Jake Ewald, Guitarist/Singer
Even from their early days, Modern Baseball’s witty pop-punk has shared ties with Motion City Soundtrack. On their debut studio album, opening track “Re-Do” features the line: “So I’ll keep thinking, the future, the future freaks me out/ I won’t judge you if you think the same thing/ So let’s keep thinking/ Well, the future, the future freaks us out.”
The band’s guitarist/singer Jake Ewald says that the I Am the Movie reference was a “conscious, tongue-in-cheek” way to break the fourth wall and tip their hats to the bands who influenced them. Similar to Boucher, Ewald listened mostly to Led Zeppelin in high school. As he recalls, his initial exposure to Motion City Soundtrack was a YouTube channel of these “jock bro guys” who did acoustic covers of pop-punk songs. From there, he went to iTunes to listen to Commit This to Memory, which he says was one of the first records he learned to appreciate front to back as an entire piece of music.
“One of the biggest influences from that record specifically was ‘Time Turned Fragile’,” Ewald says. “That’s was one of the first songs that I must’ve heard that didn’t really have a chorus; it just had these really intense verses where he’s saying a lot of random things that have happened, which I totally jacked from them.”
In fact, Ewald also says that one the first real gigs that he attended with fellow Modern Baseball member Brendan Lukens was a 2010 show at Baltimore’s (now-closed) Sonar, whose bill that night featured Motion City Soundtrack and Say Anything. (Later on, Ewald and Lukens teamed up on an acoustic cover of “When You’re Around”.) Modern Baseball and Motion City Soundtrack never toured together, but they did on occasion perform at the same festivals, like Riot Fest and Slam Dunk.
“Every day we would play and then just kill time for three hours until Motion City Soundtrack played,” Ewald says of Slam Dunk. “So we were pretty big nerds about it.”