By Laura Rose
One of the many bands to hit the stage at Camp Anarchy Fest were LA based punk band, The Bronx. If you like fast, aggressive, interactive, passionate punk rock, then these guys are for you. I briefly sat with front man Matt Caughthran before The Bombpops took the stage on Sunday afternoon. The Bronx frontman opens up about interacting with fans, the 10-year anniversary of Mariachi el Bronx's first album and a new Bronx album.
You’ve been touring for what seems like forever! You’re on quite a run with The Bouncing Souls for their 30th Anniversary Tour, how is that going?
M: You know, it’s been absolutely incredible. We get to play music for a living so it’s all good! You know, we’ve been having a lot of fun! We’re traveling a lot of places; we just got back from the UK so it’s really nice to be back.
You played Slam Dunk Festival while over there. How was that?
M: It was super cool. It’s an awesome festival and it gets bigger and better each year, so it’s cool to be apart of.
You’ve been hanging out here most of today, how do you think this festival compares to some others you’ve recently played?
M: It’s really cool, we’ve done a ton of shows with a lot of the bands on this bill; so these festivals are always a blast. And you know, this is a really cool little area, we’ve been through Ohio a little bit...you know of course Columbus and Dayton and stuff like that, but its nice to come out here and just kind of be out in the fuckin’ woods a little bit, you know?
Yeah, for sure. It’s definitely that raw, real camping experience and it’s amazing because we’ve got people from all over the world here...New Zealand, Australia, Canada, every part of the states...pretty cool.
M: Yeah, yeah! Its cool to know everyone comes out for the common interest and passion of punk rock.
One of my favorite things about the Bronx is how interactive you guys are while you perform. You’re always in the crowd. Do you feel like its important for you to kind of get on that same level with your fans?
M: I mean, its not actually getting in the crowd that’s important...it’s the interaction with the fans. Me getting in the crowd I feel like helps break down that kind of barrier, you know? So people just feel a little more able to really let loose and have fun. I love doing it. When I would go to shows growing up, I always loved places where the energy can just kind of explode at any given moment. You know, when its super chaotic and really crazy? Ah, I love that shit so I always try and stir things up.
Photo by Jason Cook
I know I feed off that energy at shows. Are you guys hanging out at Camp the rest of the day?
M: Yeah! We’re gonna stay and hang out all day. You know, we’re only out here for the weekend so we might as well enjoy it and hang out and catch up with everybody. We saw the NOFX guys over at Slam Dunk...didn’t really get to see the Bad Religion guys too much, so it’ll be cool to catch up with them today and hang out and have some beers.
The crowd has been fired up all weekend long and today seems to be the craziest. They’re ready to welcome NOFX home and I think we’re gonna have a great night! What bands today are you most looking forward to catching?
M: Looking forward to seeing NOFX home for sure. I’ve never seen the Bombpops, so I’m definitely gonna go check out some of their set and always, always Bad Religion.
Let’s talk about some new stuff. Can we expect any new Bronx soon?
M: Right after this we actually go in to record a new record in July, so there’s that!
Awesome, I can’t wait and I’m sure everyone is super excited! Anything new going on with Mariachi El Bronx?
M: Yeah! Well so, September is the 10-year anniversary of our first record, so we’re definitely going to be playing some shows for that. We won’t be doing a new record until after The Bronx record, so it’ll be probably a year or two but we’re going to be playing shows throughout this year and next year. And the record, when we do get to it...its gonna be nasty. Its gonna be awesome!
It’s pretty cool because you guys are literally the same band, just a totally different style so exposing that different genre to your existing fan base is really great. There have been times where you guys actually open for yourselves. What is that like?
M: That was crazy! It was a lot of fun! Its very exhausting, but also very worth it.
For sure! Is the writing/creating process for The Bronx and Mariachi El Bronx the same?
M: You know, they’re opposites sonically, but the writing process for both I find to be pretty similar. You know?
It’s like everything just kind of starts with an idea, whether that comes from Jobi, our guitar player or myself or Brad or Ken or really anyone. At this point, we kind of all contribute as writers so it just takes a little bit of spark from someone and then each song kind of builds from there with everyone else. Some songs go really quick, some take a while...and with the Mariachi its definitely more of a process because of all the instrumentation. You know, you get the skeleton for a song and then you go into the studio and there’s just a lot more to build. There’s a lot more percussion, a lot more instrumentation...so it’s a lot different in that way. It’s just a little bit more of a challenge. It’s a lot of fun writing songs for Mariachi.
Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to chat for Mable Syndrome!
M: No doubt, it’s really cool and I’m glad I can be part of it!
And then we ran to side stage to watch The Bombpops rip it up!