MxPx - It Came from Bremerton [VHS] (Cover Artwork)


It Came from Bremerton [VHS] (2000)

Universal Music & Video Distri

Back in the year 2000, the members of MxPx had Life in General and Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo under their belts and they were just about to put out The Ever Passing Moment. It Came from Bremerton was released during the height of their popularity, and it ticks all the boxes for a band's first film: stories of how the band formed, home video footage, anecdotes about how songs were written, etc. It's decidedly low budget, but I found it more enjoyable than MxPx's more recent video efforts (I'm thinking B-Movie and Both Ends Burning). Maybe one reason is that, these days, films of this kind tend to be shot on cheap digital cameras, whereas older films like this were shot on analogue cameras and look richer for it. But this film is also well-edited, just the right length and contains some great interviews with the three members of MxPx. Mike Herrera, Tom Wisniewski and Yuri Ruley aren't interviewed together, but their individual interviews give three interesting perspectives on the same events.

They acknowledge their small town origins and that they had no idea how to make music or tour when they were starting out. They even admit they didn't like their first couple of albums all that much. And while on the surface this sounds like a script you might have heard in countless other band documentaries before, there's a real candidness and honesty here. When the members talk about how uncomfortable they were signing autographs early on in their career, you believe them.

It's every PR agent's job to hype the bands they work for, but this video strips off all gloss that had been applied to MxPx. Yuri's interviews are especially insightful, particularly when he talks about how he and Mike were forced to kick out their original guitarist, Andy. This segment of the film transitions into a live performance of "Cold and All Alone," and although we're not told this song was written about Andy, the way it's edited adds another layer of meaning to the performance.

In fact, the whole soundtrack is great. It's fun to hear old versions of songs and other unreleased tracks in the background, and the film is regularly punctuated by live performances (the same performances recorded for their live album, At the Show) from a time when the band were at its fast-and-furious peak.

So despite following MxPx for a while now, this film showed me a new side to the band. This in turn gives their songs a new context when I listen back to them, and that's a great thing for a film to have achieved. For me, MxPx has a uniquely honest and down-to-earth approach to music, and this film succeeds in getting to the heart of that. It's basically a story about three great friends who went to high school together played in a band that ended up making it pretty big.