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."
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."
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."