Most kids grow up spending their summers away at camp or swimming and playing catch, or nowadays maybe in front of the TV or Wii. Metro Station’s Trace Cyrus spent his childhood summers on tour with his dad, Billy Ray Cyrus.
“By the age of 4 I was already growing up on a tour bus. … It definitely wasn’t a normal childhood but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Cyrus, who handles lead guitar and vocals for the band, told Pollstar. “I just loved being around the guitars, all the band and just the whole atmosphere of touring. I loved being on the bus and going to a new city every day. And I think that’s just what made me fall in love with music and made me want to do it for my career.”
Cyrus was flunking out of high school and ready to leave California and return to Nashville when he met Mason Musso, Metro Station’s lead singer and guitarist, on the set of the Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana.”
“Basically the band wouldn’t even be in existence if it wasn’t for my sister [Miley Cyrus] getting cast on ‘Hannah Montana’,” Cyrus said.
Cyrus and Musso, whose brother Mitchel Musso plays Oliver Oken on the tween TV show, bonded over having famous siblings and love of music. They soon started making music together, adding Blake Healy as keyboardist and bassist – and Metro Station was born. Anthony Improgo was later added on drums.
“I don’t think that we thought the spotlight could be taken off of our siblings enough for people to even notice us or our music. But people did notice us and our music and that was amazing,” Cyrus said.
“Kids just kept asking us to play their parties. We would play anything we got the opportunity to do,” he said. “We got a pretty hot buzz going around L.A. We were playing our music for our friends … and it kind of just spread from there.”
But don’t think Cyrus’ and Musso’s famous relatives had anything to with the band making it in the business – they have MySpace to thank for that.
Metro Station had been around for only about a month or so when an intern from Columbia spotted the band’s MySpace page. At that point the band hadn’t even added their drummer yet.
After months of meetings and watching Metro Station land gigs across the states through word of mouth and MySpace, Columbia offered the guys a record deal.
Columbia execs told Ozone Entertainment’s Bret Disend about the band and he quickly decided to work with them.
“And as soon as we got our manager on board, everything just fell into place,” Cyrus said. “Right after we got our manager, we got our record deal and then shortly after we got our album rolling. We wouldn’t have any of this if it wasn’t for [Disend]. He’s like the fifth member of the band.”
“Immediately, [Columbia] sent us to Minnesota and we recorded our first two songs on the record with Motion City Soundtrack. It seemed like a dream come true. … Everything was so unreal and it happened so fast. As soon as the record was done we went on tour and we’ve been on tour ever since.”
Disend told Pollstar the live shows are “chaos. The kids go crazy.”
Paradigm’s Matt Galle, the band’s North American booking agent, agreed.
“Their live show is pretty much like a dance party. And they have fun with it. The fans love to sing along and dance with them,” Galle told Pollstar.
“I live for those 30 to 45 minutes a night on stage,” Cyrus said. “I just love making all these girls and guys happy. I remember going to Blink-182 concerts as a kid and just loving everything about it, being obsessed with the band and loving being able to connect with the songs so much. And seeing all these kids connect with my songs, it means a lot. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Galle said the band tries to always play all-ages shows to make sure none of its fans are left out. He said Metro Station has been playing venues in the 1,000-capacity range but for the fall tour it’s booked 1,000- to 2,500-capacity rooms.
“So we’re stepping it up a little and the sales are great so far,” Galle said.
“He’s amazing,” Cyrus said of Galle. “He’s kept us busy; he works our asses off. But God bless him for it because we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today if we hadn’t been touring like every day of the past year. We’ve been playing shows non-stop, but, you know, I love it.”
Metro Station is in the middle of a U.S. tour with dates through November. In February the band heads to Australia in support of The Veronicas. Galle said another U.S. tour for spring will probably be added and the band will also “have to get back to the U.K. at some point.”
“They’re like touring machines,” Galle said. “They love being on the road.” –