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Punk roots die hard and X is proof

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Even after more than 35 years in the music business, Exene Cervenka hasn’t lost one bit of her punk roots.

The co-lead vocalist for the band X is now 57 years old, but is still having fun on the road.

“Everything has been going great,” she says during an interview from her California home. “We’ve all been working 24 hours a day and we don’t have time to wait. It’s all about moving forward.”

Cervenka and X never really found mainstream success. The band formed in 1977 and was established during the first wave of American punk.

The band released seven albums from 1980-1993. Two of those albums – “Los Angeles” and “Wild Gift” – have been hailed by Rolling Stone as some of the best records of all time. While the mainstream success didn’t happen for the band, X became a point of influence for other bands in punk and folk rock.

“We never thought that the band would last this long,” Cervenka says. “It was an outlet for us to put out a message with. We were all so young and couldn’t really see beyond it all. We lived in the moment and said what we needed to say.”

Cervenka and crew are on the road with Blondie and are looking forward to playing the songs that made them both famous.

She says X will perform songs from its first four records and she is looking forward to being on tour again.

“Actually I really love touring now and I appreciate it more,” she says. “I like seeing all my friends and being part of a band. It’s like chronicling into the U.S. and being able to watch people. It’s really exhilarating.”

When not working with X, Cervenka often finds herself working on solo music or hosting videos on her website or even writing a column for the OC Weekly in California.

“It’s always about keeping myself involved,” she says. “I’ve never been one to sit back and just let things happen. If I did that, I would have never had a career in music. It’s important now to keep myself out there and staying busy. With those three things, I’m able to still give my voice out in the world.”

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