Last week, our awesome friends from Livescape Asia surprised us when they told us that MxPx frontman Mike Herrera was available for an interview. Now, we know that aspiring rock stars and fans alike are getting more and more exciting each day as Malaysia’s biggest rock fest, Rockaway Fest 2012 is looming oh, you know, just around the corner. But we wanted to hear from the man himself whose band is celebrating 20 years of rockin’ success!
So let’s check in with Mike to see what’s been happening for them:
Hey Mike! Thanks for taking time to speak to us. Whereabouts are you now?
“I’m at home between tours. It’s about 8:15pm here.”
So, MxPx has been together for about 20 years now. How has it been for you guys and how are you celebrating this?
“We’ve been doing these shows called ’20-year show’s where we have special guests come and play songs with us. We’re doing that just in the United States over the summer. So we have just one more coming up this weekend and then we’re done with that. But really from this whole summer to year end we’re celebrating. Plus we’re going to be on tour!”
MxPx, 20 years on, and still going strong. How did you and your band mates hang tough? Were there any high points or low points?
“It’s been amazing that we get to travel and we get to play with so many great bands..and really just doing something that you love to do for a living, it’s amazing. The main thing is that we get to play music. It’s been interesting to see how technology now plays a huge role in music – it always kinda has you know, in rock and roll. We started when we were kids so the biggest change for us is being adults and growing up. And having to realize that this is something that not everybody gets to be so it kinda gives us something to think about. Twenty years!”
Twenty years! It really has been a long time. What were the most memorable moments of your career?
“I don’t really know if I have just one memorable moment but I would say that the show that I always think about was when we played the Chiba Marine Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. We had a full crowd. A full stadium full of people! Just being part of something like that was huge for me. We’ve had a lot of those moments but that’s the one I remember.”
What would you say to inspire the young ones who wants to someday make it big like you, or like MxPx?
“The main thing is, you gotta realize that..to be able to do something that you love well, not everyone will have the same goals that you do. Try to find like-minded people to play with, play with your friends because you’ll be spending a lot of time with your band mates. Play music with people you enjoy being around. I mean, even MxPx, we do get into disagreements but we just do our jobs and have good shows. Our disagreements immediately become secondary.”
In the beginning, there were some misconceptions about MxPx’s strong faith. Tell us a little bit more about that.
“I was brought up as a religious person in a Christian church. I just play music and try to relate to the world in a way that is positive. I think that’s the most important thing that has sorta changed from our beginning to like, twenty years later. I think people realized that we’re just people who are trying to make a way in this world and the listeners and the fans out there have been amazing. It’s nice to know that we’re always a positive influence on those people.”
That’s true. We hear that your fans are amazing. Have you ever had a crazy fan moment though?
“Yeah! One time, we were somewhere in Brazil and we were going to the van and the crowd mobbed around so much that people were getting pushed around by another bunch of people. I mean, they climb in your van and they try to get into your windows, stuff like that, you know? Those kinda crazy fan moments..”
Maybe MxPx would need bodyguards when you guys come back for Rockaway Fest 2012 huh? What do you remember from the last time you guys came to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?
“I remember that we took the train to a few places and saw the beautiful city. We also went to eat a lot – your native foods and stuff. Kuala Lumpur is so different from where I’m from. I’m definitely looking forward to the food when we come back. And also the show, of course. We’re definitely going to put on a new show that’s better than the last one that we did.”
So you guys have new material now, right? To perform?
“We have a new album out called Plans Within Plans. We were all doing other things and I’ve been doing solo tours here and there. But you know, we went off to do our own things then we came back to do this. This album is a really strong, fast-sounding record that’s a little bit more serious as far as lyrically and the sound is not so lighthearted so the whole album itself carries a lot more weight. We’ve always done very pop-oriented songs for our singles but for this new album, we made sure that our singles were more punk-oriented ones.”
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We’re so looking forward to MxPx’s gig right now! Before we go, Mike, is there anything that you’d like to say to our readers and MxPx fans in Malaysia?
“Oh yeah, absolutely! It’s been a long time since we’ve been to Malaysia and we’re really, really excited to come back. It’s been a really good year for us, a really strong year. Twenty. Twenty years! Good things have been happening to music and we’ve incorporated modern sounds and modern ideas into our stuff which is really and old school punk sound. So we can’t wait to see you guys, and see you guys have fun!”
We can’t wait to see you guys too! Catch MxPx live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 20th October 2012 (Saturday) at Rockaway Fest 2012. Time to rock out, peeps!