Back On The Road with Metro Station

metrostationpix1Metro Station hit the road for the first time in five years, co-headlining The Outsiders Tour with The Ready Set. Travelling all across the country for over a month, the tour was coming to an end, with the last show taking place at the House Of Blues in San Diego.  The band would thrill the crowd with old songs such as Kelsey and Shake It as well as brand new crowd favorites such as She Likes Girls and Forever Young.  We caught up with Trace Cyrus and Mason Musso right before their final set of the tour to discuss the new self-released EP Gold, life back on tour after such a long hiatus, family ties, and what the future has in store for Metro Station.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Metro Station.
Trace: I’m Trace Cyrus, I sing and play guitar in Metro Station.

Mason: I’m Mason Musso and I sing and play guitar in Metro Station.

metrostationjl3How’s this tour with The Ready Set been going and what have been some of the highlights?
Trace: It’s been great. There’s been a lot of cities that have stood out. Milwaukee was good. Orlando House of Blues, all of Texas was good. The whole tour is great, there’s just different reactions from different kids in the crowds each night. Anaheim was amazing too, that was a great show for us too. Tonight will be great because we get to go home. I don’t know. This tour has exceeded our expectations. We hadn’t done a Metro Station tour in five years, so the fact that kids still come out and know the words to the songs – it’s awesome.

The tour has been going for a month now, it’s just about over. What is going through your mind right now?
Trace: I’m homesick man. I love touring, but the older I get the harder it is. When we started when we were 18, we couldn’t wait to leave our parent’s authority and get out and do whatever the hell we wanted. Now I just want to spend time with my girl, my dogs, I like to record in a studio. I just have to re-energize my batteries and get ready for the next tour we’re about to do.

Mason: I don’t think it’ll take as long to recharge. We’re back together and we just want to keep this ball rolling, so beginning next year just start hitting up a new tour, full length record. We’re ready to work.

goldep1Is there any story behind the EP title “Gold”?
Trace: We made that song with our old keyboard player, Blake. The song is just about the search for happiness, especially in the crazy entertainment business we live in. Entertainers search for happiness with drugs and alcohol and women, partying. That’s what Gold is about, man. Living that life but still not being fully satisfied.

Talk about any other song on the album and what inspired the lyrics.
Trace: Just life, man. What I just talked about is what I can relate to. Me and Mason wrote that with our old keyboard player. I think it’s the most meaningful song we’ve written. That’s why we named the EP that.

Mason: That one really has a lot of what we’ve been going through in it. I think our song “She Likes Girls” has a really powerful message as well. Telling a girl you can love whoever you want to love. I think it’s a strong message, it means a lot.

metrostation4jlForever Young, what was that like working with Jordan of The Ready Set as the producer? That must have been interesting.
Trace: It was awesome, he’s talented man. We went to his apartment, it’s funny, now you don’t need a million dollar studio. He has a little room with a few speakers, a mic and we did the song in about a day. It was great. We didn’t record it thinking it was going to make the EP or anything.  We just did it for fun, maybe something to just throw on the internet. We liked it so much we put it on the EP, it worked out.

Internal strife in the band has been all over the internet in the past. How surprising is it that Metro Station is touring in 2014? Did you ever think it was going to happen?
Trace: No, a lot of time passed. I never say never about anything, me and Mason had gone our separate ways for a while. It’s not shocking to me that we’re back together, what’s more shocking is that people still care about us. A lot of bands fizzle away really fast. But I think we wrote some really good songs and kids are just waiting to see what we have coming up next. I think the new EP proved ourselves that we’re still writing good songs. I think next year when we release our second full length album it’s going to prove that a lot more.

Will you be self releasing that?
Trace: We’re not sure yet. I’d like to, that’s my goal, to stay independent as long as we can. If things get too crazy where we feel like we need a major label again, we’ll do it. But this tour, we’ve done independently and we released an EP independently. Now we’re just working on getting worldwide distribution to distribute and market the record next year.

metrostationjl2Do you have any advice for kids who are in bands, who are looking for a record deal?
Trace: Don’t look, man. They’ll come to you. As long as you make good music, you can just – as long as you have a laptop and a microphone. There’s a lot of ways to learn how to record your own music, that’s what we did. We put our music on Myspace back in the day and now there’s things like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram to get your music out there. All that stuff helps. If you’re good, record labels will contact you. You might not even need one, you might throw your songs up on iTunes and sell so much that you don’t even need anyone else. We’re living in a different era, man. The internet runs the music industry. It’s a good thing. It gives everyone an equal opportunity to have a shot at this industry. In the past, in the 90s or whatever you had to hope to God that someone from a label heard your music at a bar or club or something and gave you a deal. It’s not like that anymore.

Is your other band Ashland High still going?
Trace: No. I’m just focusing on this, man. We’re so busy with Metro Station, I wouldn’t have time for anything else. This is my main focus right now, we’re just trying to make this as big as possible.

Coming from a famous family, is that a help or hindrance?
Trace: I think it hurts me more, man. People want to immediately judge me before they listen to the music. They want to say that I’m in this industry because of my family, like I got some helping hand. It’s not the truth, man. We’ve done this all on our own and we struggle financially like any other band. I don’t use my families connections in any way to help me way. The only time Miley really helped me out was when she took us on tour, after we had already sold half a million records. I love my family, i’m proud of my family name but I definitely think that it doesn’t help, it makes it harder for me. Everyone wants to judge me before they give me a chance. It is what it is.

metrostationjl1Do you guys still enjoy playing the older songs?
Mason: Love it. It’s incredible to see that these kids, as Trace says, after all these years they know every word to the songs. It just gets us excited to see everyone’s face light up when those first chords of “Kelsey” come in and everyone knows the lyrics, it’s awesome.

Trace: Agreed. We love playing them. Listening to them is different. I don’t listen to the old record, but playing them is amazing. We’ve heard “Shake it” about a million times, but we’re thankful for it man.

I’ve heard a lot of bands do covers of your song “Kelsey.”  Have you heard any of them? What do you think about other bands doing your music?
Trace: I’ve heard a few times, I think it’s cool. Even the new song “Love and War” that we just released a couple of months ago, we’re already seeing people on YouTube covering it, which is really cool. It’s an honor, man. Some of the covers are really impressive so keep it up guys.

What can one expect from a live Metro Station show?
Trace: Just a big party, man. I always say – we’re there to entertain you, have a good time and get people to sing along with us and dance. If you want to come and see some crazy guitar solo, or the most musically talented band, don’t come see us. We’re there to entertain you and sing great songs, that’s what we do. We write great songs and we present them to you in a good way. I feel like if I get everyone in that audience jumping up and down, and dancing and united as one, then I’ve done my job. That’s what I do every night. I get upset when people come to the show and just kind of hang around and get shy. The point of the show is, I always say, is to forget about everything outside of these walls. Put your phone in your pocket and just get lost in the music.

If Metro Station could open for any band, now or from the past, who and why?
Mason: The Cure, Robert Smith. If I could do that, that would just make my life.

Trace: There’s of course bands in the past that I love but I always think of currently would work. I’d love to open for someone like Lady Gaga. I really like her music. I think we’d do well touring with a female pop artist.

What’s up next for you guys?
Trace: We’re taking some time off, we’re going to finish the first studio record since we’re back. We already have a bunch of songs so we’re going to finish, we have about 12 solid songs and then we’re hoping to hit Europe to tour in February. After that, we’ll be touring the United States again, we have some stuff lined up I just can’t talk about it really yet because it hasn’t been announced. We’re just going to keep touring and make good music.

Do you have any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles Area?
Trace: Stay up to date with our social media, man. and all the other Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We keep you guys up to date every day, so just follow us on there.

Mason: Love you, Cali!

Be sure to catch Metro Station at The Mint on December 17th.  This all acoustic show also features The Ready Set, The Downtown Fiction, Trevor Dahl, Up In The Clouds and a DJ set from Goldhouse!

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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