The Prairie Dogg finds the dirt on deflecting criticism and keeping it real with guitarists Jeff Stinco of Simple Plan, Tom Wisniewski of MxPx and Josh Cain of Motion City Soundtrack.

PD: Are you sick of fame yet?

JS: We started out playing in front of seven people. Now we’re playing for thousands, and we can feed off of the energy of the crowd. I’m not going to lie to you — after playing 300 shows a year, you want to kill yourself. But we’re just these little Canadian kids who get to live their dreams.

How about the pop-punk stigma? Does that weigh on the band?

JS: We’re not going to fence ourselves in. We can open for Avril Lavigne, and we can play the Warped Tour. People talk about integrity — integrity comes from your approach, and our approach is very independent, very DIY.

Is “real” punk dead?

JS: The borders between genres have gone away. I don’t know if there are any “real” punk bands nowadays. There was a space in time … but I don’t know if that label still applies. But I wear my influences on my sleeve. I listen to the Pistols and the Clash, but I also listen to Elvis Costello and the Cars. If that’s reflected in our band, great. We just want to play good music.

Is MxPx tired of the pop-punk label?

TW: Whatever, it’s music. You’re never going to make everyone happy. We love playing music and being onstage, and that’s what we do it for. As long as you’re out there doing it because you love it, it doesn’t matter.

MxPx was on the Civic Tour with Good Charlotte and New Found Glory. Was it strange having a TRL audience?

TW: It was like Fisher-Price’s “My First Punk Show.” But the crowds were so receptive. They soaked everything up like a sponge. We were able to reach a new generation of fans with our music, and that’s a great thing.

Is playing for an inexperienced audience something Motion City Soundtrack is excited about or wary of?

JC: We’re not scared of that crowd. That’s the reason why we go on tour, to find kids interested in what we’re all about.

You’re heading overseas with Blink-182 soon. Are you prepared for a tour of that size?

JC: It’s amazing. We can’t wait to go. We’re talking about playing for more kids on the first night than we have played for on an entire tour. That’s tough to wrap your head around.

Are you selling out?

JC: We’re not selling out. Everybody sold out the day they left the garage.

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