Motion City Soundtrack opened for Reggie and the Full Effect last Tuesday at the Masquerades in Ybor City. I was fortunate enough to chat with Josh Cain and Justin Pierre of MSC at Centro-Ybor's Starbucks before the show about the genesis of MCS, "My Favorite Accident" and their album I am the Movie.
Could you guys introduce yourselves?
JP: Hi, my name is Justin Pierre, and I play guitar and sing for Motion City Soundtrack the band. Whoa!
JC: I'm Josh I play guitar, and I am in the same band.
How did you guys get together as a band?
JC: We call each other...um oh you mean originally.
JP: Would you like the long story or the short story?
Which ever you prefer?
JP: Josh and I used to be in different bands in high school. Our bands played a lot together. A few years later Josh called me up and asked if I wanted to start a band and I was like, 'Hell yes. I have nothing else to do.'
JC: No what you really said was [making a phone out of his hand and holding it up to his ear] "Naw man I'm busy with school. I'm going to be a film star and make student films blah blah blah."
What school did you attend?
JP: Minneapolis Community Technical College for a two-year degree, of which I have gone for four years and still haven't graduated.
JC: I went for two and a half years working on a four-year degree. Didn't Matt finish school?
JP: Nope. None of us finished college
JC: We all finished high school. Wait I don't know that for a fact.
JP: I think we all did.
JC: OK, what was the original question?
JC: We branch out as a band. We had members that didn't work out and grew as a band. We had the same name as we do now. We had a few members we had through the bulk of it for like two years we had the core group but the drummer left because he decided to get married. Within a year we were trying to find a drummer.
JP: We had a few friends filling in but no one really wanted to join the band. We met this band from Virginia called Submerge. Matt [Taylor, bassist] and Tony [Thaxton, drummer] were both in Submerge. So when our drummer left we called Tony up, like, 'Tony, Tony, Tony come be in our band!' He came to Minneapolis and later we got Matt too. And Jesse [Johnson, Keyboards] was just some crazy guy, you knew?
JC: He worked at the same place I worked in Minneapolis. He didn't play keyboards. He had no idea. And I think he still claims not to know.
He sounds like he knows something.
JC: We put him through a rigorous training session.
JP: They only had two weeks, didn't they?
JC: Tony and Jesse joined the band two weeks before we recorded the album.
Wow. I listened to your new album and I loved it.
"My Favorite Accident" is a great song and I saw the video for it on TV. It's such a fun, quirky video. What was the video making process like?
JC: the actual making of the video was very stressful.
JP: We spent 48 hours straight making this video. We had no budget. It was just a group of friends that helped. This amazing cinematographer, Andrew, shot it. Between Andrew, josh and myself we decided what it was going to look like and how it was going to go. We got a few friends to help like maybe two more people but basically there was nobody. We were basically the crew.
JC: The room in the video was in my brother's house. It was 30 people and lights in this small house. It was ridiculous.
JP: So it was very strenuous but it was really awesome. And I was excited to work on something and actually complete it.
JC: Because you have to complete it. We had intentions of it playing anywhere; it was strictly an online thing.
JP: We freaked out too when we saw it. And we did it ourselves and it came out really good.
Tell me about the goal or theme of your last album I am the Movie.
JC: It's a collection of songs we have written with this band and different members throughout. Justin and I wrote most of the songs because that was the way it was before. But the new songs are more of a collective effort. These guys are such good musicians I'm almost afraid to play with them because they are so good.
JP: Now I am the worst musician in the band. I can pinpoint moments from each song.
Does the music come first or the lyrics?
JC: The lyrics come at the end and usually end up yelling at him to finish.
JP: I spend a lot of time on lyrics.
By Jenn Trumbull