Punk rock heroes MxPx have recently entered the studio to record a cover of The Ataris‘ classic ‘San Dimas High School Football Rules.’ The song comes with an accompanying video directed by Bryan Buchelt.
The Ataris frontman Kris Roe shared the cover on the band’s Facebook page, with an emotional message: “I am honored and beyond flattered. I have a deep mutual respect for Mike as a songwriter and consider him, as well as the rest of MxPx and crew some of my greatest, longtime friends.
I met Mike, Tom, and Yuri for the first time in August of 1997. It was the first actual tour The Ataris had ever embarked on. A west coast tour with The Vandals and MxPx comprised exclusively of only the tiniest backwoods D-market towns that most other bands never play. I immediately felt a kinship with Mike, Tom, and Yuri as I came to realize we were all of similar age but also came to find that we shared a mutual love and admiration for ALL and Descendents.
I grew up in small town, Anderson, Indiana. They grew up miles away in Bremerton, Washington. But as the days rolled on I saw how our lives were also parallel in so many of the ways that truly matter. We were both raised on that same urgent spirit for searching out the deepest cuts of music and art. And for reaching beyond the tiny confines of the places we called home to follow a stronger passion, dream and aspiration for creating our own vivid truths. To explore this world as we know it and share our stories and scars like those same artists who inspired us.
When I was listening back to this song for the first time last night,…after Mike emailed me their version. It made me think back to the time when I actually first wrote this song. I remember when I got home from this very tour, I was homeless, living in my van. I was uncertain of the future and what was to come to next. There were sadly some deep serious issues with other members of the band that I knew were just not going to work out. But even through all of that, there was this sense of hope, of optimism. I had just went out, traveled the country playing these little songs I wrote, and made some incredible memories with these new friends, these bands that I respected and admired, and I had the best time of my life doing so.
I had packed up everything I owned and had moved over 2,000 miles to do what I loved and all I knew in that moment is that I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything hold me back from doing that. That even in that moment where there were many great obstacles ahead of me, I was doing what I loved. I was following my heart, charging forwards towards the chaos and uncertainty and most importantly making my life what I want it to be and not settling. So with all of those thoughts fresh in my mind I sat down with my acoustic guitar, in front of my friend’s apartment on Garden Street in Santa Barbara and started writing out all these scattered thoughts that would almost immediately become this song ‘San Dima’s.’ It’s a very surreal and cool full circle moment for me, all these years later to hear my friends cover this little song I wrote about all these memories of our first tour together and the first moments of my second life when I moved to California.
Thanks again Mike, Tom, and Yuri. You are and always have been a big part of The Ataris journey and I am beyond thankful to call you all friends. And thanks to all of our wonderful fans for listening, for allowing me to continue to do what I love, and for the years of continued support!
Much love. From these rainy streets of California.”