News Alternative 20/05/2005

MxPx Set To Release 'Panic' June 7 On SideOneDummy

LOS ANGELES (MxPx Official Website) - Pacific Northwest young punkers MxPx are set to release their sixth full-length album PANIC June 7 on SideOneDummy. The group's first single "Heard That Sound"--a punk rock anthem and nod to the transformative power of music--is already garnering a huge early buzz on KROQ in Los Angeles, 91x in San Diego, The End in Seattle and LIVE105 in San Francisco. MxPx will perform at KROQ's annual Weenie Roast May 21 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA before hitting the road as a mainstage act on this summer's Vans Warped Tour.

In other news, MxPx--MIKE HERRERA (vocals/bass), TOM WISNIEWSKI (guitar) and YURI RULEY (drums)--invited fan club members to join them for their recent "Heard That Sound" video shoot with director Mike Kaminsky. Lensed in a downtown Los Angeles loft, the clip is a retrospective of the young band's 13-year career in punk rock. Fans showed up thinking it was their opportunity to listen to the new record and received a two-hour free show as well as a pizza lunch while they listened to the new record.

MxPx teamed with producer Gavin MacKillop (Sugarcult, Goo Goo Dolls, PIL) for PANIC, their first studio album since 2003's Before Everything and After and first full-length album on indie SideOneDummy. Recorded in the band's own Bremerton, WA home studio, PANIC is an infectious album which builds impressively on the band's history. The album also features Blink-182/Plus-44's Mark Hoppus as a co-writer/performer on the track "Wrecking Hotel Rooms."

"Something had to change," says MxPx vocalist/bassist and chief songwriter HERRERA about where the band found itself after 13 years, three labels, six albums and a career retrospective DVD/CD. "We were either going to slowly die or do something extraordinary, dig deeper than we ever have before." MxPx promise not to go quietly, as the "Heard That Sound" single is a tribute to the healing power of music, while "This Weekend" and "Kicking and Screaming" celebrate the sacred in the profane. That optimism tends to balance the fear and loathing expressed in such MxPx classics like "The Darkest Places," "Waiting for the World to End," "Young and Depressed" and "Cold Streets."

"Our goal was to be aware of our surroundings, to break out of the bubble and check out what the rest of the world was up to," says HERRERA, who formed the band with drummer RULEY while still in high school. Guitarist WISNIEWSKI joined up just after the skate-punk's debut Pokinatcha for indie label Tooth & Nail back in 1995. "I tried to use my personal experiences and those around me, including politics and the media that I see every day."

With PANIC, MxPx seized the opportunity to simultaneously sum up what they were all about and forge into the future with a second wind and a newfound maturity. "We sat down and talked about where we were at and what we wanted to do," says HERRERA. "The consensus was we wanted this to be a new beginning, a fresh start. We're not the same as we were 13 years ago. Once you find yourself in debt up to your eyeballs, you start to think of the world differently than when you were living in your parents' basement. Kids grow up faster these days. I'm not going to pretend I haven't changed."

HERRERA points to PANIC tracks like "Late Again" and "Wrecking Hotel Rooms" as examples of taking his own personal experiences and putting them directly into the music. "I think, on a subconscious level, the fact that these songs were born out of struggle, out of something completely real, comes through." PANIC asks the important existential questions in songs like "The Story," which takes us to the back of a doubtful mind. It pushes and pulls us to ask, "How will this life end?" but also supplies its own answers in the work itself. "I didn't want to sit around and wait for something to happen to us," says HERRERA, who credits the dislocation caused by a trip to visit relatives in Texas for the stark vision of "Waiting for the World to End." "I wanted to do something about our situation as a band. The idea was to hit people with something they've never heard from us."

"The difference between complete insanity and getting through those dark times is hearing something, knowing you're not alone, that there's somebody there on the other side of the wall," says HERRERA. "But it's also about walking down the street as a kid and hearing the sound of your favorite band from inside the club, something you can always look back on and draw strength from."

"We're more ready to take on the world than we've been in our whole career," HERRERA boasts. "We can follow our own instincts now. All those years, it was like we were chasing a ghost. But back then, I didn't have the knowledge or understanding to realize what was going on. And I didn't have the strength to fight it. I was always second-guessing myself. Above all else, I've learned not to doubt myself. To figure out what I want before it's too late. And once you do figure it out, you just have to go for it."

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