If you want to play Six Degrees Of MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, you’d have to invoke ancient ’80s radio-rockers, a drunken merch guy and pop-punk royalty. If you want to have a good time, you’ll need to get their new disc.

STORY: Leslie Simon

If it were up to us, Motion City Soundtrack would be playing arenas; they’d be the musical guest on SNL; they’d be taking home a Grammy or two; they’d be doing Pepsi commercials with Beyoncé and David Beckham; and they’d have their own reality show on MTV. These things take time, so, in the interim, we’re completely content to sit back, relax and blast the band’s sophomore effort, Commit This To Memory.

Gone are the days of Crystal Light, CK1 and tight white tees, subjects that made fodder for 2003’s I Am The Movie. Instead, Memory, which the band-Josh Cain (guitar), Justin Pierre (vocals/guitar), Matt Taylor (bass), Jesse Johnson (synthesizer) and Tony Thaxton (drums)-recorded over much of last fall with first-time producer/Blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus, is a textured collection of alcohol-soaked memories filled with things that you probably can’t remember, but are pretty sure you shouldn’t have said. Some songs make you laugh (“Make Out Kids”), and some make you cry (“Hold Me Down”), but all the songs make you feel something-for better or for worse. Plus, how many bands do you know who can use the word “gerbil” in a song and still have it make sense? Yeah, we thought so.

You guys set up camp in Los Angeles to record Commit This To Memory. What made you want to hit the West Coast?

JOSH CAIN: Right before we went to L.A., we went on tour with Blink-182 in Japan. We really wanted to do a Japanese tour, but it cut into our writing time, and we were worried about that. We got home and decided to go out to L.A. and focus on [writing], rent a practice space and actually live at Brett’s [Gurewitz, Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph owner] house and demo with him and make sure to get everything done. I actually slept in his son’s bed for three weeks. Matt slept in his daughter’s bed.

Not with his children, though, right?

[Laughs.] No.

How many of these new songs were written before leaving for L.A.?

Justin really got into getting all the lyrics done [before we left].

JUSTIN PIERRE: By the time we went into the actual recording, yes, they were written. But when we were in L.A., I wrote a good portion of the lyrics there because we had written whole songs while we were in L.A. the month before.

For the rest of the story, pick up AP 205 below…