Dude, it’s MxPx!” an excited teenage boy said Sunday

night at the Seahawks Exhibition Center as he tried to

move closer to the stage.

“Who cares? They blow,” said his friend who obviously came to the concert to see headlining act Dashboard Confessional and disappeared into the sea of people.

Soon the introduction to The Who’s classic “Teenage Wasteland” was blasting through the amplifiers and MxPx, the most famous band to ever (and still) call Bremerton home, hit the stage with wild abandon for another show in support of their newly released album Before Everything & After.

It’s the first time the band members — Mike Herrera (bass and vocals), Tom Wisniewski (guitar and vocals) and Yuri Ruley (drums) — have been in the Northwest in more than a month so it was a time to visit with wives, friends and family before hitting the road for a show last night in Utah and tonight in Denver.

“It was hard to go home,” Yuri said in a pre-show backstage interview. “We’re based in Bremerton and that works for us.”

“What’s the point?” Tom said. “All I do is try to do laundry and be up too late and too early so I just said forget it. I’ll try to figure out laundry somewhere else.”

“It’s fun to treat Seattle like any other city sometimes,” said Mike, who did admit to sleeping in his own bed instead of on the tour bus or a hotel after making a speed run from Salem, Ore. the night before.

They probably won’t be spending too many nights at home (Mike and Yuri each have homes in Bremerton while Tom says he lives “out in the county.”)

“Our year is just starting,” Tom said. “Now the record is out we’ll be busy, busy, busy. This tour we’re on with Dashboard is almost over then we’ll do our own headlining stuff until the end of October. Then there’s a hole in November and December we’ll fill up with stuff. We’ll probably go over to Australia and Japan for the release of the record over there.”

Before Everything & After is the band’s first full-length studio album on A&M Records since releasing The Ever Passing Moment in 2000. Originally scheduled for a spring 2003 release, it was pushed back until Sept. 16 which was alright with the band.

“It was done last spring but we ended up remastering it a bunch of times,” said Mike, who reportedly wrote 50 songs for this album before cutting it down to 14. “I think if the record came out last spring it would be a different record than it is right now. So all in all we’re happy it’s out now.”

“It’s out and it’s the way we want it,” Yuri said.

“The thing with this new record is that we didn’t want it to sound like a typical MxPx record,” Mike said of the band’s sixth album. “We wanted people to go ‘Whoa.’ We wanted it to be new, yet you can tell it’s MxPx. It’s all the fundamental parts we love about MxPx, yet there’s something more and there’s something to pay attention to.”

The band has clearly evolved since recording Pokinatcha before they even graduated from Central Kitsap High back in 1995.

“Each of our albums have sounded different, but they’ve all sounded simple in a way — simple songs, simple guitar parts,” Mike continued. “I don’t think these songs aren’t simple, there’s just more melody to them. There’s more harmony to the melody. It’s a little more orchestrated. It’s a natural progression. It’s us just wanting to make a record we can be proud of instead of trying to worry if something isn’t punk rock enough or this is too this or too that. Let’s just put our best songs forward and I think people like it.

“Our fans are loving it — fans that have been fans forever. We’ve given them some classic, fast MxPx stuff on the record which is definitely something they may have missed on our last album. And then we’ve given them a whole new outlook on MxPx with some of these new songs like ‘Quit Your Life,’ ‘Don’t Walk Away,’ ‘Kings of Hollywood.’ They’re into the fact we’ve done something new.”

“I love everything on the new record,” said Jon Hass of Marysville, a fan who showed up four hours early to get a good spot in line. “There’s nothing I don’t like about MxPx.”

And the band is succeeding with a pop/punk sound that sticks to the simple rules which include not having profanity (part of having a Christian background — “We’re not preachers but we do have an integrity and belief in God,” Mike said.)

“That’s something some fans appreciate,” Yuri said. “They want to have positive influences musically.”

Besides working on their record, the band has been working on a number of projects, including: a video for the first single “Everything Sucks (When You’re Gone);” a new song for a upcoming Christmas compilation; an appearance in the MTV Films production of Wuthering Heights (where Mike actually has a role outside of playing with the band); two nationwide tours and are featured on the recent DVD release of Animal House covering the Isley Brothers classic “Shout.” Plus they kicked off the year in a Diet Pepsi commercial that debuted during the Super Bowl.

With all this publicity and promotion — are they celebrities?

“This is the dream job,” Tom said. “When you’re growing up you want to be a rock star. We’re pretending like we are rock stars.”

“I think it’s possible,” Mike said. “If it’s the right time and the right place it could happen. We just have to get the planets to line up.”

“Our record is good enough to do that for sure,” Yuri added.

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