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Interview: Motion City Soundtrack

Prior to their sold-out, Reading and Leeds Festival warm-up show, at Camden Underworld, London; Alter The Press caught up with Motion City Soundtrack front man, Justin Pierre, for an interview.

Justin spoke to ATP about: the band's new album 'My Dinosaur Life', the possibility of performing their back catalogue again, in it's entirety; the US, fall, tour with Say Anything and Saves The Day, and more.

Alter The Press: How has the initial run of shows with 'My Dinosaur Life,' been going so far?
Justin Pierre (vocals/guitar): So far, so good. People aren't retaliating, or throwing things at us, which is a good sign. They seem to be singing along and having a good time, so I would say they have been successful.

ATP: What has the response been to the new album?
Justin: I think, good, but I'm often a "nay-sayer," and assume people that don't like it, don't take the time out of their day, to tell you how much they don't like it. The ones that do take the time out were probably fans from long ago, that have hated how we've changed. For the most part, from what I've seen, the greater percentage of the response has been positive; I see that as a good thing, but it's really hard to gauge. I haven't noticed an incredible change in the amount of people who have been coming out to see us, or anything.

ATP: The album got to number 15 on the Billboard Chart.
Justin: That's pretty cool. I think it's pretty awesome when things like that happen, especially because they are not expected. We have come to assume that nothing is really going to happen, and I think, with that attitude, it just allows you to do anything that you want. When things like this happen, it's like, celebrate! I don't know if that's a backwards way of looking at things, but it's like, do whatever we want, and let's see what happens; and have fun.

15 is a pretty good number, out of all the things that exist. That's a pretty good number. I'd say, if you were taking a test, that would be like scoring a 97. That's pretty awesome. I'm cool with that.


ATP: How would you compare the new album to previous releases?
Justin: I feel like this newer album has more of the raw energy of our earlier work, but also more of the experimentation of the last record.

ATP: Do you have plans for a new single?
Justin: I don't know. If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I would say 'A Lifeless Ordinary' will be the next single.

ATP: Will there be a video with it?
Justin: I hope so. I've been racking my brain for a really good video concept on the side. I'm trying to find something that everybody likes but, so far, I haven't been able to. We will, or we won't; but I hope that we do and that it's a really cool idea.

ATP: In December, you played all of your previous albums in their entirety. Do you have plans to do this again?
Justin: We don't have plans to it, but I know we all would want to. I don't know if it's a thing you would want to advertise ahead of time. I feel like you should, because, let's say, we're going on tour this fall, in the US, with Say Anything/Saves The Day. If we were to pick one of those shows, and play just one record, that might not be cool to do because somebody might not be as familiar with that record as they are with something else. So, we’d do a full record, then have a break, then come back and do a handful of songs from the other records. I think it would work, but I don't know if it's something you would present to people, or if it's something you should advertise ahead of time, so they know what they're getting into.

ATP: I remember Thursday did a US tour, and announced they would perform the 'Full Collapse' album on certain dates.

Justin: I think that would be the way to go, but we didn't market it that way. I think we are all interested in that concept.

ATP: Will you do a 'My Dinosaur Life' album show?
Justin: Eventually, one day, yes, but not anytime soon. We hope to play all of the songs, not necessarily at every show, but we have about five songs we have not performed live.

ATP: Joshua (Cain, guitar) and yourself did production for Metro Station's self-titled album. Do you have plans, or anything in the works, with any other artists?
Justin: He does a lot of that stuff; I do not. He's really good at seeing the big picture, and I'm not hyper-focused on what I want. I think it's something I would like to do. I don't think I'm any good at what I'm doing; but I know, if people want something to sound a certain way, then I would definitely be the right person for the job. I don't think there are any plans to, but if the right thing comes around, I would.

ATP: Have you had any offers recently?
Justin: A couple, but timing wise, it didn't work out. There are a lot of bands I'd like to work with, but a lot of people don't have any money. It's not that I'm looking for money, but it's renting a space, and people who know what they're doing. I'm not a guy who knows how to work computers or anything; I'm just an idea man.

ATP: How did the Motion City Soundtrack/Say Anything/Saves The Day US tour come together?
Justin: For a
bout 7-8 years, we've been trying to do a tour with Say Anything; with Saves The Day, it's kind of one of those things that happen. If it were me, I feel like Saves The Day should be the headliner and we should be the openers. I know things are weird, and the music industry is fickle and strange, and things change; but it's really cool all three of us can play shows together. It's going to be a really fun experience and I hope a lot of crazy and fun things happen.

ATP: After that, what is planned next?
Justin: We hope to get to Hawaii for a show, and then we are done till January, where I think we are going to go to Brazil. If I were a betting man, I'd say we are going to start writing some songs, and work on another record. That'll be my guess.

ATP: Will this be the last time you'll be in the UK for a while?
Justin: I think so, unless something happens. If people want us to come, and there is a way where it works, where we don't lose a ton of money, we'll do whatever. I can say, for a fact, that every time we've come to the UK, we've lost a considerable amount of money. It's just due to the travel and everything. We like coming here, so we do it anyway, despite the money loss. We make it up by doing other shows. I would say though, that this is the last time.

ATP: Thanks Justin. Anything else you would like to add?
Justin: To anyone who cares, thanks for supporting us, buying our music and coming out to our shows. I hope to see you in the future, whenever that may be.

'My Dinosaur Life' is out now on Columbia Records.