Yesterday MXPX announced that drummer, Yuri Ruley would be retiring to focus on raising his family as the band plans to scale back on touring. Yuri was one of the founding members of MXPX that just celebrated 18 years together as a band. He also happens to be one of the nicest guys in music I’ve met.
In November of 1996 a cassette tape called “Life In General” by MXPX changed my life. One might think it’s funny that a punk rock album, or any album for that matter, could really change someones life…But “Life In General” did change mine! What I originally purchased on cassette tape I would eventually buy several times on CD. The album still remains #1 on my list of favorite albums and track #11 “Today Is In My Way” still remains one of my all time favorite songs.
Before Life In General my music tastes were stuck in the Christian bubble of cheesy CCM bands. The first time I heard Life In General it was like hearing music for the first time. It was fast, melodic, and during the life changing time of puberty, the lyrics spoke to me as if they were written directly to me. Starting out with the first five words of the album, “emotion, is my middle name.” Opening my ears to a completely new style of music lead me to explore other music styles and bands. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for Life In General, I would not have the same wide respect and taste for music as I do today.
Not only did the lyrics positively affect my life, but the band also drove me to become a musician. First starting on bass and moving onto guitar by learning MXPX songs from tabs online. I would not be the musician I am today (not that I am a good one) had I not started playing MXPX songs in my room over 10 years ago.
18 years and 2.5 million records sold…99.9% of bands only dream of that kind of success and MXPX had it. They don’t act or live like big time rock stars with big houses and lots of cars but they have done what they love for over half of their lives. Again something most people only dream about.
I’ve seen the band play around a dozen amazing live shows over the years. So even with them not touring full-time anymore, I can still see them play festivals and one-off shows as well as hear the new music they release. Their story doesn’t end today. Yuri’s time and story with the band may end but the impact the 3 members of MXPX had in my life will last a lifetime.
What about you? What album was life changing for you?