Indy: Emo is still a hot trend in modern rock, but over the past year, a few bands such as Yellowcard and Matchbook Romance have made CDs that separate them from that scene. Your current CD, Louder Now, also seems to distance your band from emo. Was that the intent?
FM: We didn't want to stick in certain temporary genres that go through musical history. We've often been referred to [as] emo. Our thought was, well, that genre emo is only going to last so long. If you are a genre [band] and you're not truly songwriters, then you're not going to last beyond that genre. We wanted to make something you could hear in 10 years and say, "Wow, that still blows me away."
Indy: This band faced a crisis in 2003 when John Nolan (guitar and screamed vocals) and Shaun Cooper (bass) abruptly quit. You and Matt Rubano stepped in, and it seemed you all didn't miss a beat. Was the transition as smooth as it seemed?
FM: It could have gone either way. Matt or I could have been the guys to completely end the band. A lot of [2004 CD] Where You Want To Be was written on that tour. So that was a very hectic time ... It was also difficult because while we were writing that album, we still hadn't completely gelled yet. It wasn't until writing Louder Now that we realized at the point of writing Louder Now we had been together for three years, and we were finally at a point where we were all comfortable together writing.
At Denver's Fillmore Auditorium, March 8.