This is going to be a very personal post that I am almost reluctant to write, but it’s worth it to acknowledge the band I owe everything to.
Let’s start at the beginning. How I first got into Motion City Soundtrack. Well, when I was in high school I used to play guitar in the music rooms as often as I could, break times, lunch times, after school, whenever possible. It was in those music rooms where I first heard MCS, actually though the drummer of As It Is, Patrick Foley. He was playing the beat to Everything is Alright and little 15 year old me was just like ‘WHAT IS THAT?!’ And so, I went home and bought Commit This To Memory and alas, my love affair began.
After falling in love with CTTM I went backwards in time to I Am The Movie and discovered the delightful pop rock quirkiness of songs like Capital H and My Favourite Accident. Soon after this Even If It Kills Me was released and I went to see them for the first time at London, Astoria. This is where the obsession really kicked off, and I’m so grateful it did.
The difference for me between Motion City Soundtrack and every other pop punk band that came and went over the years, is that MCS seemed to get more relevant and more pertinant in my life the older I got and the more experiences I went through. Their lyrics just seemed to get more meaningful the more I understood them and more relatable the more things that happened in my life. Unlike other bands that I listened to from the pop punk scene at the time, although I suppose they were never truly part of that scene and were an entity all of their own.
I really don’t want to turn this post into a blog about my life, but Motion City Soundtrack and in particular, Justin Pierre’s lyrics have become such an important part of my life for so many reasons. Dealing with social anxiety, smoking and drinking too much and being in a damaging relationship for years, amongst other issues, led to me constantly seeking help from my self help therapists at every hurdle. They have a song for everything, every issue I go through, every emotion I feel. I feel like Justin Pierre is one of the most honest and relatable lyricists out there and the thought of them finally calling it a day still hurts my heart.
One of the things I love most about MCS is the ability to have the happiest of melodies and beats to some of the most significant lyrics I’ve ever heard. Take Everything is Alright, one of their most loved songs, with lyrics like ‘I used to rely on self-medication, I guess I still do that from time to time. But I’m getting better at fighting the future, “Someday you’ll be fine..” Yes, I’ll be just fine.’ Sometimes music can be the best form of medication and having someone literally tell you everything is alright is sometimes all you need. Another one of my favourite lines is from Even If It Kills Me, ‘For the first time in a long time, I can say that I wanna try, to get better and overcome each moment in my own way’. Another song that just helps me when I’m feeling anxiety taking over, I listen to this and it just makes me feel better. It gives me positivity when my fucked up thoughts take over, as do so many of their songs. I could go in to detail with lyrics from most of their back catalogue but I won’t be that boring and will move along.
But it’s not all so depressing, songs like Capital H, Time Turned Fragile and Pulp Fiction amongst others are just filled with catchy melodies, great choruses and just heaps of fun. MCS have all the charisma of Weezer, with more lyrical depth and it seems so unfair that they have been forgotten about and left behind.
Their live shows, always impeccably good, Justin’s voice always carries well, the band are always tight and solid and again, so much fun and it’s such a shame that they only have a few live shows left. They’re a band that should have gotten much further, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a scene where it’s often about being ‘sellable’ and maybe MCS don’t meet that criteria appearance wise for magazines ect and it’s a shame people don’t open their ears more instead of their eyes.
I could honestly ramble on for days about why this band mean so much to me, this doesn’t even scratch the surface. Basically Motion City Soundtrack have been my crutch and will continue to be. Their music helps me in a way that I have never experienced with any other band. I truly believe Justin Pierre is my lyrical soul mate and I will never stop loving this band. I am devestated that it has had to come to an end for them, but wish them all the best in the future.
R.I.P Motion City Soundtrack, thank you for everything.
Their last ever UK tour dates are as follows:
02 Institute 2 in Birmingham- Thu, 18 Aug 2016
Kentish Town Forum, London- Fri, 19 Aug 2016
02 Ritz, Manchester- Sat 20 Aug 2016