You Broke It, You Rocked It

What can be said about a band that has been banned and deported from Canada, banned from four venues in Mobile, Alabama, and banned from any city function in Sunnyvale, California? Well, quite a lot, actually. XBXRX, a rather mysterious but always entertaining group of noise assassins from California via Mobile, with a revolving door of musicians (by now, they have had about 24 members), creates music that defines the "build it up, tear it down" aesthetic in which rock music is severely lacking. "I feel like our music represents reality, and reality is chaotic," explains singer Chris (they don't use their last names for "political purposes"). "The world constantly tries to tear us and our dreams down, but we are aware of this. So our goal as a band is to celebrate the fact that we are alive and in one room. We've made it this far, and it is up to us to push the music even further. Our show is part of the daily fight against people who don't want us to make things happen for ourselves. We hope our music unites people and exhausts them. We hope they're glad they came and go to bed smiling."

Smiling is just one of the many activities going on among the proselytes at a typical XBXRX show. In addition to freaking out the sweaty masses with their patented MC5-meets-Spazz-in-a-blender type of aural attack, the guys tend to sustain lots of injuries on-stage, both self-inflicted and audience-assisted. "We have more bruises than you can imagine," Chris says. "Tons of hospital visits and even more should-have-been hospital visits. But mostly because we're really clumsy." The assorted guises the band wears don't lend themselves to gracefulness either -- masks and paper bags have been part of their modus operandi -- but that's part of being a band that tries to keep the extraneous at bay. They just want to entertain. "I don't like people knowing much about my personal life, and I feel like the band is the same way," Chris explains. "Of course, parts of our music represent what goes on in our daily life and our daily struggle to know that we can only do music while everyone in our neighborhood is being fucked over by society's structure. Mobile was a very depressing place when we left. It wasn't about empowerment or making people feel good about doing music."

In the end, the music is put together by three members (the other two currently being guitarist Steve and new drummer Weasel Walter of Chicago experimental noise band the Flying Luttenbachers). "Who cares about how pretty or ugly we are or what instrument we play?" Chris says. "The kids at our shows are just as important as us. The music should represent itself."

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Audra Schroeder
Contact: Audra Schroeder