Volume 92, Issue 44
Friday, November 20, 1998
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
MxPx flex punk pecs
Photo by Marina Chavez
By Aaron Wherry
Three guys start a band in high school and after graduation they decide to skip university to hit the road and do some touring. But won't they miss out on the intellectual experiences and social development of post secondary education?
"I've had a girlfriend and she's been in college ever since I've known her. I've gone to visit her at school and gone to her classes and I don't feel like I'm missing that at all," explains MXPX drummer Yuri Ruley.
But who could blame Ruley, who along with vocalist/bassist Mike Herrera and guitarist Tom Wisniewski formed the punkified rock trio MXPX six years ago when all were only 15 years old. It is tough to regret the decision when your last album sold 275,000 world wide, your latest has moved 100,000 in five months and magazines like Spin, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone are singing your praises.
But even the life of up and coming rock 'n roll stars has its downfalls.
"If you're getting successful there's fans that get upset because at one time they were the only people at their school who knew who you were and they felt cool because they knew something that everyone else didn't. So then they decide you suck and you sold out," Ruley says. "But we have no control over that."
And then there's the strain of endless touring with bands such as Bad Religion, Blink 182, No Doubt and travelling rock shows like the Vans Warp Tour.
"It's a lot different than club touring. It's early morning wake up, unload your stuff, figure out where you're playing, set up your merchandise tent and this is all before 11 a.m. or noon. So it's kind of early rising because when we're on tour, just us, we get up at like noon or 1 p.m.. It was also really hot outside in the sun all day can be really draining," says Ruley with a laugh.
"But there's tons of positive sides just to be able to play in front of that many people and hanging out with all these bands, meeting different people," Ruley says.
All of this touring has obviously helped the band's latest release, Slowly Going The Way Of The Buffalo, which has already been a real success. Not too shabby for their major label debut with A&M, a label which has been very co-operative.
"The record label came to us and said, 'We love what you're doing, keep on doing what you're doing and don't change,'" Ruley says.
This philosophy makes perfect sense. Any label would be foolish to try and change a band with "next big thing" potential. Their success and notoriety have grown with each album and so has their music. They have managed to stretch the elements of punk and combine the thoughtful, poetic elements of rock to create their own unique style.
"Punk doesn't have to be one way all the time. For me if I want to play punk, I want to play it how I want to play it. I don't want to think no one's going to like me if I put this little twist on it," says Ruley. "It can be any way you want it to be."
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