Interview with Motion City Soundtrack; Vocalist and Guitarist Justin Pierre Discusses 'Commit This To Memory', Songwriting and the Shortest Lifetime Ever

- Jan 12, 2015 at 10:48AM
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By 2004, Motion City Soundtrack had been hard at work for seven years. The constant touring and ever-changing lineups had added up to the production and release of their second full-length album, Commit This To Memory. Produced by Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, the album went on to become Motion City Soundtrack's breakthrough effort, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and becoming their highest-selling album to date.

Now, Motion City Soundtrack is about to embark on the tenth anniversary tour of Commit This To Memory, consisting of 33 shows at which the album will be played in its entirety. "It doesn't feel like ten years ago, but then it also feels like a lifetime ago," the band's frontman and primary songwriter, Justin Pierre, said about the decade milestone. "You write a record, and then go on tour, tour some more, you tour some more after that, and then write another record, it comes out, and you tour again. A lifetime blurs by."


Released on June 7, 2005, Commit This To Memory is a rambunctious album layered with keyboard hooks, energetic pop punk riffs, and, perhaps most significantly, the amazing lyricism of Justin Pierre. Managing to be enthusiastic and self-loathing at the same time, the singer penned one of the most touching, heartfelt, and overall realistic albums of all time. "At that time I was a giant drug addict, drunk, fuck-up," says Pierre. "People would tell me stories about all these things that happened and I would have no idea... and yet I was succeeding in a band."

Commit This To Memory addresses the themes of substance abuse, psychological disorders and failing relationships, and yet still retains the success that embodied Motion City Soundtrack during the composition of the album. Yet as time soldiers on, people change, situations change, and the past falls into the background. Motion City Soundtrack's last three albums – 2007's Even If It Kills Me, 2010's My Dinosaur Life, and 2012's Go – have all featured a different sound from the band, as different in ways from Commit This To Memory and they are from each other. "I don't know if it's a conscious thing," Pierre explained. "For me at least, I noticed that I wasn't focused on [the way we did] the previous record. For Even If It Kills Me, we were all focused on 'oh, we've got to write a pop song'. It was only in retrospect that we realized, 'oh shit, we forgot the whole aggressive side to it.' So when we did My Dinosaur Life, I [was] going to scream my ass of when it was needed."

Check out the song "Everything Is Alright"



The changing sound of the band has done nothing to hold them down, however. Both fans and the press have commented on the developing maturity of the band and their music. Pierre doesn't even think of the change in sound over the years as either a good or bad thing, but simply how life goes. "A lot of people who grow up with a band," he says, "whether they get in with the first record or whatnot, it's a very rare event they stick it through the whole way. Being a kid myself, I'd be into a band, and oftentimes by the second or third record I'd be like, 'this band sucks now, they totally changed.' I didn't realize until I was older that I too was changing."

And with ten years of change, growth, and experience, it will be unbelievable to see the kind of energy and excitement Pierre and Motion City Soundtrack bring to the stage with this tour. The "CTTM10 Tour" begins on January 15 in the band's hometown of Minneapolis – catch them at one of the dates below:

01/15 & 17 – Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, MN
01/18 – The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI
01/19 – Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH
01/21 – Bogarts, Cincinnati, OH
01/22 – House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
01/23 – St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI
01/24 – Mr. Smalls Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA
01/26 – The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
01/27 – Irving Plaza, New York, NY
01/29 – Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
01/30 – Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
01/31 – Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
02/02 – The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC
02/03 – Masquerade, Atlanta, GA
02/04 – Mercury Ballroom, Louisville, KY
02/06 – Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK
02/07 – Emo’s East, Austin, TX
02/08 – House of Blues, Dallas, TX
02/10 – The Marquee, Tempe, AZ
02/11 – House of Blues, San Diego, CA
02/12 – House of Blues, Anaheim, CA
02/13 – The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
02/14 – Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA
02/16 – Hawthorne Theatre, Portland, OR
02/17 – Showbox at the Market, Seattle, WA
02/18 – Knitting Factory, Boise, ID
02/20 – The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT
02/21 – Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CO
02/22 – Granada Theater, Lawrence, KS
02/24 – Wooly’s, Des Moines, IA
02/25 – The Pageant, St. Louis, MO
02/26 – House of Blues, Chicago, IL

Check out the 'Commit This To Memory' 10 Year Anniversary Tour Announcement video

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