LA hardcore punks The Bronx released their fifth full-length album last year, their first since 2013. So, is their mariachi side-project Mariachi El Bronx no more? Why is this album not self-titled as all their previous records have been? What’s up with that crazy video for ‘Side Effects’?
Whilst at Download Festival, we caught up with frontman Matt Caughthran to get some answers for all of the above and then some.
DP!: So you guys played a free show at The Black Heart in Camden not too long ago. How’d that go?
M: It was awesome! Complete insanity. It was nice to come over and just do something different, play something super small, and then come back and do Download. The UK has always been super good to us, so every time we come over here we try and do something different, whether it’s festivals, club shows, or whatever.
DP!: Your most recent album was your first album that’s not actually called ‘The Bronx’! Why the change?
M: Nah, it still is, haha! People think it’s called ‘V’, but that’s just the art! We refer to it as ‘Five’, but it’s still called ‘The Bronx’. We haven’t changed!
DP!: ‘Side Effects’ came out in April, and the music video is very interesting…
M: Yeah, it’s crazy. It’s basically everyone’s got their own story happening in the video, we’re all kind of running around interacting. Each person represents a slightly distorted version of themselves. We kind of wrote everything ourselves with the help of Christian (Jacobs, director). It was a fun video to make. We did it coming back from our last UK tour, and we did it in two days over in Philly. It was a lot of fun.
DP!: Is it meant to be a commentary on prescription drugs?
M: Kind of. It’s just kind of like a metaphor, loosely based on when you start a band and things kind of take off and life gets crazy and awesome, and you don’t really see certain things happening. There’s just a lot of side-effects of a life where you’re mostly travelling and you work extremely hard. It just takes a lot. Music pulls a lot out of you. It pulls a lot out us. There’s a lot that I didn’t see coming and I wish I would’ve, so I could have prepared a bit better. That’s what the song is about.
DP!: Being called The Bronx but being from LA, does that ever confuse people?
M: All the time, but it’s so good because it never really gets old. That’s kind of the whole point of why we did it, just to fuck with people.
DP!: Will there be a return of Mariachi El Bronx?
M: There will be, but whether or not it’s soon, I don’t know. We try not to get too ahead of ourselves on what we’re going to do next. Right now, we’re concentrating on The Bronx and that feels pretty good. We don’t really know what we’re going to do next yet.
DP!: Is there anyone that you’re going to try and catch at Download this weekend?
M: We’re just here for the one day, but I’m gonna catch Napalm Death for sure. The rest of our day is super busy, but once the gear’s all packed away I’m definitely getting a few beers and watching Napalm Death.
DP!: What’s coming up next for you guys?
M: We’re touring with the guys in Thrice over in the States in September and October time. We’re stoked on it. The Thrice guys are good friends of ours. we got signed to Island Def Jam back in the day at the same time, so we’ve known them forever. We’re really looking forward to it. As for new music, we’re slowly getting there.
The band’s fifth album, ‘The Bronx’, is out now through ATO Records.
Lottie adores hardcore and is an ardent advocate for the emo revival. When she’s not writing for DEAD PRESS!, she’s occasionally scribbling away for her own terrible blog, but usually playing video games.