After forming back in 2002, The Bronx stormed out of the gates and onto the scene after only one performance; not only did they impress Jonathan Daniel (American Hi-fi’s manager) at their first show, but they also had A&R representatives of major labels at their second show! It seemed from quite early on, The Bronx was destined to make it big, but no one would have expected just that has taken place over the last 15 years; not only have they gone on to release four eponymously titled albums, but they’ve also released another three eponymously titled mariachi albums, under the name Mariachi El Bronx!
Let’s jump forward to September 2017; founding members Matt Caughthran (Vocals) and Joby B Ford (Guitar/Backing Vocals) are currently joined by Ken Horne (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Brad Magers (Bass/Backing Vocals) and David Hidalgo Jr (Drums) in releasing their fifth studio album V, which became available to the public on September 22nd. Not only are The Bronx celebrating a new album, they’re also heading down to Australia to support Pennywise on their Full Circle nostalgia tour as well as playing their own headline shows in Melbourne and Sydney!
OVERDRIVE got the opportunity to speak to Ford on September 22nd about the newest album, as well as the upcoming trip to Australia; the first topic of discussion was (and I quote myself) ‘how excited The Bronx are to have today roll around, with V being available to the public as of today?’ Ford responded with “Well, today for you guys as you’re in the future; it’s tomorrow for us!” before letting out a small laugh and further elaborating how “it’s always an exciting day when a record comes out; I don’t have any kids in college or university but I’m sure it’s a similar feeling to that, watching your kid leave the nest! It’s exciting and terrifying; well not terrifying but it’s a really fun time.”
This interviewer was also curious as to how long The Bronx have been sitting on the finished album; Ford not only answered but was kind enough to give a bit of an insight into the production history of V:
“We were talking about this today actually; I’m pretty positive I started writing songs about a year ago for this. We recorded it over a month and a half over November/December, so we’ve been holding onto the finished album for about 6 or 7 months!”
Knowing that the release of V is being supported by an Australian tour supporting Pennywise, Ford went on to discuss the effect that playing new songs for the first time can have on the performance:
“Here’s the thing; when people come see a band, no one wants to really hear the new songs as they don’t really know them! The band guys will tell you when you play a new song, it can affect the mood; we’re going to probably play six or seven new songs and watch them crumble (laughs) We’re going to be out for a month starting tomorrow on a US tour, so by the time we get around to Australia we will have worked through the problems. If we could speak again then, I’d have a different answer! We haven’t tested any new songs yet; we’re going to hit it fresh tomorrow.”
Touching further on the fact that Pennywise invited The Bronx to support them on their upcoming Australian tour, this interviewer was curious as to how the invite got extended to Ford and the rest of the band! Ford was most eager to explain just how it went down:
“We’ve known Pennywise for a long time and we’ve tried to get tours together, but it’s never worked out; either we’ve been in the studio whilst they’re out on the road or vice versa, so this time it finally aligned! This is the first time we’ve actually been able to play together, so I think it’s going to be a lot of fun! We were on a Warped Tour years ago, but that’s a festival so it’s not the same thing; we’ve played a couple of festivals together throughout the years but this is the first time that we’ve gotten to get out on the road in this setting.”
With the opportunity to support Pennywise, The Bronx have also been able to land themselves headlining shows in both Sydney and Melbourne; the Melbourne show having already sold out! When asked about how these shows were able to happen, Ford explained that “it’s a really long way away to come to Australia, so it’s really nice to get to play some extra shows since we’re making this huge trip! The folks that are putting on the shows are kind enough to let us play more, so it’s something that we’re really looking forward to doing. When it comes to the difference between playing a headline set or playing a support set; both are amazing in their own ways. The thing I always think about is that any day getting to play music is a wonderful day; the more time we spend together as a band makes it way better than anything else we’d ever get to do! We don’t focus on whether we are playing a headline show or a support show, as we just focus on the gift of music and getting to perform to people wherever we go; it’s a blessing so being able to play more for the fans of Australia with Pennywise and on our own is as equally awesome! Supporting another band is always awesome, as you get to watch a pretty rad band perform every night and it never gets old for us; being able to kick back and watch a concert knowing all your gear is packed up!”
So what does the rest of the year or the first few months of 2018 hold for The Bronx? Ford started listed off everything that the upcoming few months have once they return from Australian shores:
“We come back from Australia and we have some shows in California to finish up the year; then we go to Sweden, Germany, France and Great Britain, before we come back to America before going back to Europe for the summer festivals! It’s pretty fucking hectic (laughs) It is a most wonderful life though and I wouldn’t change it for the world!”