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Blowout profile: Motion City Soundtrack

Minneapolis alt-pop-punks play the Loving Touch.


  • Photo by Joe Lemke.

Minneapolis alt-pop-punk band Motion City Soundtrack is a welcome out-of-town guest at Blowout this year, a wildly popular synth-friendly, emo-ish band with big tunes that will sit comfortably alongside many of our hometown acts. We grabbed singer and guitarist Justin Pierre for a quick chat …

MT: When was the last time you were in Detroit?

Justin Pierre: I can’t remember. I have a terrible memory. I’m assuming it was last year. I know that we did a tour. Grand Rapids was probably the last place in Michigan that we played. Going as far back as before our first record came out, we used to play an old film place up in Muskegon. We play all over in Michigan, and Detroit in particular has always been great. St. Andrew’s is a place that we’ve played going all the way back 14 or 15 years. 

MT: Any fond memories of Detroit?

Pierre: I feel like every time we play St. Andrew’s, it’s always crazy in one way or another. We played the downstairs a lot, the Shelter, and then we graduated to the main floor. I remember a show a couple of years ago where the air conditioning went out and it was so hot that our drummer at the time, Tony, passed out in between songs. We had to wait. He literally couldn’t play, so I had to play a song that I played by myself. It’s a minute and a half long, and then Tony recovered. They brought out fans for him. This is a guy who is never a wuss about anything. That’s the craziest thing that ever happened there.

MT: Are you familiar with the Blowout?

Pierre: I’m not super-familiar with it. I’m trying to figure out who’s playing where and when. I just caught the documentary on Death, and I want to see them. We’re kind of in and out just for that one day, so hopefully it’ll match up. 

MT: What are the plans for your set?

Pierre: We usually don’t figure that out until we’re closer to the show. We’re in the middle of writing a new record and we’re about to record it. That’s where our minds are at. I feel like usually we fill it with what we’ve come to see as fan favorites, and then half of whatever we feel like playing. In the last year or two, we’ve been trying to mix it up for each show so it’s not exactly the same set every night, and change 30-40 percent of the set every day. When we were younger, we’d play one set for the whole tour. It just gets very robotic and that’s no fun for anyone.

MT: When Blowout’s over, what’s next for the band?

Pierre: We’re going to the UK to play a festival (Slam Dunk), and I don’t want to jinx it but we’re hoping to record our next album in June. Once that’s done, I think we can breathe again and we’ll probably go out on some tour and festivals for the rest of the year, but nothing huge until the record comes out. mt 

Motion City Soundtrack plays the Metro Times Blowout on Saturday, May 3, headlining at the Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-3644; mtblowout.com.

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