MxPx - 03.29.12

Interviewed by
MxPx - 03.29.12MxPx is one of the greatest punk rock bands of all time, and everyone knows it. In fact, this very website was founded as an MxPx/Blink-182 fan site back in 2000. MxPx's album "The Everpassing Moment" was responsible for getting me into faster music, and also inspired me to start learning how to play guitar; I would strum and strum and strum along to "My Life Story" all day long. MxPx continues to put out solid records in 2012, with their self-released album, "Plans Within Plans"; this album is their 9th full-length.

I was able to connect with lead vocalist/bassist Mike Herrera on a late thursday afternoon; we talked about the new album and what's going on with the band in general.

First off, it's been awhile since you last put out a record. How's the response been from people to Plans Within Plans?

Response has been awesome actually. Fans have been really stoked about the new record, just even the fact that we have a new record out. If you're a fan of this type of music, then what's not to like? If not, then that's fine...listen to new music.

You just put out a new DVD called Both Ends Burning; what can people learn from watching this DVD? What sort of stuff is on it?

It's definitely a lot of fun stuff that we do on tour, a lot of behind the scenes type of stuff; sort of like a punk rock travel adventure. It's not unlike a lot of stuff you see other bands doing. You see the dynamic between Tom, Yuri, and myself; how we deal with each other and the crew guys. It's definitely more of a serious look into the band, rather than informational or historical; it's still fun, but it's definitely a more serious DVD.

Is there a live show portion as part of this DVD?

Yeah, there is actually; there's a couple of songs throughout the DVD that we do live, and we may actually end up putting that entire show out as a live DVD for the 20th anniversary of the band.

I was talking with Jordan Brown from Set Your Goals last night, and we were just talking about how there's been so many great DVD's over the years, and how it'd be great to see a live DVD from MxPx.

Yeah, it'd be great, we'll see what happens with this one; I definitely think it's one our better live looks. But it's so hard for us to get that going, because of budgets and whatnot.

Where did the recording take place? Neumos [in Seattle]?

It took place at El Corazon in Seattle, WA.

Plans Within Plans comes out in a few days. What inspired the album title?

I was trying to find a name that fit with the rest of the record, and I settled with that after a million other names i'm sure. It really kind of fit with where we've been; Tom, Yuri and Myself are all on different paths that intersect when it comes to this band. It was always "Band is life, Life is band", now life is definitely getting in the way of band; not in a bad way, but more of a natural progression and things to come.

Is that what sets this album apart from the band's previous albums?

I would say it's what maybe sets it apart; I still write all the songs, and I pretty much write them in the same way. So I don't think that's going to come into play too much, Tom and Yuri never skip a beat when they come in the studio to record their parts; it's like "there it is! an MxPx record". I think we made a record that's fresh and new and something different; but at the same time, it has that mid-90's nostalgic MxPx sound with a nice sparkle to it.

What kind of lyrics can we expect from this album? Faith based lyrics, call to action lyrics, life lyrics?

Well, probably a lot of nostalgia lyrics, a lot of "good times" lyrics, living in the moment and enjoying where we are; obviously our music is about learning from our lives and getting better at it. It's a serious album, but at the same time, there's some light-hearted stuff on there as well.

There's some cool guests on this album: Greg, Harley and Jack from Tumbledown, Stephen from The Decendents, and The Swellers. How did they all become involved with this album?

Well, I always have guests on our albums. Stephen has mixing and mastering some of my recent stuff; he mastered the Left Coast Punk EP, as well as the last couple Tumbledown albums. Stephen, as well as Jack have been my go to guys for guitar; that's the good thing about having friends that are really good at their instruments.

As far as The Swellers, I met them on a tour with Bayside, and I really dug them. I would say 'hello' here and there, and I asked them if they'd like to be on the record, and they said yes.

Some new friends on the record, as well as some old friends.

You have a new music video for the first track off the record, "Aces Up"; what can you tell us about the song, as well as the video concept?

Aces Up is about getting real with people, someone in particular maybe, but doesn't have to be. Just trying to bring up social interactive ideas with Aces Up; the whole "poker" thing isn't meant to overtake any part of the song, just how I wanted to explain the idea.The idea for the video is supposed to be a hard hitting landscape of Seattle and Bremerton.

For those who aren't aware, Tom and Yuri aren't touring full-time; what you're doing instead is a thing called "MxPx All-Stars". What can you tell us about that?

Well, Tom and Yuri are both working full-time jobs throughout the week, so they really have a limited amount of time when it comes to touring. The reason they choose to do that is the fact that music is not something you can sustain a family on; if you're a middle class band like us that just tours around, you live paycheck to paycheck like most people do -- if you're not touring, you're not making money. It just got too stressful for them, and they wanted less for it.

Yuri was actually going to quit, just based on the fact that he didn't have time for the band, he has a couple kids; but the fans really changed his mind on that, and he decided he'd continue and do the new record and play events like these 20 Anniversary shows coming up and whatnot.

But it's kind of funny, I write all the songs and there's a lot of other guys that write all their songs in bands that don't have any members. So I figured that if I did this thing called "MxPx All-Stars" with my friends in other bands that came to play MxPx songs, it would be clear that it wasn't the original line-up; because I don't want to ever be weird with that, and it's respectful to the other guys. I've given you a ridiculously long answer to a very complicated situation; to put it bluntly, I have my friends and whoever they may be, they're not always the same, they come out and play MxPx songs with me on tour.

Speaking of the 20th Anniversary shows, what can we expect from those shows? Are they only going to be in Seattle, or can we expect to see these elsewhere in the U.S.?

We're doing Seattle on May 26th at El Corazon with Amber Pacific and Poor Sport. Then we're doing June 29th in House of Blues Anaheim with Mest, Set Your Goals and Rufio. Then we're doing June 30th in Hollywood at the House of Blues on Sunset, with Mest, Rufio and Set Your Goals right before us.

So it's a great line-up, some of my favorite bands that are doing really well today; we couldn't pick a bunch of bands that aren't bigger than us to play before us, so we had to pick some bands that are all on the same level.

You recently did an anniversary show for Life In General, which went really well. Have you considered doing the same thing and concept for The Everpassing Moment or any other album?

You know, we thought about doing that. Who knows, we might do Buffalo next, then The Everpassing Moment, or maybe just skip ahead to the new record, but that would be a LOT more work. We're definitely playing a lot of classics on the upcoming 20th Anniversary shows, as well as 3 to 4 new songs as well.

Yeah, I remember people flying out to see that Life In General show, it was really a big show that sold out super quickly.

Yeah, it seems weird, because it's Life In General and it's our classic album; so in that way, it feels different because it won't happen a whole lot...and that's the thing, I don't want Life In General shows to happen a lot because it's special, you know? So maybe if we go and do a Buffalo show next, it would feel more organic. I'm always worried about not doing things and seeming super greedy; maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing, but it is what it is I guess.

It takes away from the "magic" if you do it over and over again, you know?

I think so. If you look at Chicago for instance, obviously those people didn't come out, or maybe one person flew out; but that's less than 1% of the entire crowd. So technically, we could do a Life In General show in other cities; maybe we could do an All-Stars Life In General tour with spot dates here and there.

With Plans Within Plans coming out soon, what's Tumbledown's current status? Can we expect something from that this year?
We're just chilling; we may do a few shows here this summer. But for the most part, we're just laying low until the MxPx cycle is done.

Have you considered putting out a book on MxPx's history, with photos and stories, etc.?

Yeah, I've thought about that. We're actually this photobook for the 20th anniversary this summer, and Jered Scott is picking the photos I think, so it'll be an MxPx book: Photos by Jered Scott book; he has a TON of photos. We're going to do that on a limited run, and it'll be super nice; if people like that, we'll work on a larger book with stories and copy and actual text. This book will have minimal text, it'll be just images for the most part. Maybe we'll do a full history for the 25th anniversary.

What newer bands have you been enjoying lately that you can recommend?

Well, The Swellers -- they're kids that are coming up in the right school, recording with Bill Stevenson and stuff; those guys have a badass sound, and everything they do seems to hit right.

Less Than Jake are still kicking ass, they're still alive and kicking. Roger is a badass bass player.

Set Your Goals, are they considered new? Say Anything, they're a quirky kind of punk.

Oh, and check out OFF!

What's one band that you've never toured with, that you'd like to and why?

Social Distortion; we've done a few shows with them, and I guess toured with them if you guess festival stuff. But we've never done a full regular tour together.

But yeah, Green Day, Nofx, etc.

Wrapping up, what is MxPx's touring plans for the rest of 2012?

Well, i'm heading off to Europe tomorrow, and we'll be doing some U.S. stuff for the 20th Anniversary with Tom and Yuri, which I mentioned a little bit earlier. We're doing Joshuafest in August, with Project 86 and Five Iron Frenzy and O.C. Supertones.

Yeah, how do you feel about Five Iron Frenzy and O.C. Supertones coming back and doing stuff?

It's so weird, this is like mid-90's, everything's coming back.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Be sure and check out Plans Within Plans; you can find it at most digital and physical retail outlets.
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11
01:12 PM on 04/13/12
buddah knome
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buddah knome's Avatar
Good interview. New album was great!
02:50 PM on 04/13/12
Faith In More Than Steel
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atticusfinch's Avatar
MxPx for life!
04:30 PM on 04/13/12
Kid Defender
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Kid Defender's Avatar
Great interview! Where is the freaking review of the new disc, though?!
04:42 PM on 04/13/12
The Big Timer
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The Big Timer's Avatar
Scary to think how I was introduced to them via Teenage Politics about 17 years ago, and to think that was their 2nd album...awesome that they're still making music. I have to admit that I bought on the cover 2....
06:00 PM on 04/13/12
Registered User
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sammyboy516's Avatar
Scary to think how I was introduced to them via Teenage Politics about 17 years ago, and to think that was their 2nd album...awesome that they're still making music. I have to admit that I bought on the cover 2....

Haha why is that somethig you have to admit? They're still great.
09:45 PM on 04/13/12
Your pictures are already burned.
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MyFriendsOver's Avatar
Great interview! Where is the freaking review of the new disc, though?!
I second this on both accounts!
11:08 PM on 04/13/12
Jesus Saves
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kbomb001's Avatar
I hope to be like Mike Herrera someday
01:22 AM on 04/14/12
The Starship Renegade
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guitarguy211's Avatar
Great interview....nice to hear an explanation of the MxPx All-Stars.

Love MxPx as well.
09:41 AM on 04/14/12
bobby vee
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I hope to be like Mike Herrera someday
05:13 AM on 04/15/12
Not everything, not yet
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CarouselBoy's Avatar
Nice. Now that their touring is limited I really wish I lived on the west coast

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