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?

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18 responses to “MXPX

  1. I would have to say Life in General. I was in Junior High and I was looking for a band I could really follow. Up until then I was just into mainstream bands. I think my favorite was Aerosmith at the time. But I specifically remember the album LIG playing in the background of my busy room and hearing Mike’s vocals when the music slowed down during the bridge of Do Your Feet Hurt. I was hooked every sense. They opened the door to a ton of bands I never would have found, although they never topped Mxpx on my favorites list.

    BE&A was probably next influential, just because they released it right a few months before I was to deploy to Afghanistan. I could only fit a few cd’s in my pack that I was to carry around for the next several months, and I carefully chose that one and a select few. For months I stared up at the stars at night listening to that album and analyzing the lyrics. Every song on that album ended up having a special place in my heart because of that experience. I can still listen to it today and it brings me back to sitting on a sandbag, looking off to an endless desert and listening to those songs over and over.

    I even wrote the guys about it on an MRE box, and they were kind enough to send me a package of all kinds of goodies. I can’t envision any other bands showing that kind of dedication to a solitary, and at the time, very lonely fan.

    One of these days, when I’m all old and wrinkly, I’ll probably retire to florida or some where cliché like that, and my favorite band will still be Mxpx. They were my youth anthem, and I’ll never forget it.

    Here’s to the phase of being a pokinatcha punk!!!

    • chrisloach

      glad to hear you made it back from afghanistan. sooo awesome of them to send you a package…who else would do that? i’ll come down to florida and break some hips with you!

  2. Tiffany

    Great article! I have been an MxPx fan for many many years and without them I would not have gotten through some of the toughest times of my life. Much love to those boys from Bremerton.

  3. I started with Life in General which also helped me get out of the CCM bubble. But when Slowly Going to Way of the Buffalo happened it became one of my all-time favorite albums.

    Though it gets tons of hate, Before Everything and After will always remind me of the drives to and from college. I think it’s a fantastic pop record and I still feel like that album should have gotten them into the mainstream.

    I love this band and I will miss Yuri. 18 years with the same three dudes is an insane run though and I thank them for all the years!

    • chrisloach

      i totally agree with you about BEA…i am sure some fans are glad they didn’t blow up but i would have loved to have seen it happen!

  4. Life in General is my favorite too man, I live in Monterrey Mexico and the band came in 2004, it was one of the best days in my life, you know not many bands get the chance to come down here and they did, I’m sure they get surprised because some can’t even locate my town in a map and everybody enjoyed the show.

    Here’s a flag I gave to Mike that day:

    Well dude, I gotta go, I could be hours here writing stuff, see ya around, and greetings from Monterrey.

    • chrisloach

      thanks for the comment! mxpx puts on an amazing show…glad you got to see them in your hometown!
      ps sweet flag!

  5. Lance

    I think not as much as an album but a song in an album is the most life changing for me. Tomarrow’s another day, this song showed me how much God loves us and lets us retry everyday and he for gives us for our sins. I’m only 13 but I’ve witnessed things that some might never live and I hope that they never witness the pain and struggling my mom and I have been going through, and I had all of this anger and rage all inside of me, and I wanted to kill everything that got me mad. But then my brothers opend me up to MxPx, and I heard this song and I learned that everyone needs to start over, everyone needs a second chance. That is my MxPx story.

  6. chrisloach

    thanks for the comment lance. “tomorrow’s another day” is one of my favs! praying for you.

  7. Jake Scott

    It’s truly sad to hear of Yuri’s leaving. As funny as it sounds MxPx is the band that made me fall in love with music. I’ll never forget the first album I bought of there’s (Life In General). The summer of 05 would change me as a teen for ever. I would pop that cd in and jam with it on the drums for hours in my hot attic. Yuri is who got me so interested with drumming.

    Or both times I saw them in concert. Man what a dream come true. They bring something that I never saw before to the stage and I loved it.

    Needles to say I will always be a fan. Respect Yuri’s decision. He has a family to take of. I don’t think it will be the last we hear from him.

  8. Jonathan

    My favorite album would have to be Before Everything and After. I have only seen MxPx once in concert but it was incredible. They have been my favorite band since I was 12. I remember when the music video for Responsibility was playing at the movie theater where I was going I was so excited to see MxPx in the mainstream. I really thought that they were going to break through into the mainstream but it never seemed to happen. Yuri we will miss you so very much. Thank you for the impact that you had on my musical taste. I hope MxPx had many more years of music to make!

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  10. It’s kinda funny, but my MxPx story is very similar to Chris’s, mine just happened to be one album sooner. I too was in early junior high when I first happened upon MxPx, and I listened to a lot of contemporary Christian music. Then I heard Punk Rawk Show, and it was literally music to my ears. When Life in General was released I picked it up quickly and wore it out. It is still my favorite album of theirs to date though I love them all. I even introduced my wife to MxPx when we first met.She quickly fell in love with punk as well, and a show we attended still remains our favorite concert we’ve ever been to. I am now 30 and my wife and I still love punk rock and MxPx can always be found in our Ipod rotation.

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