Motion City Soundtrack - Sounds of the City

The Dwarf caught up with Matt Taylor from Motion City Soundtrack to discuss influences, touring and Vegemite.


Motion City Soundtrack have been touring fairly solidly for the last couple of years, which means that they have a lot of hurry-up-and-wait time between sound checks and set times. "If it's nice out we'll walk around the area a little bit, see what's around. Some of us play cards, some of us play video games, read, watch movies, whatever we feel like… within reason."


Consecutive shows also bring with them a lot of amped up crowd time and a lot more travel time, "we've spent the last almost six years on the road, it's just been one day after another of similar type schedules. It is kind of a challenge because you do get tired. Usually for me I'll get tired during the day so if I need to take a nap I'll take a nap. But then once show time rolls around there's that nervous energy that keeps you going". It's not just sleep that helps the band though, "we have to take a lot of vitamins because we're all travelling together in the car so if one person gets sick then other people get sick, this time of year [the Northern winter] it gets pretty nasty so it's easier to get sick so we have to get lots of sleep and take lots of vitamins".


The boys have visited Australia a couple of times and the crowds aren't "too different. Australians are usually pretty wild, they like to just have fun and sing along. I noticed that the first time we played Australia – they were right there with us singing the words. It was great!"


Motion City Soundtrack will be here in February 2008 for the Soundwave Festival, appearing in a number of dates around the country. The band is excited about this because "we do have fans there, and we're starting to get some radio play and things down there so that's really exciting for us. We can come back and really hit it hard. We're all really excited to come back, it should be fun". They find that Australia is "not too different from home, but there's something about being there, being halfway across the world that's amazing, I'd like to spend more time there".


Matt has also tried Vegemite, and the verdict: "I love it! I buy it here! I could go for a snack right now so I'll grab some crackers and some vegemite and I'm good to go. I'll eat it straight out of the jar." He could almost get citizenship just on that!


In the last six years of touring, the craziest thing that Matt has seen was "in the Rocky Mountains and we were driving in a van and trailer, and it was raining and little boulders started falling onto our van and onto the cars in front of us and an hour later we had to stop, there was a complete mudslide that went all the way across the highway. Josh went in our trailer and got one of our dolly's out, you know one of those little wheeled hand truck things, and was digging a path through the mud it. I had a migraine at the time so I was freaking out, I was in so much pain, we were in high altitude and I was stressed, I was thinking we were going to get lost off the edge of this mountain".


Music has always been a big part of Matt's life, "my father played guitar, and my grandad played in a country band and when I was little we would go and see them all the time and I guess it was inspiring to see how people were reacting to people just playing instruments. Then when I was 5 years old I asked for a drum kit for Christmas and I got one. My dad taught me a basic rock beat, and I would play all the time, then every couple of years I would ask for a new instrument for Christmas. At first I played for fun, then I got more serious about it in high school, I was taking lessons, I played music in school [groups] and got involved with a lot of my friends playing in different groups. That's pretty much the gist of it".


There are a number of bands that have influenced Matt, "when I started playing bass in the early to mid 90s I was into the more popular alternative bands of the time, like bands with flashy bass players bought my attention to the bass. Blood Sugar Sex Magik was the coolest record I'd ever heard in my life at that time; it was really inspiring to me. Then I kinda moved into more punk rock, bands like Fugazi and then the more melodic bands like Jawbox and Burning Airlines, stuff like that. That's where I really got into playing, listening to those bands".


So are there any plans for a solo album for this multi-instrumentalist? "I do like to record myself, when I'm home bored I'll play a bunch of different things and record it. I've never really done a whole lot of lyrics and singing and what not, I would love to do it, but I'm the type of person who would critique myself to death. But I really would like to do that at some point, I think it'd be fun, even if it was just 3 or 4 songs I would love to do it."


Motion City Soundtrack are big users of the internet to connect with their fans, "the world has changed so much with the Internet, we have to embrace it, and it has helped us as a band a lot – I love being able to post videos online of our daily lives if we want, we can write blogs and people actually care so that's pretty cool. I think it is important in this day and age, I mean your fans are coming to your shows and buying your t-shirts and your records, the least you can do is let them into your life a little bit. We've all got the perfect way to do that".


Motion City Soundtrack are touring in February as part of the Soundwave Festival.

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