Official Site: Click here
Date: February 24, 2004
Conducted by: John Frank
TMF John: What is it like to be so young and already have a greatest hits album?
Tom: I don’t consider it a greatest hits album first off, it’s a ten year retrospect, but it’s cool, it’s pretty neat to have been around for so long and have a bunch of records out and have someone actually think it’s a good idea to put that out.
TMF John: Do you think it’s ironic at all that you’re opening for some of the bands that can claim you as an influence?
Tom: No, if you’re talking about this tour, it’s a co-headlining tour.
TMF John: I saw you on the civic tour a while ago with New found Glory and Good Charlotte.
Tom: Ya, we were opening for them, they have sold a lot more records, it’s all about the popularity and I don’t think just cause a band sells more records they are necessarily better than another band, you know? So to me, it’s fun, I mean those are all really good friends of ours, so I’m stoked to be on those tours, it’s good times. Where did you see us on that tour?
TMF John: Santa Barbara?.
Tom: Ah, that was a weird one.
TMF John: Ya, it was cold and the fans were all there for Good Charlotte, so it was pretty calm during the other performances.
TMF John: What are your thoughts on the new label compared to the old Tooth and Nail?
Tom: Uh, they do it better for sure, they do it legally, I guess would be a nice way to put it. They do everything by the book, they are pretty straight up, they will just come right out and tell you when they aren’t gonna do something, you can jump up and down all you want, but it won’t do any good. They are not robbing you blind, they are robbing you legally, but they aren’t like doing anything through the back door.
TMF John: What is the most rewarding part of being in a successful band?
Tom: Apart from being able to do what you love, as a profession or whatever, I think what’s most rewarding is playing the live shows, it’s like instant gratification, you know you play the song and people are like “yay” or “you kind of blew that one there.” But, it’s definitely the most rewarding, it’s instant, it’s right there. It’s rewarding to make a great record and have people enjoy it and tell you how great it is, but it’s not like so quick, like it’s make the record for a couple months, then the record company sits on it for a few months and lets it grow, you know?
TMF John: You mentioned getting to do what you want to do, when you were young did you want to be in a band, or is it something that just kind of happened? ?(Yuri enters bus)
Tom: Great, Yuri ruined the whole interview. Um, I saw a friend of mine playing drums in his bedroom, and I had just gotten out of 6th, and I was just blown away, and was like, oh my gosh, I have to do that. So I begged and pleaded with my parents, please I’ll stay in school band, this will be my next 2 Christmas’ and birthdays, you gotta find me a drum set.
TMF John: So when did you switch over to guitar?
Tom: I played drums for a couple years and started playing with people, and they all knew how to play guitar, so I decided I should learn how to do that to. So again with the begging, so I went and got a crappy little acoustic and learned to play along with green day records and stuff.
TMF John: I think we all learn a Green Day song at least once when we learn how to play.
Tom: The funny thing with Green Day now is that all the kids that got into punk rock when they heard Good Charlotte, to them blink is like old school punk, and Green Day is like Classic Rock, and the Sex Pistols and the Clash, that’s like classical music to them.
TMF John: Were you into the Clash and Sex Pistols, all those guys?
Tom: In high school, actually when Disintegration (The Cure) came out, I had that cassette.
TMF John: What was it like to be in a band when your friends were flipping burgers or bagging groceries?
Tom: I think I’ve only had one real job ever. Right before 12th grade I was a groundskeeper for a military housing complex over the summer. It was fun, dug ditches, mowed lawns, made enough money to buy a ton of CDs, gas and stuff like that. It was fun, I mean through out our senior year, we knew we were gonna go on tour. We recorded Teenage Politics over spring break, you know we had 9 days and literally, we can not go over this time. We recorded all the music in 3 days, vocals in 3 days, then mixed it. After that we drove home and went to school the next day. We kind of knew though. Throughout our senior year of high school, we pretty much missed at least one day a week, either a Monday or a Friday and like go to California and play a show. Our parents would write these notes, like please excuse tom from school, he’s gotta get down to LA for a show, it’s a long drive.
TMF John: You mentioned on your website that on tours, you guys can be found staying up late playing cards…
Tom: Texas Hold ‘em is probably our favorite game, it’s pretty easy. We were gonna get some chips at the beginning of the tour, but we have been playing for matchsticks and stuff, but it’s kind of dumb cause it’s not worth anything to anyone, but we just screw around, it’s fun.
TMF John: What would you say is your favorite album of last year?
Tom: Favorite record of 2003, um, I think that Thrice record came out, that was awesome, I liked, the Outkast record.
TMF John: What are your feelings about the movie The Passion, and everything surrounding being Christian and all that?
Tom: I think it’s a load of crap when an artist is singled out because of their religion. We saw the passion at a private screening last year, it was for people in the arts who are also people of faith. I think it’s a total load of crap what people are saying about this stuff. If you look at the bible, those people wanted to have him killed, and that’s what happened. We’ve gotten a lot of crap over the years you know, how can you be punk rock and be Christian, but we are just like how can you work at McDonalds and be an atheist, it’s just like one thing doesn’t have anything to do with the other. There have been tons of great artists who have been Christians. And it’s like who cares, there’s a lot of people in the arts who have different faiths, that doesn’t make their art any better or worse.
TMF John: What song off the new album do you think has connected the most with fans?
Tom: Probably “Well Adjusted,” it was on that Pepsi commercial, so people kind of recognize it. It goes over well with the crowds, it did before the commercial, but it just increased after that commercial came on a lot. People can jump around to it, and we definitely encourage that.
TMF John: What is the craziest thing that has happened on tour, either on or off stage?
Tom: You kind of get desensitized, I mean, our first tour everything was crazy, but you get used to it. And it’s just kind of like, hey that’s touring. For example on this tour, in Denver, I’m laying on the bunk bed, and I hear this weird noise, it sounds like a flat tire, so I tell the driver to pull over, cause we have a flat tire. He comes back and says, nothing’s wrong, but I still hear the sound, then it starts to smell like burning rubber, which is a gnarly sound, and it’s filling up the whole bus, so I’m like ok, whatever, we need to pull over. He goes and looks on the other side and notices that the wheels are further out than they are supposed to be, and what happened is that the bus had just been worked on, and someone forgot to put in this pin. Basically the wheels were coming off the axle and the only thing holding them in was this rubber thing where the wheel wells are, so the back wheels almost came off the bus. So we were stuck on the side of the road 45 miles out of Denver, for 21 hours. We broke down at 3AM. In the morning, a truck came out, figured out what he needed, drove back to Denver, comes and starts fixing it. But then his air pump broke and he had to go back and get another one, and we were just stuck out there like that for like 21 hours. It’s not like we were stuck in a Honda or something like that, we were here, we had movies and stuff, so it was fine. Luckily it was a day off, so we didn’t miss a show.
TMF John: If you could create some kind of scandal for your band to be in, what would it be?
Tom: It would be cool to have a scandal about the music, cause that’s what we take seriously. Like I think it would be dumb to be in a scandal cause one of us was dating Paris Hilton or something. But I think it would be cool is like a song of ours incited some sort of reaction, cause that would get people talking about the music
TMF John: If MxPx was the answer to a jeopardy question, what would the clue be?
Tom: That’s a hard one, we watch more of the SNL jeopardy than the real one, but I guess the answer or the question whatever would be something like, I don’t know, I don’t want to sound like all egotistical like “Who rocks so hard”, but I don’t know, I give up
TMF John: Are there any plans for any type of DVD?
Tom: Ya, we will definitely do one, we are gonna end up doing a cool DVD eventually with all kinds of cool stuff. Mike is really into the video stuff, he is always filming and editing stuff. So we will definitely do one eventually.
TMF John: What is the next thing coming from MxPx?
Tom: More touring, we are just gonna keep on doing that, we are a rock band, not like a hip hop band that just keeps partying and making videos. We are gonna hit the road and keep on doing what we do.
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