This year at the Warped Tour, I had the opportunity to be in a roundtable type interview with Jesse (keyboard) and Tony (drums) of Motion City Soundtrack. I was joined by Ellen from dawgnetnews.com and 2 students from Pendleton High School’s (PHS) radio station.
RMR: Describe a typical day on the Warped Tour.
Tony: It is very hot and sticky.
Jesse: I’m gonna go with a mixture of port-a-potties and sweat.
Tony: Something like that... The average day we usually are pretty busy until the evening. I wake up, go get in the lunch line – which some times takes an hour, you have to set aside a good hour of your day just for lunch. Then, we have a signing that also takes about an hour. Then the press part of the day. Then we warm up for show time. Head to the stage early, play the show. Go get dinner, wait in the dinner line. Then I don’t have anything to do and then I’ll hang out and do whatever. That’s the really long and boring day.
PHS: You guys are touring right now in support of your new album Commit This to Memory, what has it been like playing songs off of that and do you still play older songs?
Jesse: Yeah. We try to mix it up.
Tony: Yeah. We were doing an exact set every day where we’d play 3 old songs but now we’ve been trying to play what people want to hear and we take requests now so its different every day. We have been playing more old songs but definitely people know new songs more than the old songs except for a couple.
Ellen: What bands are your inspirations personally and as a band?
Tony: Personally, I’m an enormous Ben Folds fan. There are others but that’s the biggest one. Everything he did and does is good.
Jesse: Almost everybody in my family plays music. When I started playing music I was in high school so I listened to Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Lollapalooza had just started and you know, I was into playing music with a band. As motion City as a band, we have different musical backgrounds so like the Pixies, Fugazi, and stuff like that…
RMR: You guys have such an energetic show where you’re on top of the keyboard and all over the place, what is that like and does it take a lot out of you?
Jesse: It’s kind of weird because some days we’ll play a headlining show and you’ll play an hour or so and you’ll be sweaty and gross, whatever, but you’ll feel totally fine and sometimes you’ll play for 20 minutes and feel completely exhausted.
Tony: It’s unpredictable. It makes no sense. Some days you’ll play for an hour and be like, let’s play another hour! Some days you’ll play for 20 minutes and it will kick your ass. It seems like on Warped Tour even though its sorter sets, you get the kick your ass day more often.
Ellen: Do you guys have any pre-show rituals?
Jesse: On Warped Tour, I try to drink, well I’d say bottles of water but it comes in cans, so 2 cans of water before I play.
Tony: I warm up for a while, sit in the back of the bus and play along with my iPod, do some jumping jacks…
RMR: What are the last CDs you bought?
Tony: I actually just the other day bought two old Against Me! records, Sherwood is on this tour and they’re a really good band. And the new Format.
Jesse: I just got Vaux, two EPs, and the new Gym Class Heroes.
PHS: What made you guys want to start playing music?
Jesse: I think we have similar answers.
Tony: I think we both grew up around music. It’s the only thing I’ve felt like I’m kinda good at…
RMR: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Jesse: Celebrating the 5 year anniversary of you asking me this question.
Jesse: Honestly, I have no idea.
Tony: Hopefully still playing music and hopefully with this band, on a steady climb uphill that doesn’t level off.
Ellen: What’s the worst question you’ve ever been asked?
Tony: Hot dogs or World War II. (laughs) I actually got, If you met a stick man, what would you say to him? I said I’d say hello. And What is your favorite accident? You know… we have a song… And they also like, Does the future really freak you out?
-- I had the chance to talk to Tony again after Motion City’s set and it turned out that day happened to be a day when they play for 20 minutes and feel like someone kicked them in the ass. He still looks forward to the rest of the Warped Tour and then continuing work on their next album that will hopefully come out sometime next year.
© Copyright 1998-2005 RockMusicReview.com. All Rights Reserved.