The Christian-themed punk-pop outfit MxPx hails Bremerton, Washington in 1993 featuring vocalist/bassist Mike Herrera, drummer Yuri Ruley and guitarist Tom Wisniewski. MxPx broke out of the underground in 1996 with their third LP, Life in General. Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo, their debut for major label A&M, followed in 1998, trailed a year later by the live At the Show. The Ever Passing Moment appeared in the spring of 2000. Two years later, MxPx commemorated their time together with the release of Ten Years and Running.
You guys have been on the Warped Tour for a number of years not only here, but over in Australia. What re the main things you’ve seen change or evolve?
Tom: The tour has definitely gotten bigger in scale. There’s so much going on all the time. There’s all these sponsors and a baseball thing set up, Circuit City has this big car stereo thing set up. It’s huge. There’s diversity in the music for sure. It’s a little more diverse now.
Have you embraced all the modern technology that’s taking place in music such as downloading the I-Pod phenomenon and stuff like that?
Oh yeah. I love my I-Pod. I’ve got to get a new one. All you readers and listeners out there, hook me up!
What things are essential for you to bring when you go on tour?
Besides guitars, drums, and amps, and stuff like that, the I-Pod. I bring a bunch of movies to get us through those boring times, a computer so we can get online and check out Myspace account to see what we’re doing. Things like that. Acoustic guitars for when we’re sitting around on the bus.
Do you guys have a favorite movie you like to watch?
This tour it’s a toss up between Ally McBeal and Team America. Ally McBeal first season. Can’t wait for the second season to come out.
What keeps you guys motivated to keep going year in and year out? You have changing tastes in music,, corporate radio taking over the airwaves, and in some markets makes it more difficult for you guys to get regular airplay.
We’ve been around for so long, we like playing out. I can’t think of a better job I could have unless I won the lottery or maybe picked up a bat and started playing baseball professionally.
Why did you originally want to become a musician?
I saw a friend of mine playing drums in his room bashing away, and I was like, ”I need to do that”. I was immediately, “Mom, dad, please buy me some drums, I’ll do whatever it takes”.
How do you like playing before the mega-crowds such like at Warped Tour compared to playing a club like when you played the old Metro in Chattanooga? Is it harder to feed off the energy from a bigger crowd on such a big stage?
No, no. It’s just different. It’s more personal in a small club. You can make contact with someone particular in the crowd, like when you’re here (Warped Tour) you’re connecting with a mass of people.
What’s the biggest change you guy noticed going from a major label to a smaller?
To us it’s like a step up from the depths of hell. Now our label actually cares about us and worked for us now instead the opposite. That’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed. It just makes you feel good to know you’re going to put your heart and soul into this record and the people that are going to put it out actually care about it, not just kick it out the door. “We’ve got this other record that’s going to sell 20 million, so later!” They didn’t run a single ad for that record. We were supposed to play Jimmy Kimmel on our last record, and the label actually told Jimmy Kimmel, “No, no, no put this band on instead. They’re more important to us.” They worked against us. They literally worked against us.
Where are you guys at now?
We’re a 13-year old band. We’re teenagers.
What have you seen since coming out?
The world. Literally I grew up on the road. No one was showing us how to do it. We had to figure it out for ourselves. No one handed us a book that told us this is how you do it. That was handed to us much later. We got to where we could do it all ourselves. I’m tired of doing everything for ourselves. Let’s just get a tour manager. We get constantly asked what’s the weirdest thing we’ve seen on tour. You see a lot of weird stuff on tour that it almost becomes normal. We go, “It’s pretty mellow here.” Like the other day, I saw ten duds hanging off a golf cart. The driver’s wearing a beer helmet and the guy riding shotgun was doing beer bongs. That’s normal. It might look odd driving through a parking lot at a mall, but here it’s just normal.
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