Saturday, December 18, 2010

MxPx

For more than a decade, pop-punk band MxPx was hesitant to call itself a "Christian rock" band. Not anymore.

Founded in the early '90s, MxPx (pronounced Em-ex Pe-ex, short for Magnified Plaid) is comprised of vocalist-bassist Mike Herrera, guitarist Tom Wisniewski and drummer Yuri Ruley. The Bremerton, Washington, natives play "positive" melodic punk – think Green Day, Good Charlotte and NOFX minus the angst. Although the trio signed to Christian indie Tooth & Nail Records in 1993, they distanced themselves from "preaching … and writing songs that say stuff about 'glorifying God and Jesus.'"

The three members of MxPx pose in a tattoo shop.
In 1995, with the pop charts dominated by grunge rock, MxPx scored a minor radio hit with Chick Magnet, a syrupy complaint featuring an infectious walking bassline and Hererra's croaky vocals. After moving to A&M Records, the band continued to churn out happy pop-punk like I'm Ok, You're Ok and Responsibility before releasing the more emo Everything Sucks (When You're Gone) in 2003.

In 2007, MxPx returned to their roots and the Tooth & Nail label to release Secret Weapon, an album packed full of tightly woven and fast-paced songs reminiscent of their early recordings. The trio have also embraced their status as religious rockers, not, they argue, because their stance on "preaching" is any different, but because the scene itself has evolved: "It's become accepted to be a Christian in a band and not necessarily be tagged as a 'Christian band.' The Christian scene has changed to accept that. That's how it should have always been."

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