Founded way back in 2002, The Bronx are a punk band from Los Angeles. The five-piece are heading out to Australia for the second time in less than 12 months, kicking off their tour at The Triffid in Brisbane on October 18th. Vocalist Matt Caughthran gave us the lowdown on the tour, as well as the band’s latest album ‘V’, and the longevity of the band.
This past weekend the band played at Reading & Leeds Festival and I asked Matt if he was looking forward to seeing anyone. “Not really!” he laughs and continues “I don’t even know who’s headlining our day. It’s always nice to just like, whatever happens, happens. It’s kinda the last thing on my mind.” Next we discussed the upcoming Australian Tour. “Coming out for Splendour was amazing but it felt a little too short. So we’re looking forward to playing a big Halloween show and some regional shows.” As Matt mentioned, The Bronx were here for Splendour In The Grass, as well as a tour last year and the year before. They’re here a lot, and I asked Matt what they like so much about Australia. “It reminds me of California a lot. It’s like a California island almost. It’s a beautiful place with awesome people. A great history of music, a great history of pop music, great history of Rock’N’Roll.” With a laugh and a pause, Matt continues, “It’s really similar and it feels amazing that way. The band does really well there. Having the love from the fans there is amazing.”
Next, we talked about the longevity of the band. The Bronx have been around for sixteen years now, and I asked Matt what he thinks is the secret to be a band for so long. “I think it’s just loving what you do, working hard, thinking outside the box. You know not letting yourself get burnt out that way creatively. I think Mariachi El Bronx gave us a boost in the middle there, it kinda kept us fresh and revitalised us.” Mariachi El Bronx is the mariachi influenced side of the punk band and is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already! Matt went on to say “This is what we like, it’s our true passion. It’s what we love to do. We don’t want to give it up. We want to make as much music as we can, and play as many shows as we can, and have as much fun as we can.” I then asked Matt if he had any great tour stories to share with us, and the one I got was not what I was expecting! “One of the first times we played in Brisbane, there’s a guy somewhere in Brisbane that has a Bronx tattoo on his ass. I’m almost positive it was the first time we came over there.” Unable to hold in his laughter, Matt then continued. “That was the thing, you go out on tour and you have fun and you drink and stuff like that you come across it’s always that sort of stuff that sticks out to me. When the guy pulled his pants down and showed the whole band his ass, that’s something that I’ll never forget.”
All of the previous releases by both The Bronx and Mariachi El Bronx, have been self-titled and the most recent album is called ‘V’. Incorrectly misinterpreted as the letter V, Matt was quick to correct me. “Well, okay, there isn’t a name change. It’s a Roman numeral so it’s basically five.” He also said “A lot of people are calling the record vee and they think we titled it that way. Unfortunately it’s not true. I’d like to think after four albums of, uncludng El Bronx I guess seven albums of making records, that if you were finally gonna title a Bronx record we’d be able to come up with something better than vee. It’s just a roman numeral. It’s just Bronx Five.” With that cleared up, I asked Matt if he had a favourite song on the record. “Yeah, I do I think, let’s see, um, what is it. Honestly there’s a lot. I think my favourite is ‘Broken Arrow’. There’s also, but uh, you know it’s hilarious some of the songs I don’t remember what they’re called!” Laughing, Matt continued and said “It’s so funny coz you know we have our working titles and it’s one of the songs we don’t really play. Channel Island, that’s what it’s called. Honestly, I dig them all. There’s one that didn’t make the record that we’re looking to put on a 7 inch.” So keep your eyes out for that one.
Next, I asked Matt how The Bronx choose their setlist, as they have a large discography of great material. “You know we try to mix it up. We know there’s songs that everybody is going to want to hear so we try to play those, and there’s songs that we want to play so we try to play those. We also try to play something rare that we haven’t played in ages.” Pausing for a moment, Matt also said “People who are seeing the band for the first time, and the band, and the die-hard fans are stoked to see you play so we look at those three angles to put the setlist together.” For those that haven’t seen The Bronx before Matt says they can look forward to seeing “it’s unscripted, it’s unrehearsed it’s in your face. We’re not trying to come out there and beat everybody up, it’s just about self-expression and blowing off steam. It feels good, you know?” So make sure you get along to enjoy what is guaranteed to be fun and rowdy!
Get your tickets to see The Bronx on tour in October HERE!