything kind of went to hell.
JOSH: Yes.

What's something that fans might not know about you guys?
JUSTIN: I have... [pauses] an obsession with... antique furniture...
Is that right?
JUSTIN: No, I'm totally lying!
[everyone laughs]
JUSTIN: I don't know... they probably don't know a lot about us.
JOSH: Cause they don't really know us...
JUSTIN: When we go home we're just regular people who have jobs. Up until a couple of months ago I was waiting tables.
JOSH: Should we give a shout-out to [indecipherable restaurant name]?
JUSTIN: I guess you just did.
JOSH: I did, didn't I?
JUSTIN: You dirty rat.
JOSH: I still work there sometimes... when I'm really poor.
JUSTIN: When you need some extra cash?
JOSH: No, I just sell myself on the street for that.
JUSTIN: Oohhh snap!
JOSH: But usually, not much money is made that way... I'm pretty heinous looking.
JUSTIN: Usually old guys...
[everyone laughs]
JOSH: Yeah... the old guys.

What are you listening to right now, or recommend to check out?
JOSH: The new Cursive record is amazing.
JOSH: If you haven't listened to it, The Ugly Organ, it's amazing. I mean, all their records are damn good, but that one is amazing.
JUSTIN: And that's another band that keeps progressing and changing, but staying the same and still gets better. There's very few bands that do that... each album they get better and better.
JOSH: I'm really diggin' The Postal Service...
JUSTIN: And... there's one that's not out yet but it's really good. The Limbeck record.
JOSH: Yeah. It's really good. I think they're doing a part of this tour, but not when we're on it. It's amazing... like...
JUSTIN: Strip-down rock.
JOSH: Yeah, strip-down rock. And there's also a band from Minneapolis called Cardinal Sin that I've seen a couple times now and they're amazing. Hopefully we'll be able to take them out on tour soon.

Where do you want to see yourself in five years?
JOSH: I don't know. I think that all my dreams for playing music have been acquired. I'm at a loss now, I don't know what's going on anymore. I think really, it's a day by day thing now. I'm just trying to plan when I can see my family and friends in the next four months. A year from now? I don't know what's going to happen. We can use the catch phrase here.
JUSTIN: Catch phrase?
JOSH: Song title... "The Future Freaks Me Out."
JUSTIN: Oh yeah.
JOSH: I don't think we have any aspirations to be anything than just be able to do this.
JUSTIN: That's another thing...we haven't changed anything we've ever done. We just kinda went into it and said "Okay, we're going to spend all of our money and just tour, tour, tour. And do this." And I think, at one point, we had dropped like six thousand dollars of our own money on recording our album and people were interested in it and now we're on a label. But we're not doing anything different. We're still playing shows and we're still trying to...
JOSH: We're by ourselves, we have like one guy helping us.
JUSTIN: Yeah, it's pretty limited. At these shows... with the Rejects are just amazing. They're so huge, they're sold out... it's just like whoa.
JOSH: "Like whoa..."
JUSTIN: Like holy shit balls... fucking Christ.

If you could put together your own tour and invite five other bands - dead or alive, still together or not - plus your own, who would you ask?
JUSTIN: Oh my God...
JOSH: That'd be awesome.
JUSTIN: I'd like to open for...
JOSH: Jawbox, Pixies, Superchunk, Fugazi...
JUSTIN: Fugazi and... [pauses] Ben Folds.
JOSH: Ben Folds. Yeah. That'd be a great tour that I'd be proud to be on. We live in the past.
JUSTIN: Yeah... live in the past, man.
[everybody laughs]
JUSTIN: Some are still around.

If they were to make a movie of your life, what are three songs you'd want on the soundtrack?
JUSTIN: Songs?
Yes... songs.
JUSTIN: Oh... I don't know the names of songs. You see, ever since CDs came out...
JOSH: I think "Where's My Mind" is an amazing song.
JUSTIN: For your soundtrack?
JOSH: Yeah.
JUSTIN: I don't know the name of the song... The Weakerthans the seventh...
JOSH: Left & Leaving...
JUSTIN: Yeah. Is that the actual title?
JOSH: It's the title of the album, what's the song you're...
JUSTIN: That is the one. "Left & Leaving."
JOSH: The entire Weakerthans record is a great soundtrack.
JUSTIN: Ah.. Superchunk. The first song on Indoor Living. I don't know these song titles anymore. Jawbox "Savory."
JOSH: No... (whispers) "68."
JUSTIN: Oh "68!" That's right, I forgot about that. That song's so sad.
JOSH: That's right, sad things in the soundtrack of my life.
JUSTIN: Aw, poor Josh. Let's all give him backrubs.
JOSH: That's the most he's touched me in three years.
JUSTIN: Yeah, I don't like to touch Josh. I don't touch people. I wear rubber gloves most of the time.
JOSH: He does. He's not joking.
JUSTIN: I'm allergic to everything.
JOSH: They're actually not rubber... they're blue farmer... like garden gloves.
JUSTIN: Don't start with that.
JOSH: We actually got rid of them.
JUSTIN: That was a fashion trend that lasted a few months and I liked it, but nobody got it but me.
Wait... it was a fashion trend? You were TRYING to start that?
JUSTIN: Well, I wasn't trying to. I like gardening gloves. You know those little garden gloves?
JUSTIN: Those were my winter gloves. They weren't very warm, but I liked them. I think I had enough pairs so I had a pair for every day of the week. You know, just in case.
JOSH: We started throwing them away when he didn't know.
JUSTIN: Yeah. Fuckers.
JOSH: Cause we're dicks!

What's your favorite song to play live?
JUSTIN: I don't know anymore, it keeps changing.
JOSH: You know what my favorite song is? "Cambridge" cause you can just rock out to it.
JUSTIN: That isn't one that's really easy to play. If my voice is doing well... I like singing "Perfect Teeth." I love singing that song. There's not much going on musically...
JOSH: I like playing "The Future Freaks Me Out" if the crowd knows it. Any songs of ours are awesome if the crowd knows it.

Being involved in the music industry, what is your opinion on file-sharing?
JUSTIN: I don't think it's affected us yet.
JOSH: Like, the only way you can get our record is by getting it at shows or stealing it online. Cause we're nobodies. Like now, you can get demo versions... people compiled them to get the track listing and people are saying it's our new stuff. Like... I'll "steal" someone's record, but when it comes out, I'll buy it. I just want it early so I can listen to it in the van. I'm just trying to get to the point where we like... as long as it doesn't make it so we can't do this anymore, I'm cool with it. Like, right now our full length isn't out yet, nobody has it. You can try to stop it... but it's unstoppable.
JUSTIN: Like you said, no one's going to be able to stop it. Not many bands make a lot off their albums anyway, unless you sell just a TON of them. And the other thing, my sister and brother are a few years younger than me, and I noticed that almost every CD they have is burned. I think just that gap... and I'm also out of the loop, but I think people our age tend to go and listen to music and if we like it, we buy it because we like to have the packaging and everything that goes with it.
Oh yeah. Definitely.
JUSTIN: And there's a lot of people who are still into that. I like to buy my books. I don't like to go to the library and borrow books. I like to own things.
Yeah. Me too.
JOSH: I'm fine with it if somebody takes it offline and wants it early and they're gonna buy it, that's cool. But if they're doing it because they want to spend their money on cigarettes... yeah.
JUSTIN: Well, not that they should spend money on us... but...
JOSH: I'd rather have them spend money on us then cigarettes and alcohol.
JOSH: Print that.
JUSTIN: Print that... yeah, yeah, yeah.

Any closing comments?
JOSH: That'd we'd like people to... I don't know
JUSTIN: We're very user friendly.
JOSH: Yes!
JUSTIN: I don't know exactly what that means...
JOSH: The manual is easy, easy to install the Motion City Soundtrack software.
JUSTIN: And once you do... it's not like the Sprint PCS card in your computer that isn't working.
JOSH: Yes. And once you install it, get ready cause there's more to come.
[everyone laughs]
JOSH: Explosions galore.
JUSTIN: A great cast. Wonderful cinematography. I don't know. The whole fucking gambit.
JOSH: Gambit?
JUSTIN: Gammit? Gambit? I don't know how to spell that word, or pronounce it, but if you can figure it out, it's all yours.
Alrighty. Thanks so much.

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