Behind the perfect Soundtrack

By Kelly Johnson

Epitaph Records is injecting some high-energy rock ‘n’ roll straight into the heart of DeKalb by bringing the Epitaph Tour to the Holmes Student Center’s Duke Ellington Ballroom at 7 p.m. today.

Along with Matchbook Romance, The Matches, From First to Last and Scatter the Ashes, the Minneapolis-based Motion City Soundtrack will grace the stage with its energetic and, ultimately, sweaty stage show.

Weekender caught up with Josh Cain, guitarist and founder of the band for a few questions on the new album and upcoming tour.

Weekender: At the beginning of last year, you opened up for Blink-182 on a sold-out arena tour whereas this tour will feature smaller venues. What are some of the ups and downs of playing arena shows vs. smaller venues?

Josh Cain: I like all the shows. There’s something to be said for each, whether it be in front of 50 people or a giant arena crowd. They’re both great. The only downside for smaller venues can be with the equipment issue, whether it be a P.A. or whatever. The crowds at the arenas have been amazing. We’ve had good luck with crowds. It’s very rare that we’ve had to deal with a stone-faced crowd that isn’t into it, which is very nice and encouraging.

WE: After that tour, you hooked up with Mark Hoppus, who will produce your next album, “Commit This to Memory.” How was it working with Mark?

JC: Extremely positive. He’s just an extremely positive guy. He brings tons of experience to the table. He usually would bring in a good idea and that would spawn maybe five other good ideas. Overall, it was just an amazingly positive experience and a big thing for us.

WE: Your first album, “I Am the Movie,” was filled with melodic hooks and moog-fueled pop. Can fans expect more of this style on the new record?

JC: The first record is a collaboration of five years. We basically just recorded the 15 songs that we knew. The new record was a little different process where we had about 19 songs written, planned on having 14 and ended up with 13 recorded. It was a different process having to cut songs. There was more deliberation in putting it together. I would say this record is more cohesive with a slightly darker tone. The last record was darker as well but you didn’t notice as much. This record, it is a little more out there, I think.

WE: Can fans expect more of the pop-culture references that littered your first album?

JC: Yeah, there will be some more of that. There’s a reference to cordon bleu and some Transformer lingo in there.

WE: You were on Warped Tour this past summer. Can we expect you to be on it again?

JC: We have an offer to be on the tour, but no dates or anything have been confirmed. I think it’s safe to say that we will probably be on it but we don’t know where or when yet.

WE: For all the potential fans, it’s time to toot your own horn. What can they expect at a Motion City Soundtrack show?

JC: I don’t know [laughs]. A lot of sweatiness. Our goal is to make people have fun. Our live show is just to have fun with the songs. We may look like idiots out there but that’s the way we are. We give an honest performance.