MxPx survived 13 years’ worth of ups and downs, as well as the major-label meat grinder. But before they created their new album, they first had to be saved from their biggest obstacle: themselves.

Story: Megan Seling

Let’s not start at the beginning. Because with a story like this, to start at the beginning would mean going back 13 long years to a time when MxPx were just a bright-eyed, fast-paced pop-punk trio covering Social Distortion songs in their parents’ Bremerton, Washington, garages. Not that that’s not cute and interesting and everything, but don’t we all know that part of the story by now? Indeed we do. So, let’s just go back a year or so, to the spring of 2004, when MxPx were sitting on top of a batch of new songs and looking forward to recording their seventh album in their newly updated home studio. That’s when the story really starts to get good.

MxPx-singer/bassist Mike Herrera, guitarist Tom Wisniewski and drummer Yuri Ruley-had just recently inked a deal with Los Angeles indie label SideOneDummy, after amicably parting ways with A&M Records, their major-label home of seven years.

“Overall, they were really great,” Herrera says of the band’s old label, “but we really weren’t getting any attention. We were basically the little brother that tags along with Eminem and all the acts they care about. It was really tough to get any stability. We were just sick of it, so we asked to be let go, and they finally let us go.”

The parting was exactly what the band needed. They were excited about making a record with SideOneDummy not only because they’ve been friends with label founder Joe Sib for a number of years, but also because the band, according to Herrera, “wanted to get back to more control and more heart and soul. MxPx were either gonna live or die, and we felt like if we want to live, let’s live. Let’s not just have a feeding tube and sit in a hospital bed; let’s get out and play ball.”

For the rest of the story, pick up AP 205 below…