Interview: Matt Caughthran of the Bronx

By Jonathan Matthews

We caught up with Matt Caughthran, vocalist of American punk rock band, The Bronx. We chatted about their Australian tour, which is happening right now, their new album V, and we talked about the new band line up as well.

SR. You guys are touring Australia at the moment, you must be psyched about that?

Yeah, of course man, we love Australia. We’ve been playing our asses off lately on tour for about the last year, we’ve most recently been in the States. We’re really happy at the moment and everything feels good!

SR. You’ll be playing in my home town of Adelaide at The Gov, with High Tension and Private Function, did you pick the support acts?

No, we picked them. We’ve known high tension for a while, they’re good friends of ours, and Private Function are a really cool band. We’ve never met them before, but I was digging their sound and we thought it would be cool to play with them. We’re really looking forward to it, we’ve never played The Gov, some of these places on this tour we’ve never been to, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

SR. You’ve played in Adelaide in the past, which venue was that at?

I don’t even remember what venue it was, there was one club we played in Adelaide with a Mariachi band, I can’t remember the name of the club but it was a super awesome show. I remember because I said “Every time we come back to Australia we’re gonna come to Adelaide” because everyone was saying that you can skip Adelaide because it’s a smaller town, but it was one of the coolest shows on the tour. I think sometimes, you have to go and experience things to get your own perspective on them.

SR. Your most recent album V is out now, can you tell me a bit about that?

Yea, we recorded it in Los Angeles and it took us about two months to write and one month to record. A lot went into it, the band was in a kind of crazy place, we needed to make some changes and there was a couple pieces of the puzzle that weren’t fitting the way they should, it’s a hard life sometimes. It’s an awesome life, but it’s a hard working life, and there’s a lot of moving parts around the band, so it was a super trying time going into the record, which really brought us all together. Coming together and making the record was a big sense of pride for everyone, it’s a record that we’re really proud of, it took a lot of effort to get there, and on top of that, it was a lot of fun to make, I love the songs, everything came together pretty easily, it was one of the best records we made. I think it kicks ass, it’s got a dirty sound to it, it’s a little different to anything we’ve done before. It’s a natural progression and a step forward for the band, what more could we ask for?

SR. What changes did the band go through?

Well, we parted ways with our original drummer, which wasn’t easy, we built the band together and we’re great friends, so it really sucked. It was a hard thing to face, but it needed to happen, it was the best thing for both parties involved. On top of that, there was some industry stuff between labels and management, it was a time to take some different steps and move on to something new. There’s so much that goes on, it’s a lot to deal with. It was about a year and a half of having to worry about things that weren’t music, it could take the love out of it if you let it, it’s not fun, but you’ve got to get through it to do what you want to do. We got through it, but it was tough. We value everyone that we work with, we care about everybody, that’s the way we work. When you have to say goodbye to members of the team, it’s more than just moving on, there’s a lot that goes into it, it was exhausting, and a total bummer for a while. But that’s the thing about music, you’re able to put all of your energy into writing and creating it, and at the end of the day you come out stronger and your have something that you’re proud of. Music is an outlet, and that’s what we use it for.

SR. So is the new drummer featured on the new record?

Yeah, he is. He played on the new record. He’s been a friend of ours for a while, he plays in Social Distortion, and we’ve got Joey Costillo playing with us too, he’s a badass. We’re super fortunate that we have the amazing musicians that want to be a part of the band, we’re stoked. We all work so hard, it’s pretty non-stop, you have to be a special type of person to love this.

SR. What kind of music did you grow up listening to, and how has that influenced your songwriting style?

I grew up on metal and rock n’ roll. Motley Crue and Iron Maiden and Scorpions, all sorts of stuff. I got into punk rock in high school, me and some friends. From then on, it was kind of an automatic thing. What I love about metal and rock n roll is that it’s dangerous, but for the most part, lyrically speaking, it’s ridiculous. That was what really drew me to punk as well, the aggression lyrically an sonically, its straight to the point. I really identify with that, I love it, it’s the type of music I love to create. I listen to all sorts of music these days, as long as it comes from a real place.

SR. You guys are playing in all of the major cities in Australia, and also some more regional shows. Was that your choice to go out to those places off the beaten track?

Yeah, we’re looking to take over. We can’t just go to the major cities, we’ve got to go to small towns and show people what we’ve got. We want to come out and play some tunes and see new places and have some fun.

SR. Is there anywhere in particular that you’re most looking forward to?

I’ve never been to Geelong or Ballarat, so I’m really looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to tonight, I know Brisbane is going to be a great start to this tour, it’s gonna be badass, it’s always fun in Brisbane. It’s one of the first places we played over in Australia, I’m looking forward to it all.

SR. Have you got a favourite track off the new record to play live?

Yeah, it’s a track called ‘Broken Arrow’, I really love it, it’s kick ass. I also love older ones like ‘Stranger Danger’, ‘Glue Factory’ and all the crazy songs. I love mixing the new songs into a set and seeing how they flow with the old tracks, it’s super fun. We’ve found that all of our songs, old and new, work together in a really cool way when we play them live, and they all fit together. There’s so much we can do, it’s really cool, it brings me so much joy.

You can see The Bronx in all major cities across Australia, and also in some more regional towns. Check out their new album V, and grab yourself some tickets to a show near you, these guys are going to put on an awesome show for sure. You can keep up to date with the band by following the on social media or via their website.

The Bronx is touring now! Get your tickets here here