In April 2010, after months of rumors and whispers, Trace Cyrus took to Ustream and made the announcement fans dreaded: “As many of you already know, Metro Station is taking a break—and I think it’s a permanent break.” Wearing oversized sunglasses, sporting a pin-straight, asymmetrical haircut and rocking a jean jacket open enough to show his many chest tattoos, the singer/guitarist said the words with conviction. The band was over and everyone was moving on. Cyrus had already started his own solo project, Ashland High, and while fellow Metro Station singer Mason Musso continued to produce music and perform under the existing moniker, the resurrection was half-hearted and intermittent, at best. However, the combination of time and perspective managed to make the impossible occur by bringing two former musical collaborators and best friends back together.
“It was a case of too much success too quickly,” Cyrus admits while sitting outside a coffee shop in North Hollywood in July 2014. “I remember when we were doing it—playing with Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte and Miley [Cyrus], filling arenas, opening for Lady Gaga overseas—we always wanted more. Instead of sitting back and saying to ourselves, ‘Whoa, we’re really doing something great,’ we just wanted more.”
“Our 20-year-old egos were going, ‘I’m the shit,’” Musso interjects, sipping on a large ice tea next to Cyrus. “I never felt like anything was enough, but as Trace always says, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Judging from their familiar rapport, it’s hard to believe the two spent four years apart with zero communication—Cyrus didn’t even have Musso’s phone number during that time—until Musso decided to reach out in October 2013. Much like a clandestine relationship, the pair have been hanging out ever since, but they chose to keep their reconciliation private instead of flaunting it to the world, at least not until they were both ready to go public. So how was the duo able to work through their problems? “I think we both just matured as people and as musicians,” Cyrus explains. “As far as friendship goes, at 25, you realize what’s important to argue about and what’s not. It’s easier to communicate when you’re older. When you’re younger, you let your emotions get in the way. Now we can talk it through. That’s what our issues were in the past; we had horrible communications skills.”
What was never an issue for Cyrus and Musso was writing hit songs together. The band’s 2007 self-titled album—which included tracks like “Seventeen Forever” and “Kelsey”—has sold more than 500,000 copies and its third single, “Shake It,” was certified platinum, having sold more than 2.7 million copies. The song also cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard charts in 2008 and the accompanying video has racked up 47 million YouTube views to date. In other words, when Metro Station decided to throw in the towel, they were experiencing the kind of exponential rise most bands would kill for. “The goal is to be the biggest band in the world,” Cyrus says with the confidence of a star athlete. “If you’re going to do something, why not try and be the best? Even if we don’t achieve that one day, we know we tried. We did all we could. Everyone has the same chance to make it in this industry; it just depends how good your songs are and how hard you’re willing to make it.”
Now that Musso and Cyrus have reunited, it’s time to get back into the studio and make more Metro Station music. Up first is a new EP called Gold, which features new songs like “Love And War” and “She Likes Girls,” both of which blend the group’s signature electro-pop melodies and newfound lyrical depth. The band has recorded tons of new material but they aren’t in a rush to put out a full-length album—yet. Instead, they’re choosing to release Gold in October 2014 and then hit the road with The Ready Set this fall.
Not only does the future look bright, but the possibilities are endless for Metro Station. “I really think in the long run, we’re going to look back at the breakup as a blessing from God,” Cyrus says with complete sincerity. “I’m very religious so I feel like God kinda came in, took everything we had away from us and slapped us on the wrist, saying, ‘You need to learn, you need to appreciate what I’m giving you.’ I feel like this is our second chance to make things right and to prove that we enjoy doing this and appreciate it.”