Posted Sep 1, 2005, by Josh Snider.
Featured Artists: MxPx; Genre: Rock;
This is a nice tour bus? Does it help a lot with the heat? Today’s nice. Some places it gets to be 110 degrees. When it’s 115 degrees outside the bus, it’s 95 in the bus.
You’ve been around for about 13 years, how has the band changed in terms of relationships or music? It’s funny; when we sit down to write, behind our instruments, in our rehearsal space, we just start playing songs. We are transported to a kind of a place where is timeless. I think that since we have been doing the band for so long, we have learned to put everything aside and just play. We tour for months and months. I don’t think that too much has changed.
You guys have been together for so long, it has to have become pretty intimate? Totally. Obviously, we don’t always get along, but I think that goes with any relationship. It goes beyond. We are like brothers. We don’t always get along everyday but we know that we have a common goal to make good music.
How does it make you feel that you have influenced so many younger bands? It’s great. It’s an honor to be a band that people can say they like the music. You know, because I’m just a kid, not really but... You don’t ever think that you are going to be an influence or have a meaning to anybody. It really is a blessing but we don’t deserve it and we don’t know how it happened but its there so we are thankful for it.
How is it working with Kevin McKelip( is this right)? He’s awesome. We basically just found out about him because he just finished the latest Sugarcult record. We, basically, were looking for a producer that we could afford and one that would come to our studio in Bremerton to record us. We called him and asked him how soon he could do the record and he said now. We are like ok. So, he came out to Bremerton and we recorded the album in 3 weeks. We did like a day and a half of pre-production, where some bands do 6 months of it. We had, the year prior, been recording and writing demo songs. We went in, made a couple changes and did it.
How have you guys grown musically? Well, our first couple of records were pretty rough. We would just go in there and play, and try to get the recording done. Then, for Life in General, we had an actual producer come in to produce the album. That was the first time that I actually got my butt kicked, hard, to make this sound awesome. For me, that was a huge growing experience. It totally changed my way of playing, completely. I then understood what was important about being a drummer. Every time you work with a producer, every time you work with another band, you can take something from them and learn. I have taken a lot from other drummers, like when we toured with Bad Religion, and other bands, by watching them and asking them man how did you do that you are able to learn. It shapes you.
Was there a drummer from your childhood that completely inspired you as a drummer? Bill Stevenson from The Decedents. He is drummer that boggles my mind. I can play what he plays but he plays in such a way that its just amazing way. He is the most unique drummer that I have ever heard of. His style and the way he plays, I’ve never seen anyone do that. He is the ultimate.
Do you guys still consider yourselves skate punk? Yeah, I think so. A lot of people say that we inspire them to skate and do other things. It gets them pumped up.
What does MxPx stand for? It actually stands for magnified plaid. We abbreviated it with the x's instead of periods. We only went by magnified plaid for maybe a month. One day I was just doodling and I came up with MxPx. We liked it better. It was a little more catchy.
What was your favorite band to tour with? We have been lucky to have tour with so many great bands. The Era would have to be my favorite. They were great guys who were a lot of fun to hang out with. We’ve lucked out. We’ve toured with Less Than Jake in Europe and they were a bunch of fun guys.
How was it touring Europe? It was fun. We’ve toured there in the winter a lot so its like the sun never shines. It rains and it’s gloomy. It’s also hard being in the situation where you don’t know the language. It’s ok, but there is always that thing in the back of our mind going, ah man. It’s not like how you would think going to Europe would be. You don’t get to see the tourist sites, you see the venues. Sometimes the venues are out in the middle of nowhere.
When we do go sight seeing it’s very spontaneous. One time we meet a guy who was from America and he owned a coffee shop in Amsterdam. We meet him at a show and he invited us out to go on a bike ride. So, it was late at night and we were out riding bikes all over Amsterdam, in little cBACK ENDs and alleyways. It was a lot of fun.
Do you have any favorite venues to play at? I like playing at the House of Blues all over the country. In LA, I would have to say, this place that used to be called the Palace. It was great.
Do you prefer these big tours or the smaller more intimate shows where the hard-core fans are? Those are great when it’s a thousand people who are there just to see you. You can’t beat those shows. On the other hand, Warped Tour helps you reach out to a lot of new people. A lot of people learn about us at the bigger shows.
Do you have a favorite band on the warped tour with you? On this tour, my favorite band to watch is the All American Rejects. I really want to check out some of the smaller stages to go and see what other music is out there. We are always looking for bands to tour with so that is definitely a way to see who may be an option.
Have you helped any bands come up to a higher level in their careers? Yeah. That’s actual a joke around here. We say to smaller bands, “hey, you want to be big time rock stars? You should come on tour with us!” An example of that would be New Found Glory. We got their demo and helped them out. Good Charlotte also. We did a tour with Good Charlotte where they opened for us. It was a lot of fun. They were still underground at the time, and then they blew up after that.
Is there anything that you hope to advance with in the band? We have achieved more than I though that we ever would and I never really said to myself I want to make a difference to other people. It’s hard to take peoples judgments of you. I’ve never been the type of person to set goals or expectations. I’m not driven in that sense. I can say that the things that have happened to me in my life have all been good. If things ended for us now I would be satisfied; not that I want them to.