As a singer, Motion City Soundtrack frontman Justin Pierre treated the group’s last album, 2007’s “Even If It Kills Me,” with kid gloves.
On this year’s “My Dinosaur Life,” however, he threw that caution to the proverbial wind.
“On the last record, I was really concerned with writing things in a way I knew I would be able to perform them every night not lose my voice,” explains Pierre, 34, who co-founded MCS during 1997 in Minneapolis. “This one I was like, ‘(Forget it), I’m just gonna try to do some crazy (stuff here).
“I definitely focused on singing how I felt each song needed to be sung on this record without thinking how I was going to pull it off live. That was freeing in some way — at least in the recording and writing of the songs. Learning how to do it live, afterwards, was tough.”
Pierre has been doing that since “My Dinosaur Life” came out in January, to a No. 15 debut on the Billboard 200 and overwhelmingly favorable reviews. The lesson he says he learned from the sessions, produced by blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, is that “the emphasis should always be on the recordings,” while the live versions could always be rearranged to fit that situation.
“Let’s just say I have a temperamental voice,” Pierre explains. “If I scream one night I won’t be able to sing for the rest of the tour. I’m still learning how to use it, in away. I’ll use a falsetto here and there still, maybe go for it one night if I’m feeling lucky and have a day off the next day.
“I definitely think that’s the way one should approach things. You should always challenge yourself — although I’m one of those guys who plays video games and always chooses the lowest level so I can beat it. But I think with singing I want to aspire to more than that.”
Motion City Soundtrack, Say Anything and Saves the Day perform Wednesday, Nov. 3, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $41.50 and $29. Call 313-961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.
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