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MxPx celebrates 20th anniversary as a Bremerton band
After two decades of touring and traveling around the world and releasing nine studio albums, the members of MxPx still call Bremerton and the area home.
The band, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has deep roots in the area with no plans to move in the near future.
The band’s first performance was held in a backyard in Bremerton and the group performed at a talent show at Central Kitsap High School as well as local clubs throughout the area.
The band also recorded what, for some, is an area anthem “Move to Bremerton.”
Mike Herrera said he remembers those days and still enjoys living in the area.
Herrera is the bassist, vocalist and keyboardist for the band with Yuri Ruley on drums and percussion and Tom Wisniewski on guitar on backing vocals.
The band originally went by the name Magnified Plaid with the name often abbreviated MP, but posters printed by Ruley had the periods behind MP look like Xs and the name MxPx stuck.
The band has toured internationally and performed on the same bill with artists such as Joe Strummer, Green Day, Alice in Chains, Metallica and The Sex Pistols.
Herrera said it had been an honor and a pleasure to work with artists of this caliber, but it is always good to come home to Bremerton also.
“We all went to Central Kitsap High and grew up in the area,” he said. “The area is home.”
Herrera said the band is strong on community and believes in its roots.
When “Move to Bremerton” was adopted by city officials and made an anthem for enticing younger people to move to the area, then Mayor of Bremerton Cary Bozeman awarded the members of the group the key to the city.
Herrera said the band had enjoyed working with the city and felt the city was a great place to call home.
“We let them use our song,” he said. “We didn’t charge them or anything. Community really is a part of our thing.”
Herrera said he definitely understood the urge to travel and see the world, but also understood that there was no place like home.
“Traveling is great,” he said. “It makes you appreciate where you are from even more, but you have to remember you can come back home.”
Traveling offers a chance to see other communities, he said and also to take a little bit of Bremerton wherever he goes.
When asked about how the band has managed to stay together 20 years and survive the extensive changes in the music industry over that time, he said it was a matter of friendship and working hard.
“We are people who sometimes disagree with one another,” he said. “But we have always gotten over it.”
“We keep going to work, and hopefully we will get paid for it,” he added.
As for the future, Herrera said the band will tour for their anniversary and have a photo book due to be released.
He said the trials of being in a working band were difficult, but worth it.
“Things happen so much that I am glad I can say I love my job or it wouldn’t be worth it,” he said.
Herrera said the band still loved to play locally and he believed the group would always be friends and find time to do what they love, but he said the band had slowed down over the years with members having families and working in other areas.
“There is no retirement in punk rock,” he said. “Life catches up with a band.”