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Be specific: Motion City Soundtrack frontman Justin Pierre on major label life

motion city soundtrackMotion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre (front, with glasses) is enjoying his moment in the spotlight. (Peter Yang)

By Allison Stewart

Now in their 13th year of existence, Minneapolis-based pop-punk lifers Motion City Soundtrack released their fourth disc (and major label debut), "My Dinosaur Life," in January, and they've been flogging it countrywide ever since.

Click Track spoke with frontman Justin Pierre about what life in the majors has been like for the band, who play the 9:30 Club on Wednesday.

In early interviews about this album, everybody in the band seemed to suggest that this was the "make or break" album. Was that true? And if so, what do you think [now that it's been out a while]?

I tend to change my mind every few minutes. I felt like with the last record we did there was a lot of pressure, whether it was real or imaginary. With this record, we took the approach of, "Let's not think about anything. Let's just see what happens when the five of us get in a room together and write music together, like we used to before we did it for a living."

We had our fingers crossed [when we presented it to the label] and they were like, "We dig it," and we were like, "Whew, we can breathe!" We made the record we wanted to make, and that we like. We feel like we've always done that, but just more so with this record.

(The hotels aren't necessarily nicer, after the jump.)

The album's title refers to the band feeling like dinosaurs. I don't think most people know you've been around as long as you have.

I don't think so, either. I tend to like things with several different meanings, and I like that the title lends itself to being interpreted many different ways. But that's definitely one of them, feeling old or extinct, or out of touch with your surroundings.

Was there a feeling that it was your turn? You've probably seen bands you started out with [get famous before you did].

Yeah, definitely. I never expected anything, but I'm very grateful for everything. I've never been one to have a plan. I just kind of always hoped it would work out, and maybe that's been good. Luckily things did work out. I guess if things hadn't worked out the way they did, I would have been in a lot of debt and working several jobs and being sad.

Do you feel different being on a major label? Are there nicer hotels?

There are no nicer hotels. I don't know, and I think that's a good thing. It doesn’t feel like it's changed that much for us. I think the biggest change is there's a lot more people working with us. Radio stations actually play us, which is really cool because that's never happened before. I feel like we're one of those bands that's slowly creeping in an upwards direction. That was kind of my hope, because I feel like people who shoot up really quick run the risk of thinking they're awesome, or disappearing really fast, and those were two things I was always worried about.

I don't know. I think I think too much. And I'm always worried about changing. And I can't tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing, to be worried about that, because if you're aware of that possibility then it leads you to not go there. Or, I don’t know. I can't put it into words. If you're aware of the possibility…yeah, I can't really formulate that sentence. In retrospect, though, things have worked out perfectly.

By Allison Stewart  |  April 28, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags: Motion City Soundtrack  
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