Justin Pierre and Joshua Cain sat down with SheKnows during their tour stop in Phoenix, Arizona, and gave us an inside look into their hectic tour life and favorite cities to play.
American rock band Motion City Soundtrack hails from the Midwest but travels all over the world playing huge venues. Justin Pierre and Joshua Cain were kind enough to talk to SheKnows about their current tour, who they label the worst band member and what it’s like to play to international fans all over the world.
C’mon, who is the worst band member?
SK: Who is the most easygoing on tour and who is the most difficult?
Justin: Okay, let me answer this question. I’ll say that I am both the most easygoing member of the band and the most difficult. Uh, see, Gemini, May 26, that’s my birthday… but I would say Matt [Taylor] is the most easygoing guy until he gets angry and then it’s like The Hulk comes out. I’d say 90 percent of the time he’s Ruffalo [Mark Ruffalo] and then like 10 percent, or maybe more like 2 percent — I’ll go 1.8 percent.
International fans versus U.S. fans
SK: Of all the places you’ve toured, out of all your touring history, what are some of the coolest spots you’ve been or most unexpected places you’ve toured?
Joshua: We’ve done a lot of touring that’s like put us around the world to places we’ve never been. I never thought I’d be in love with Japan, and after going to Japan a few times it’s a really cool place to visit and check out. The people are awesome and we have a great time. I don’t think it’s just that we’re in a band and we get treated well, but I think it’s an awesome place. Also we just went to South Korea which was really cool, and that was really cool and the show was a lot of fun — people were dancing and jumping up and down, chanting in time. It was really cool. It was just really awesome to be on the other side of the world and play for a crapload of people who may or may not know who you are but they’re enjoying themselves.
SK: How do your foreign fans, with English not being their first language, respond to your music versus American fans?
Justin: Well, I think it’s different wherever you go, depending on the country. You know there are a lot of people in other countries that do speak English whereas here most people speak some English, if that. I listen to a lot of Japanese bands where I don’t understand what they’re saying but there’s a feeling, there’s an emotion there, and you can connect to that on that level. And so I do think — and this is just a thought — we tour a lot in the States and we will probably come through two to four times, two to five times in a year, whereas other countries maybe once every year, once every two years… so people may be more excited just for the fact that you’re not there as often — so it’s an event. That’s not to diminish the people that come to shows [in the U.S.] but I just think there is something to be said for that infrequency of touring in other countries.
Avoiding Justin Bieber moments
SK: What’s your pre-show ritual?
Joshua: We avoid each other.
Justin: Off-stage, no communication.
Joshua: Stretching, jumping around. Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch. We try to eat three hours earlier so we don’t vomit onstage.
SK: What’s your craziest fan experience?
Justin: My least favorite moment was a drunk girl in the United Kingdom smashed me in the tooth with my own [microphone] stand. She thought it would be awesome to just hold on to it and move it around… so I had to get my tooth fixed and that cost me a fortune.
Finding a work-life balance
SK: How do you guys balance work-family life with touring and loved ones back home?
Joshua: I have a child which makes it way more complicated balancing this whole thing out. Fortunately and unfortunately my wife has a career, which is great for her, but bad for the whole “I’m in a touring band so why don’t you come out for a week and hang out with us and keep connected.” But technology has changed so much. [Apple’s] FaceTime saves my life on those days I’m so homesick that I can’t even function. It’s a tough thing. When I’m home, I’m a dad.
SheKnows goes backstage with Motion City Soundtrack.
Thanks so much Motion City Soundtrack for taking time out of your hectic tour to chat with SheKnows. Stay tuned for our next edition with folk band Good Old War.