Motion City Soundtrack wsg Jukebox the Ghost and Now, Now
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m.
$18 advance, $20 doors
sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232
The Midwest is no foreign place for the wildly successful alternative pop-rock titans of Minnesota, Motion City Soundtrack. The band played at the Intersection long before its location on Grandville Street during a 15-year career of manic touring and five albums, two of which were produced by Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus. The latest MCS album, Go, released in June, appears on Apple’s iPod advertisements online and was released on the band’s own label, The Boombox Generation.
“I feel like I had written a lot of songs about the same subject but just with different words, and that’s fine, but [for Go] I had just been trying to do a little bit more outside of the box,” said Vocalist Justin Pierre. “Not too far, but just enough to take a little extra jump and try to be inclusive instead of being me, me, me all the time – being more like me, me, us, with songs like “Timelines,” “Everyone Will Die” and Happy Anniversary.”
But between the two Hoppus-led MCS albums, 2007’s Even If It Kills Me laid a hurdle of self-conscious doubt for Pierre.
“For me, [Even If It Kills Me] was a lot of fear and worry that I wouldn’t be able to write another catchy song,” Pierre said.
That “catchy song” Pierre refers to is 2005’s breakout single, “Everything Is Alright,” off of the band’s second full-length album, Commit This to Memory. Leading up to that release, the band got steady success off another catchy song, “The Future Freaks Me Out,” off 2003’s Epitaph release, I Am the Movie.
“I kept losing my voice at shows, so I wanted to write in a way that was easier to sing, to which I think now was a mistake,” Pierre said. “I realized later that an album lives longer than any live show, and that you shouldn’t change what you do just so you can pull it off.”
Pierre got sick of the voice-protecting strategy and went with what felt right moving forward.
“It’s now in between, where the songs are the songs and if there’s a scream, it’s needed and it’s warranted – it’s not forced. Whether I can pull it off live or not, I guess you’ll see on this tour.”