Hailing from Bremerton, Washington, MxPx gained a following by updating the brash, three-chord attack of classic punk for the '90s, and kept that following well into the 21st century by remaining true to their sound and ideals. With albums including 1996's Life in General, they became one of the most influential bands of the pop-punk movement, paving the way for the likes of New Found Glory and Good Charlotte with their speedy, raucous, hooky songs. Not long after, MxPx found mainstream success with 2000's The Ever Passing Moment and 2003's Before Everything & After, both of which ascended the Billboard charts. In the 2010s and beyond, 2012's Plans Within Plans -- which coincided with their 20th anniversary -- and 2018's MxPx proved they were as dedicated to their music and fans as the day they formed.
MxPx formed in 1992 in Bremerton, Washington. Originally dubbed Magnified Plaid, the group launched while its three members -- vocalist/bassist Mike Herrera, drummer Yuri Ruley, and guitarist Andy Husted -- were still attending high school. The moniker was later shortened to MxPx after Ruley abbreviated the name on some show flyers; poor handwriting saw the periods being interpreted as x's instead, and the name stuck. Wielding an energetic sound that was inspired by bands like the Descendents and NOFX as well as California's skateboard culture, MxPx wasted little time attracting a local following. By the time the three friends had received their driver's licenses, they had already released several 7" singles and a debut album, Pokinatcha, for Tooth & Nail Records in 1994. It quickly became the label's best-seller and prompted the release of the band's sophomore effort, Teenage Politics, late the next year. By this time, Husted had been replaced by guitarist Tom Wisniewski, and the group quickly followed the release of Teenage Politics with a short collection of cover songs entitled On the Cover. Popular with the skate/surf community as well as the punk underground (with a snowboard sponsorship to their name), MxPx ultimately broke out of the underground in 1996 with their classic third LP, Life in General. The album included such fan favorites as "Chick Magnet" and "Move to Bremerton."
Having landed a distribution deal with A&M Records, Life in General was re-released, followed in 1998 by MxPx's major-label debut, Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo, which eventually went gold. That fall, they also released the compilation album Let It Happen on their old Tooth & Nail label; the odds-and-sods collection contained B-sides, demos, and other stray tracks. The 1999 live recording At the Show displayed MxPx's ability to re-create their music in concert, while their next full-length, The Ever Passing Moment, continued their ascent up the charts upon its 2000 release.
Over the next few years, MxPx remained busy, issuing an EP and 7" single on Fat Wreck Chords, contributing the "Scooby Doo" theme song to the 2002 Scooby Doo movie, then releasing their first greatest-hits release, Ten Years and Running, in 2002. Their next official studio effort came in the form of 2003's Before Everything & After, which netted the band their highest-ever chart placement at number 51 on the Billboard 200. After another career retrospective, the 2004 B-Movie DVD, MxPx contributed a track to The Passion of the Christ: Songs, a compilation inspired by the 2004 film of the same name. The band's seventh studio album, Panic, was released in 2005 on the Side One Dummy label. MxPx spent summer 2006 on the road with ska-punks Reel Big Fish before issuing their next record, Let's Rock, that October. Let's Rock was comprised of previously unreleased tracks from recording sessions dating back to 2000. The next month, Tooth & Nail reissued a deluxe version of MxPx's 1998 rarities compilation Let It Happen, including a bonus DVD and several unreleased songs. After re-signing with Tooth & Nail, the group released their eighth album, Secret Weapon, in 2007. They remained on the roster for the 2009 release of On the Cover II, another covers album that paid tribute to the band's early days while showing appreciation for the likes of the Clash, Ramones, and the Go-Go's. Late that year, MxPx issued the EP Left Coast Punk on their own label, Rock City Recording Company; for the holidays, they issued Punk Rawk Christmas digitally and in several limited-edition packages.
A documentary film, Both Ends Burning, appeared at the end of 2011, setting the table for MxPx's 20th anniversary, which they celebrated in 2012 by releasing their ninth studio album, Plans Within Plans. In 2016, the band released a re-recording of Life in General to celebrate the album's 20th anniversary. Two years later, MxPx launched a crowd-funding campaign to support their upcoming studio release. Appearing in September 2018, MxPx found the band addressing issues including fatherhood and marriage. They rounded out the year with the holiday EP Punk Rawk Christmas, then returned in 2019 with the stand-alone singles "San Dimas High School Football Rules" and "Franco Un-American."
© John Bush & Corey Apar /TiVo