MxPx started as three 15-year-old kids calling themselves
Magnified Plaid pounding out music inspired by and similar to
and other Southern California pop-punk bands. The trio were
High School in nearby
They didn't really love their band name,
however, which was a tribute to the original guitarist's
fascination with plaid shirts. Consequently, the name
was abbreviated to M.P., but in
handwriting, periods become "X"'s and since he made up the show
posters for the band, the four-letter moniker stuck.
MxPx caught the attention of
Tooth & Nail
Records when they played a "showcase" for the label
in 1993 in Herrera's parents' back yard. Mike Herrera had
practiced so much before the first show, he lost his voice. MxPx
released three albums with
Tooth & Nail
Records. After a falling out with
Tooth & Nail
Records, MxPx left the label and signed with the (at
the time) independent label
After the re-release of Life In General, MxPx released three
more studio albums with
MxPx had fulfilled their contract obligations and decided to
part ways with A&M, which had been aquired by media giant
In 2005, MxPx released Panic with another independent label
Records. (from Wikipedia).
– Bass Guitar, Vocals, Keyboard
– Guitar, Background Vocals
I recently met up with Tom before their Columbia, MO show at the
Blue Note, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for
about the members of MxPx. Name, instruments and one
intriguing fact that the readers of Punk Globe didn't know about
each band member.
that plays the bass and sings. Me, I play guitar, I sing a
little background. And there’s Yuri who plays drums and
uncontrollably wakes up screaming in the middle of the
don’t know why, but he pounds on the bunk, he freaks out. He
yells things about muppets, daddy. I’m not even joking! There
is an intriguing fact.
I’m kind of a whiz in the kitchen.
cooking filets and stuff.
Can you give
me a brief history of the band?
brief history – here we go: We started in 1992, played in
Mike’s backyard, put out a record Fall of ’94, Summer of ’95,
Fall of ’96. We just toured like crazy. Straight out of high
school, I graduated on a Monday, shot a video on Tuesday, went
on tour for two months on Wednesday. Been pretty much “rinse
and repeat”, everything since then, you know – record, tour,
record, tour, record, tour some more. So, that brings us up to
the “new kid”, aren’t you?
yeah, I wasn’t in it for the first two and a half years but I’ve
been in like over 11 years, so I kind of consider myself part of
the band now.
you describe your sound?
melodic. When we go to airports and people ask “oh what kind of
band are you?” we say “loud”.
Who are your influences?
the Descendants are a big one. They wrote the book on the pop
punk thing as far as we’re concerned. Black Flag, Sex Pistols,
and the Clash,
He writes the songs and then we all get together in the studio
and read over some stuff… and some stuff just stays how it was
and some stuff completely changes.
What’s your favorite MxPx album?
it’s hard to pick a favorite. It’s like do you have a favorite
daughter or son, what do you do? You tend to go with the new
one because it’s new and it’s fresh and it’s exciting to you
still. You haven’t heard it a million times and played the
songs live a million times so you know “Panic” definitely stands
out for me and plus the way we recorded it, it was very punk
rock, it was like a get back to basics kind of recording set
Are you writing any new material?
actually going to be two new releases by the end of the year.
One is going to be a re-release of “Let It Happen” which is a
B-side compilation that Tooth & Nail put out in 1998. We
recorded three new songs for that, and it’s also going to have a
DVD with a bunch of our videos on it. That’s going to be one
thing… and another thing is we’re releasing a new B-sides
record. It’s called “Let’s Rock”, it’s like a rarities kind of
compilation thing. And that’s going to be on Side One Dummy and
that’s going to be out right around the same time. So, put it
on your Christmas lists, kiddies!
What is the
most bizarre thing that has happened on stage during a MxPx
always the inevitable pants falling down and stuff like that..
“oh my belt broke… there goes my pants!” That’s always
interesting. There’s always the good one where you run up to
the front of the stage and fall off, and then the stage is too
high to jump back on so you have to run around outside or
whatever to get back on stage. That’s always interesting.
have you toured with?
I think at
this point we kind of have to start saying what bands haven’t we
toured with. We’ve toured with everybody.
Who was your
You know, I
don’t know. Again, that’s hard to say because you have a great
time all the time with the people you’re out with. Then you go
on the next tour…the next tour is different.
you most like to tour with?
Beatles, The Who and the Clash. We could open for them.
share one of your wildest tour stories from the past, and from
I almost got
into a fight the other night. That was fun! There were these
kids kind of heckling us in the crowd. Like in between when we
were playing they would figure out what they were going to chant
the next time we stopped playing. So they started with “Reel
Big Fish” who were playing after us, and they were just saying
anything they could think of, and so at one point it got kinda
quiet and they weren’t saying anything and I was like, “you
know what? I got something to say to these two kids right
here”, and I pointed them out to the crowd. And I was like,
“you know what? I don’t come to your work and slap the dick out
of your mouth” and the whole place exploded and these kids kind
of got a little offended and a friend of ours who is out singing
with us right now, he said this whole thing: “who is here to
see a ska show?” and half the crowd cheers, “who is here to see
a punk show?” the other half cheers, “who is just here to a
great show with great music and have a really good time
tonight?”. Everyone cheers. He was like, “there you go, guys…
you’re definitely in the minority. But you know what? If this
was my show I’d be in the crowd kicking your ass but since it
isn’t, We’ll all be waiting out back. See you out there
later.” So we waited out back for them after the show, because
for the rest of the show they are all pointing at me like “You,
me, outside, after”. I was like, that’s cool, whatever.
So did they
walked out but they saw us and they went straight for their
car. We figured they’d drive by so they could yell something at
us, so we hung out next to the street where they had to go.
They drove by, windows up, staring straight ahead. They got
stuck in a left hand turn lane so we started running after their
car and as soon as they saw us they bolted over to the right
hand turn lane and just took off. They ran. It was pretty fun.
Do you get
treated differently by other bands that you play with, for
having Christian values?
No, we get
treated differently by other bands more because we’ve been
around for so long and, like, you know, some people kind of look
up to us. It’s just kind of a seniority thing, I guess. Back
in 2000 Fat Mike from NOFX said “one day this is going to turn
for you guys and it’s going to go from you being the young band
to you being like the veterans. Every band will sound like you
and it will just happen and you won’t understand it but it will
happen.” And it was weird because like a couple of years later
Madison plays bass and I'm learning to play the bass, starting
very late at 48. At what age did you start playing music, and
what were the first instruments you learned?
grade, the school band, I played the clarinet, but I hated
that. And so in seventh grade I started playing drums in the
school band, and I got a drum set. Then I got in some bands and
one of my friends played guitar and I said, you know what? I
should learn to play the guitar. So I went to my dad, and my
dad got me like a cheap pawn shop crappy acoustic guitar and I
played along to like Green Day or Bad Religion songs trying to
figure them out, you know. And then I got in this band.
Any words of advice for new musicians/bands?
don’t record a demo until you’ve had a band for like a year. I
mean, it’s your first impression, you’re like “hey this is what
we’re like”. Don’t record a demo like really crappy the first
day you are a band because you just blow your first impression.
You want it to be really good and you want people to go “whoa,
how come I never heard of this band?”.
are your favorites to perform?
playing one of our songs called My Life Story because it’s got a
lot of guitar holdouts and I can just run around, jump around,
pump my fist in the air, you know.
done some really great covers over the years, my favorites being
the Ramones and Social Distortion. Which covers did you enjoy
doing the most?
been doing 500 Miles by the Proclaimers, that’s always fun, and
Should I Stay or Should I Go by the Clash. I actually sing that
page has an impressive amount of fans and a lot of plays of your
music. Has Myspace helped get your name and your music out
what, I think our name and band was already out there, I think
it’s more just connected to the fans more on like the grassroots
level than like getting us out there. As opposed to where it
helps new bands really become a thing. This is more of like a
way to be in touch with the band.
What do you
do for fun when you are not performing?
games. Hang out, do whatever, go to record stores.
involved in any other music projects?
Mike’s got a
little side thing that he does every once in awhile. We have
another band where we all kind of play in every once in awhile,
it just depends.
What is the
girlfriend status of the band members?
married. To girls.
words for Punk Globe readers?
much to Tom and the other members of MxPx for answering my
questions, and for the great show at the Blue Note!