The Gospel of Punk According to MxPx
By Troy Schmidt
Your music is fast. Do you drive the speed limit?
Yuri: No. Not normally. I got pulled over one time doing 80 in a 60.
And I just apologized, said, Im really sorry. He
looked at me and said, Aw, go ahead. (all laugh) I got
that nice thing going.
Tom: For me, I got an old car and the taillight comes and goes intermittently.
You have to jiggle the chord to make it come and go. During the day,
no. During the night, yeah
On your CD, you were talking about one song that was a slow
song, but it was just as fast as everything else. What is your
definition of a slow song?
Mike: Thats like a 6/8. Almost a 50s feel to it
Comparatively it is slower. Its not SLOW, compare to most other
Tom: Its MXPX slow. For us.
Mike: We have a couple other slow songs.
Yuri: Usually like the mid-tempo or a little slower than mid-tempo.
Cause we have like three ranges of time. Blazing fast. Medium
tempo. And a little less than that
Now I read you all like The Simpsons. If MXPX was to
appear on The Simpsons, how would you fit into the plot?
Mike: Wow, thats a great question. Well, I will always gauge
the success of my career on whether or not Ive been on The
Simpsons. So, Im not there yet
Its pretty fun
when Sting was on there, digging to the kid buried in the well.
Tom: I liked the one with Elton John. Homer meets him at the airport.
Hes like I love you. He goes, Ow here, have
a Grammy. Homers like Uggg and throws it away.
Do you think Homer would be your tour manager? Bart would want
to join the band or Lisa would be a groupie?
Tom: Couldnt see Lisa being a groupie. I could Bart trying to
be in the band.
Mike: Bart would become a roadie. So, Matt Goerning (creator of The
Simpsons) if youre listening
I like your song Foolish on the latest album. What
sort of mindset are you addressing?
Mike: I think its a spiritual song. Its about how other
people see what we believe in particular, but it could be taken for
anything that you believe. But for us, a lot think its foolish
to believe in God. It wasnt directed towards one certain person
or anything like that. Its my interpretation of how a lot of
people maybe see what we believe.
Do you get flak from Christians who say youre a punk
band, you dont look like a Christian band or from the
punkers going how can you be a Christian?
Mike: I think from both. Its not so bad. You know, our fans
are our fans and they love us. There are fans that are Christians
and there are fans that arent. Its about the music.
Tom: There are extremists in every scene. Religion or anything for
that matter. There are always people who are really, really hardcore
about it. Over the top. Youre not doing it right! Youre
not punk enough! Because you dont have a Mohawk or a safety
pin through your eye.
Mike: I think were doing it right. Whatever it is.
According to Thoughts and Ideas, what absolutes do
you see in our universe?
Mike: I definitely see God as an absolute. I think that if there wasnt
an absolute, if there wasnt something that was absolutely true
all the time, a constant, then what we believe and how we live our
lives, would be different, obviously. Morals in general. You dont
kill people. Why? Why not? I dont know. If you can truly be
your own person and be autonomous from anything or God or spiritual
things, you should be able to make your own rules. Why should somebody
tell you what to do?
Yuri: The way our society is set up, there is absolutes. There has
to be. There has to be a bottom line and a right and a wrong. But
when it comes to believing in God or something higher than yourself,
no, no, no. The whole society is set where there has to
be a bottom line. You cant just make up your own rules and kill
somebody and have it be alright.
Mike: I think if there wasnt a God, why wouldnt it be
alright to kill somebody if you felt like it? You can do whatever
you want. History tells us like with the Roman empire they started
doing whatever they wanted to do and it started to crumble from within.
We try to build our lives on something thats not going to crumble.
What do you have to do to be a member of the Girls Schmirls Foundation?
Tom: Basically, be a guy, get dumped.
Mike: Be heartbroken.
It doesnt happen to you?
Mike: All the time. Just the other day a friend of ours went up to
this girl and tried to talk to her and she was like ehhhh, see
So he became an honorary member.
Mike: He was already a member.
Tom: Hes been in it awhile. Its not so much that hes
had his heart broken. Its that hes never had a chance
to have his heartbroken.
What teacher had the most impact on you?
Yuri: I remember a third grade teacher of mine. I wouldnt say
it was the heaviest impact
She was cute?
Yuri: It was a guy, actually. He was fairly cute.
Tom: I had a history teacher in junior high. He took me outside one
day and threatened to kick my ass. He goes, Tom! Outside!
And his room was down by the outside of the school, so Im standing
in the hall and he goes, No. Outside!
Yuri: Was this Yogi?
Tom: Yeah, this guy was also an ex-Marine. He takes me outside and
pushes me against the wall. Right in my face and starts yelling at
me. Im like, Im going to die. He had an impact
More of a physical impact.
Tom: He impacted me into the wall. As far as role models, me and Yuri
had a pretty cool band teacher. He got a little crazy as we went through
high school, but for the most part he was pretty cool.
Yuri: He pushed us. Like singling me out in front of hundreds of people
like telling me I had no idea what tempo meant.
Tom: You know like other teachers- you learn from other people, not
just school teachers. We had a producer name Steve. He was the first
one to really produce us, push us, as a group of three to be a better
You wrote the song, Elvis is Dead. Are you sure?
Mike: Im not quite sure. That song is actually about this movie
True Romance. Where Christian Slaters conscience
Tom: Played by Nicolas Cage.
Mike: I thought that was really funny. So I wrote a song about a guy
whos conscience is Elvis but, really hes just going crazy.
Tom: But is Elvis really dead?
Mike: Is Tupac dead?
Tom: Tupacs not dead. He has two double records coming out.
Theres no way he recorded those.
How do people waste their time?
Mike: Watching television I guess.
Yuri: Unless its the History Channel.
Mike: Unless youre watching us.
Or The Simpsons.
Tom: TVs not so much a waste of time. Ive learned a lot
from TV. If youre watching Jerry Springer, thats pretty
much a waste of time.
Yuri: Exercise. Now thats a waste of time.
Tom: Books? Books?
Actually thats the next question, what are you reading?
Mike: Right now Im reading a book called The Secret History.
I just started it. It takes place in Vermont, like an Ivy League school.
Really weird. I havent gotten into the actual meat of the thing.
Yuri: Im reading the sixth book in the Left Behind series. The
Tom: I dont know how to read. Magazines. Picture books. Im
not a big reader.
Mike: He likes movies.
Your new EP is coming out, The Renaissance EP and youre
working with Andy Husted (original member). What was that like?
Mike: That was cool. We hang out with Andy all the time when were
at home. He lives near us. A couple years ago we started hanging out
with him again. It was really rocky. Andys our first guitar
player. It was weird for a long time, but were best of friends
Tom: Before the whole, youre out, Toms in
thing, we were all really good friends, then afterwards it was rough.
Then its like it didnt even happen. He comes to the shows
and hangs out
Its funny, on the website, it says Andy came
in and worked on the record. And people are like, what song
does he play guitar on? He just yelled on a song.
Mike: You can hear his voice because hes echoing me on a song.
Tom: He sounds like a big tough guy.
What sorts of things scare you?
Mike: Being trapped underwater.
Yuri: Scuba diving freaks me out
Tom: I hate flying.
Mike: I dont really have anything like that.
Yuri: Mostly emotional stuff?
Tom: I scare Mike.
Mike: Probably, Im scared of spiders sometimes.
How do you keep your fan base so loyal?
Mike: Actually with our fan club, we do tons of stuff for that. We
have a meet-and-greet every night, every show. Talk to people. And
thats only through the fan club. We send out CDs. We make
a Christmas song every year. We do demos. We try to do a lot of extra
stuff. Just be real with people, as well as our lyrics. A lot of the
kids relate to what were saying.
We have a saying at Hard Rock Cafe, Love all, serve all.
What does that mean to you?
Yuri: Thats probably the only way you can be happy through life.
I mean, Jesus talks about that. Serving people, being a servant to
Mike: I think if youre self-serving, maybe youll be happy
at that moment, but ultimately youre not going to be happy if
youre not showing love to those you should be loving. Especially
your family- friends, and stuff like that.
Tom: There should be more loving all and serving all.