What are the high points and low points of being in MxPx?
Tom: “The high points are playing in front of people, that’s why we do a band. It’s fun! The low points are being away from the girlfriends and the friends, stuff like that.”
What’s been the best gig you’ve ever played?
T: “It’s hard to say because it always changes. We’ve played a lot of cool shows and we’ve also met a lot of cool people. Like meeting Joe Strummer from the Clash, that was cool because I’m a huge fan of the Clash. We opened up for the Sex Pistols as well, that was pretty rad.”
So what’s influenced you as a band?
T: “Anything from the Descendents, Black Flag and Bad Religion to like, the Clash, the Who, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.”
What are you listening to at the moment?
T: “Elliot Smith, Counting Crows, stuff like that.”
Do you see punk becoming anymore mainstream anytime soon?
T: “I don’t know, it’s hard to say. Things come and go, like Green Day and the Offspring were huge and then Blink were huge and then there’s a downtime in between. Maybe we’re in the downtime right now. Remember when Green Day hit big, 7 or 8 months later Offspring hit big, maybe there’s going to be another band hitting big now.”
You’ve been described as the new Blink. If one band could hit it big right now, would you like it to be you?
T: “I’d like to do this for fun y’know? The day it becomes completely just work, I’ll quit. I got into it for fun, I’ll always be into it for fun. I don’t want to play music for work, I’ll go and work a real job for work! A real job lets you be at home with your girlfriend or your wife at night. This job takes you away from your significant other and your friends for months at a time.”
How long do you think you can carry on?
T: “I don’t know, it just depends on how things go, how I feel, how Mike feels and how Uri feels. But we’re having a great time right now.”
When you’re on tour do you ever think about just packing it in?
T: “No. I mean you get bummed out, you get lonely and have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? Europe is like that to a lot of American bands. Everything is exactly the same every day!”
How is it different to touring in America?
T: “We’re more used to America. In this town right now I wouldn’t be able to find anything but if this was an American town, dude, we could find everything easily! Over here, it’s foreign even though we speak the same language. Now when we go over to Germany, that’s really foreign!”
Apparently there’s a really big punk scene building up in Germany at the moment…
T: “Germany is amazing! We’ve toured in Germany like 3 or 4 times now and it’s awesome. It’s always been really good and everyone is super cool to us. Actually, Sweden’s good as well. People in Sweden speak English really well so in Sweden it was like “Can I get some more guitars in the monitor?” and they’d be like “Yeah. No problem. It’s all good. Friend!” It’s a little broken but we understood each other!”
Is it hard being a Christian band in a scene dominated by drugs or alcohol?!?
T: “Well one, we’re not a Christian band. We’re Christians and we’re a band and two; the scene is not dominated by drugs or alcohol!”
But lots of bands do drugs…
T: “So? Lots of bands don’t do drugs! It’s not the eighties like everyone thinks it is! It’s not like Motley Crew! Do you see any naked girls walking up to the bus and saying “I’d like to come is and have sex with everyone in the band!” It’s not like that y’know, things have changed!”
Has anyone ever done that to you?!?
T: “NO! It’s not the eighties, that’s what I’m saying! Like in the eighties, you’d walk backstage and there’d be a pile of cocaine and naked groupies, it’s not that way anymore!”
Not even with Less than Jake?
T: “Those guys are so mellow! They’re just like us, the only difference is they smoke pot! We’re such good friends with them that we’re sharing a bus with them right now and it’s fun. First band we’ve ever shared a bus with! The only reason is that we were already friends with them, we would never share a bus with people we don’t know.”
Have you ever got into any fights with any of the bands you’ve toured with?
T: “No. Why?”
Well, you might not get on with them or something…
T: “No, we’re all out here doing the most amazing job I can think of. There’d be no reason to get into any fights!”
T: “No! Imagine if you were in a band and you had some more friends with you in a band and you were all touring around, making money and enjoying your jobs, why would you get into a fight?”