The Bronx on their “big new badass rock record” and the return of Mariachi El Bronx

The Bronx spoke to NME about what to expect from their “big, hard new rock record” ‘VI’, and the return of their side project Mariachi El Bronx.

The Los Angeles hardcore band’s latest album, “V” of 2017, saw the five Californian musicians rage against political turmoil, social unrest and personal uncertainty and established themselves as a great musical finger of the world. in general.

“We had to make this record,” singer Matt Caughthran said. NME. “We had to prove to ourselves that we could do it. A lot of people stumbled upon the meanness of the recording, but it captured that moment in time perfectly. However, this new album was more about making a big badass rock record and having fun.

Released today (August 27), ‘VI’ is a much more fun collection of songs. “It’s really a comeback to style,” said Caughthran. “It feels heavy when it needs to be, but nothing feels forced. There’s a lot of sarcasm, a lot of aggression, but it’s also huge. “

Written and recorded over a four month span in 2019, the direction of the album became clear when they wrote the song “Curb Feelers” and it started to feel “instantly good”. “It’s one of the best classic Bronx songs we’ve ever written,” Caughthran explained. “Lyrically, it’s very ironic being a tired old punk and it’s just a real punchy, groovy rock song.

He continued, “Then you have ‘White Shadow’ which is a classic, anxious Bronx tune. ‘Superbloom’ is a true story where I reconnect with an old friend in the California wildflowers and stumble over everything. what we’ve been through on our separate ways. ‘Watering The Well’ is a classic AC / DC bar song. It’s the kind of song where you wonder if it’s too cheesy when you write it but Fuck.

“No matter how I felt, I just drove with it. I trust the guys to tell me if anything sucks.

The Bronx has always had a touch of classic rock in its hardcore thrash sound, but “VI” has many nods to Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. “It’s a big part of what we do,” Caughthran said. “We’ve always been a mix of punk and rock’n’roll and it’s cool to tap into that. We don’t make records with a specific sound, but we are getting closer and closer to a full AC / DC style record. Maybe it will be an album, maybe it will be an EP, but it’s somewhere in us and it’s going to come out because it feels too good not to pursue it.

Elsewhere on the record, the song “Breaking News” is “a classic punk tune about overstimulation, police brutality and government bullshit,” but despite a few curveballs, Caughthran said the album finally got “a good shot. balance, creative and sonorous It feels worthy.

To all the disgruntled critics that the Bronx seeks pleasure over fury, the leader said, “You cannot deny yourself the feeling of happiness in your art. You cannot block the joy. People say positivity is the death of a punk rocker, but the only thing that has died for an artist is doing the same thing over and over again. If you stay miserable or feel like you have to have a certain attitude to make every record, it will end up ringing wrong, watered down and people will be fed up.

“If you’re going to be making music your whole life, you’re going to feel a lot of different emotions. You need to reflect this in your work. This is what gives each Bronx record its own identity and feel.

The Bronx CREDIT: Mike Miller

Working with a variety of artists on limited edition vinyls, NFTs, lagers and skateboards, the Bronx also opened up to the idea of ​​a collaboration on this record. “We’ve always been the weird group,” the singer told us. “We’ve always been weirdos on the side doing our own thing, and it has been good for us. This is who we are.

“But at the same time, it feels good to be a part of something. There was a moment between our fourth album ‘IV’ and ‘V’ where we realized that we had stopped communicating with other bands because we were so engrossed in our own little world. When we started the group, this community was such a big part of the group that we have tried to join it ever since. It was a good way to do it.

Formed in 2002, the Bronx will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year – and they have big plans in store. “We’re going to try to put together a tour, but there’s a lot of good records coming out, a lot of important conversations and interesting stuff going on in the world right now and we’re going to let that breathe,” Caughthran said. “We want to let people do what they need to do to get their lives back on track. When that happens, next year or maybe the year after, we’ll be celebrating for sure. We can’t help but celebrate 20 years as a punk rock band that never thought they would do anything cool.

The Bronx attributes the secret of its longevity to “the fact that we love it”. Caughthran continued, “We’re not doing this group because we feel pressured to do it. We do it because we want to. There won’t be any stopping anytime soon either because honestly life means a lot more to me now that I’m a little older. I really feel like the best is yet to come.

After a series of shows supporting Dropkick Murphys and Rancid in the US and before their UK headlining tour with Every Time I Die, the Bronx has some free time. That’s when they say they’re going to “start the writing process for the big comeback of Mariachi El Bronx.” It’s gonna be amazing.

Elaborating on the next move for their mariachi side project, Caughthran said, “It’s good to know that the energy you put into one group inspires creativity in the other. We’re not going to settle for anything less than a fucking great album because this band is super important to us. If anyone wants to have a magical comeback record, it’s El Bronx.

After 20 years of partying punk rock, Caughthran said NME that at the end of the day, he wants the Bronx to remind people that “there is no need to be boring, there is no need to be flat and there is no need to be boring. ‘be gray. You can do whatever you want in this world, you really can, if you aren’t afraid to work and think creatively.

He added, “For us doing our own thing has been super rewarding. It has been difficult at times, but you are reaching times like we are now, and it really feels good. I wish people would see the Bronx as an example of hard work, DIY ethics, and rock’n’roll. It feels like we have a lot of good times ahead of us.

‘Bronx VI’ is now available through Cooking Vinyl.

Virginia F. Goins