Motion City Soundtrack’s Matthew Taylor on Bringing ‘Commit This to Memory’ Tour to Detroit

After a long delay, the band will be performing at The Fillmore on June 12
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Motion City Soundtrack
Motion City Soundtrack — Matthew Taylor, bass and backup vocals (left); Tony Thaxton, drummer; Justin Pierre, lead vocalist and guitarist; Joshua Cain, lead guitar; and Jesse Johnson, keyboard — play in Detroit on June 12. // Photograph courtesy of Motion City Soundtrack

Motion City Soundtrack, a pop-punk band from Minneapolis, released their hit sophomore album, Commit This to Memory, in June of 2005. The album, along with their gold-certified single “Everything Is Alright,” would give the band their first big break since forming in 1997. In 2020, the band set out to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the album but had to delay and cancel shows due to the pandemic. Two years later, they’re finally back on the road — now for Commit This to Memory’s 17th anniversary tour. They stop at The Fillmore in Detroit on June 12.

The band’s bass player, Matthew Taylor, recently spoke with Hour Detroit about the album, the tour, and their upcoming local show.

Hour Detroit: In honor of the album’s 17th anniversary, you’re playing Commit This to Memory in full. What are your favorite songs to play from the album?

Matthew Taylor: I’ve always enjoyed a song called “Make Out Kids” and another song called “Time Turned Fragile” that kind of bleed into each other. They’re right in the middle of the set, and for some reason, I’ve always enjoyed playing those two together. There’s something challenging about “Time Turned Fragile;” it’s a faster one, you have to be on your toes.

Why are songs from Commit This to Memory so special after all this time?

We put it out in 2005, and a lot of time has passed… it’s interesting to look back on those songs now and think about where we were then and where we are now. Three of the guys in the band are dads now, and [vocalist and guitarist] Justin [Pierre] actually wrote the song “Time Turned Fragile” about his father. So, I know that’s been really interesting for him to read those lyrics and compare [them to] when he was singing about his dad and now being a father and thinking about his child.

Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus was the producer on Commit This to Memory. How did he help shape the album?

He was very influential in a lot of the decisions… You need support, but you also need constructive criticism and new ideas brought to the table, and Mark definitely was very hands-on. He kept a sort of mood in the room where he was very serious about work, but at the same time he balanced it out really nicely…There were a couple of times I can remember on specific songs where he was able to get me out of headspaces where I wasn’t really doing my best, and he was able to break the ice and make me laugh and just get a great take.

The Commit This to Memory tour was originally planned for the album’s 15th anniversary, but you had to cancel shows due to the pandemic and cancel again for the 16th anniversary. How did it feel to delay the tour two years in a row? 

We were just talking about this yesterday and how it just doesn’t feel real. We’ll believe it when we’re playing shows again because we’ve had such a rough go with it. Everybody has; it’s been very disheartening. Back in January, we tried it, we played one show in Grand Rapids and then we got to Chicago and had to go home immediately. That was very tough, so we’re very excited to be out here.

You’ve previously played at The Fillmore and other Detroit venues. How does it feel to return to the city?

We’ve always loved Detroit, it’s just a great city to play when you’re a rock band. Detroit just has that energy about it, where people want to come and have a really good time. Some of our best friends that we ever made on the road are from Detroit. Detroit was actually the first, or one of the first two or three, cities that actually showed up and really cared about our band — and this would have been like 2002, so this was three years before Commit This to Memory came out… It’s a place we always try to play when we can when we’re going on tour, and I love Detroit pizza, so win-win.

What spots are you looking forward to visiting while you’re in town?

Of course, I always try to swing by Third Man Records when I can because that place is just so fun to walk through.

Motion City Soundtrack is performing at The Fillmore on June 12. Tickets can be purchased at livenation.com and start at $29.50.

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