Current Lineup of MxPx:
Tom Wisniewski – guitar
Yuri Ruley – drums
What does MxPx Stand For?:
The band, a Christian-themed punk outfit started by Herrera, Ruley and original guitarist Andy Husted when the three were 15, was originally named Magnified Plaid. The band shortened it to MP for their show posters, but due to poor handwriting, the periods looked like X’s. MxPx was how the band's name was read, and it stuck.
The Tooth and Nail Days:
Tooth and Nail Records got their hands on a demo cassette of the band’s music and the band ended up playing a showcase for the label in 1993 in the garage of Herrera's parents. The resulting record deal saw the releasing their debut album, Pokinatcha, while they were all still in high school.
While on Tooth and Nail, MxPx released three more albums before signing a distribution deal with A&M. Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo and The Ever Passing Moment were albums released jointly between the two labels, before they shifted entirely to a major-label deal with A&M.
The Major Label Days of MxPx, and Back to the Beginning:
With Before Everything & After, the band was both helped and harmed by being on a major label. The increased production resulted in a record that was slicker, cleaner and more melodic than what they’d done previously. As is the case with many pop punk bands who’ve made the transition to a major label, many of their earlier fans, especially those who loved the grittier sound the band had displayed earlier, felt alienated, branding the band as sell outs (quite similar to Green Day’s treatment from older fans).
As is also sadly the case with many pop punk bands that hop to a major label, MxPx was dropped by A&M after one record, despite its commercial success. They found a home with SideOneDummy Records for the release of Panic in 2005 before bringing their career full circle, returning to the label that helped launch their career, Tooth and Nail.
Is MxPx a Christian Band?:
Although MxPx has been dubbed a Christian punk band, this is something that points more to the band’s lives than their music. The themes they have dealt with in their lyrics reflect less of a straightforward Christian message, instead dealing with universal themes for all of their fans, predominantly related to growing, especially in the early years of the band, when they were themselves growing up while writing songs and releasing records.
Additionally, as the band has evolved, they have shown more of a secular shift in their songwriting. Specifically, Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo was the most drastically shifting record in themes. Generally, though, it’s been gradual; the band’s themes and subject matter have matured as they have, reflecting on where they are at in their lives, rather than making music that’s been forced to be blatantly religious.
MxPx has had a few side projects. The first, Arthur, is simply MxPx with the addition of a member. The Cootees was a separate side project featuring Herrera and Wisniewski with two additional members. Most recently, Herrera has broken his pop punk mold with Tumbledown, an outlaw country side project.
In His Own Words:
Teenage Politics – 1995 (Compare Prices)
On The Cover - 1995 (Compare Prices)
Life In General - 1996 (Compare Prices)
Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo - 1998 (Compare Prices)
The Ever Passing Moment - 2000 (Compare Prices)
Before Everything & After - 2003 (Compare Prices)
Panic - 2005 (Compare Prices)
Secret Weapon – 2007 (Compare Prices)
On The Cover II - 2009 (Compare Prices)