MANILA, Philippines - It would be the first time the Minneapolis band, Motion City Soundtrack, would set foot in Manila, but while they admit not knowing much about the country, founding member Justin Pierre (lead vocals, guitar) told Bulletin Entertainment, "I really do like to immerse myself in a place and wandering around and observing and I hope I will have a little bit of time to do that."
He even added, "I would really love for people to come up to me and just talk to me ... 'cause I have no idea what the fans are like there; I'm just hoping that if people come they'll like our music and they (would) want to talk to us and we'll certainly be able to be available and we'll hang out."
Although he knows the possibility is slim given tight schedules, such openness has helped the band amass its loyal followers that, in this day and age, still points them to the right direction in the changing musical landscape.
"I think we have been fortunate enough that, despite the fact that we don't sell as many records as we used to, we still have a very solid number of people that come out to see us. So we know that they're hearing the music and they have the music, they just support it in some other way..."
This is what they are expecting come March 9, when they hold their Live In Manila concert at the SM City North Edsa Skydome. The band would get to celebrate with their fans as they perform songs from their albums - from their debut "I Am The Movie," 2004's "Commit To Memory," 2007's "Even If It Kills Me," 2010's "My Dinosaur Life" and last year's "Go" - and perhaps win a few more followers along the way.
Pierre, a self-confessed "old school" music fan, shared, "I think that the natural progression of things is that music is going to eventually be free." He believes people who eventually become real fans would "want to collect" and "buy that stuff" that artists put out. "I think it's just that music has to connect..." so that it would be the "people (that would) get the word out to each other."
He revealed, "About once a month, I go to a local store in Minneapolis called Electric Fetus and I buy a bunch of records that people have either given me or that I've wanted to pick up that I've heard for free. I've been sort of putting my money where my mouth is 'cause I can't expect other people to buy my music if I don't buy music myself. I'm not trying to say you have to do that ... I guess that's just something I do."
As music finds its footing online, and musicians like Pierre and his band are themselves finding their way around social media, there has been quite a major shift in how fans communicate with their favorite artists, and vice versa. "I'm not that old but computers and I don't really get along," Pierre joked.
"Well, there's a lot less mystery about people and I think that I am of an age that I still am not constantly on various social networks but yet I have divulged more of myself out into the universe than the bands that I listen (to), so I'm somewhere in between. I get so lazy it's like sometimes I feel like doing stuff and sometimes I don't."
Although he has opened Tumblr account ("because it's so easy to put in one place and then send it to the others") and admits, "I definitely don't use the sites as well as other people and my wife has been teaching me things," Pierre has definite ideas about how he prefers to spend his time.
"I would just rather be living life and writing songs and finding messages out of that," he pointed out.
Indeed, living for the moment is how Motion City Soundtrack keeps writing music. Although Pierre admitted, "I think for a while in the middle there we just sort of went through the motions," the band is "excited to play music again."
Crediting their latest album "Go" for the spark of renewed inspiration, he happily related, "We've been writing new songs and sending ideas back and forth... We're really excited about the future..."
With "over 50 ideas and, now, even more so," Pierre said a new album may not be too far off in the future. For now, though, the order of the day would be playing for the Manila fans for the first time.