Motion City Soundtrack returned to the UK for the first time in two years for this year’s Slam Dunk festival. We sat down with Matt Taylor and Jesse Johnson on the first leg of Slam Dunk Festival in the city of their very first UK show eleven years ago.
What can you tell us about your documentary, I Am The Movie: The Movie?
MT: It’s in celebration of ten years of I Am The Movie, our first record, and it’s basically a bunch of old footage from our camera and a few other peoples’ cameras, but we used to tour back in the old days with these giant cameras.
JJ: Like the big video tapes you know?
MT: So, it was all pulled from video tapes, but it is just, like, a bunch of van shenanigans, farting, all that fun stuff! And then a few songs in there, too. It’s a good trip down memory lane for us.
Does being back in Leeds bring back any memories? As the University down the street was your first UK gig. With All American Rejects [Slam Dunk 2014 headliners] back in 2003.
JJ: Oh yeah, the TWAT tour. Totally Wicked Awesome tour.
MT: Yeah, we have played the Cockpit a bunch of times
JJ: So many times.
MT: That part of town, we walked around last night saying “Ahh it feels like home”.
JJ: We did a signing at the Corn Exchange once
MT: Twice! Two times. It’s like our second home.
JJ: And now you guys have a Brewdog pub which is one of our favourite UK breweries. Well do you still say UK if it is Scotland?
How far is progress on Album #6?
MT: We have a lot of songs. Too many songs that we need to narrow down. But we will be recording the album in June.
JJ: Yep, studio is booked.
MT: So we have to do it now. We are locked in. But we are getting there.
JJ: We have to really finish the songs, but we have so many ideas it is overwhelming.
If you could pick three bands to headline a festival, who would you choose?
MT: I always liked seeing Nine Inch Nails, they always put on a great show. Who else?
JJ: I wouldn’t mind seeing Refused again. I know they already did their thing, I think they are done doing their thing. And Foo Fighters?
MT: Sure, they are a rock band, they are fun. They have good banter between songs.
Do you have a personal favourite album of yours?
MT: Like the ones we made? Oh goodness no.
JJ: I feel like the odd man out here, but I really like Even If It Kills Me a lot.
MT: I don’t have one, I really don’t. I love all my children.
JJ: All babies are beautiful.
Commit This To Memory turns ten next year. Any celebration plans for that?
MT: Definite plans no. Incredibly big plans, absolutely. Lots of them.
JJ: We are gonna be doing something, we just haven’t figured out where it fits in our schedule yet. But we will be doing something.
You guys did a song for the Alice In Wonderland soundtrack, are you ever tempted to play it live or release it?
MT: We have played it live, we no longer really get tempted to play it live. Personally, I don’t mind the song, it’s just playing it live for me is not really. Yeah.
JJ: I think that we have kind of learnt over the years that there are some songs that have kind of a life in the recording that are really nice, and we enjoy listening to and hopefully other people enjoy listening to, but don’t necessarily translate into the live setting as well. So I think that might fall into that category.
What are your personal highlights from the band’s career?
JJ: Definitely, as far as the UK, when we played Wembley with Blink. That was just kind of like a big holy s**t moment.
MT: That kind of stuff, and we get to play the late night shows in the states like Conan and Fallon and Kimmel. Those are always really fun and kind of surreal experiences.
JJ: And I think just the places we have been able to travel. Like, growing up, one of my biggest dreams was to maybe go to London. Now we have been lucky enough to tour Asia and Australia. If you take a step back to the last 10 or 12 years, it is kind of like “Holy crap, we did that? That’s cool”.
Do you have any plans for an extensive UK tour in the future? When you visit here they are often very short trips.
JJ: If you pay for our flights, sure. It is SO expensive to get over here.
MT: We would love to, but it is just usually a quick trip. Get in, bang it out, get out of here.