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Interview: Motion City Soundtrack (HTF Exclusive)

HTF recently caught up with Motion City Soundtrack to talk about the new album, their ten year anniversary and cake parties! Read all here!

This year marked the tenth anniversary of the Motion City Soundtrack line-up you see before you. With their deep and complex lyrics teamed with their infectiously catchy tunes, its easy to see why they are one of the few pop-punk bands that have stood the test of time and continue to get better and better.

We caught up with Motion City Soundtrack members Tony Thaxton (drums), Matt Taylor (bass) and Jesse Johnson (keyboards) to find out about the new album ‘Go’, their ten years together and their own record label.

HTF: How are you all?

Tony: Good, yeah alright. How are you?

HTF: Very well, thank you. Right, so other than Slam Dunk Festival earlier this year, its been a while since you played in the UK. How are you finding being back?

Jesse: Its great.

Matt: Yeah its good. This is actually the third time we’ve been here this year.

Tony: Yeah we were here like a month before Slam Dunk, so yeah. But it had been a while before that, I think.

Jesse: Its true.

Matt: We realised recently that we’ve been here, that this is our fourteenth time in the UK in the last 10 years.

HTF: Thats pretty impressive! You released your fifth album earlier on this year. What has the reception been like to it on this tour?

Tony: Its been good! We’ve been playing the new songs and we actually have debuted a song on this tour.

Jesse: Two!

Tony: Two songs on this tour and both have been great. Its always weird when you play a song for the first time ever because you don’t have any idea what the reaction is going to be. But its been really fun the two times that we played these new songs and its the first time that we’ve played them and the crowd singing along and having a good reaction its always like “phew”, you know?

Matt: Its a moment of relief having them sing along.

HTF: So have you found that most people in the crowds know the songs pretty well already?

Jesse: Yeah I think so.

HTF: Do you feel this album has a more mature sound to it?

All: You could say that.

Matt: It seems to be what a lot of other people have been saying as well.

Jesse: I think every record we’ve done has had some sort of progression from the record before and you can still tell its Motion City Soundtrack songs and its not like we sound different, its just the progression from our record prior, you know? Everyone has expanded a little bit more.

HTF: Theres a notable increase of synths and keys on this album. Was this something you felt needed to be a more prominent feature?

Jesse: I think it was something that we had talked about because ‘My Dinosaur Life’ had a little less keyboards and I think we missed it a little, maybe. It was something we talked about, maybe dipping into a little bit more and finding space for it.

HTF: You’re well known for your deep and complex lyrics and catchy tunes, compared to other bands in the genre. Do you think this has been what has kept you ahead?

Matt: Are we? (laughs) I think so, I don’t think people realise exactly how deep and sometimes dark our lyrics can be. They are very personal a lot of the time so I think it can be confusing because we sound really happy in the music but then the lyrics are pretty raw

HTF: Thats the thing, you can be singing along to it and then you realise what you’re actually singing.

Matt: Exactly. Thats always been the way that we’ve done things. I think it makes it interesting for people.

HTF: This line-up has been together for 10 years this year, did you do anything special for your anniversary?

All: (laughs) Nope

Tony: We put out our fifth record, that was right around that time.

HTF: No cake or parties? Thats disappointing! Maybe by the end of year you should do something for it?

Jesse: Cake Party, we could combine them. Ooh.

HTF: You recently set up your own record label, what made you decide to do that?

Matt: Well…

(Awkward silence)

Tony: I don’t know, we just wanted to have something…

Matt: An outlet to be able to help put out music by up and coming bands that we feel that we liked. How about that?

Jesse: Sure

Matt: We were just at a time were we didn’t have a label and we were thinking about why we could start our own, just as an option for the future, we just thought that it would be good to have. We don’t necessarily have specific plans just yet, its wide open and hopefully in the future something will come along, some band that we like and just a simple release that we can do and then we’ve got that already.

HTF: So you haven’t signed anyone so far?

Matt: No, we did release a split between ourselves and a band called Trampled By Turtles who are from Minnesota but thats it so far.

HTF: Final question. What is your perfect soundtrack?

Tony: The perfect soundtrack? Like what are we listening to?

HTF: Yeah, that was kind of a pretentious way of saying that… I’ll rephrase. What are you guys listening to at the moment?

All: (laughs)

Tony: For me, I’ve been listening to the new Ben Folds Five record a lot, thats my new favourite.

Jesse: The new Minus The Bear, I like that.

Matt: I haven’t been listening to anything because iTunes Match screwed me over, I have no music with me. I did get the new Ben Folds Five and I’ve listened to it very little because it wouldn’t download fully, but what I heard that night on the bus was awesome so I can’t wait to listen to that again.

Interviewer: Amy Jones

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