Los Angeles based THE BRONX are ready to release their new studio album, “Bronx VI,” on August 27th, 2021, via Cooking Vinyl. “Bronx VI” marks the L.A. punks’ first new studio album in 4 years. We had the opportunity to speak with singer Matt Caughthran about the upcoming release. Read the complete interview here…
Hi there! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. How have you been during this crazy year?
I’ve been doing okay actually. I’m thankful for my health and grateful for my career. Life is a blessing and not to be taken for granted.
You’re releasing your upcoming studio album, “Bronx VI,” in a couple of weeks. What can you tell fans about the new album and how it compares to the rest of your work?
It’s a really great record and we are very proud of it. It was actually written and recorded before the pandemic so we are very excited to finally be releasing it into the wild. It’s a classic THE BRONX record: lots of aggression, drive, and groove. Plus, there are a couple of curveballs here and there [laughter].
In a statement, your guitarist, Joby Ford, mentioned that it was clear from the start you would make a record that went in different directions and places. The album is indeed diverse. What would you say was the main factor that contributed to this diversity?
I guess it’s just growth and progression within the band. We are really just scratching the surface of what we are capable of. Now, Brad (bass), Ken (guitar), Joby (guitar) and myself are all writing songs. It’s given us so much more room creatively and really makes something like writing a record a lot less stressful, more fun, cohesive, and inspiring. Everybody is either coming into their own or going through a renaissance.
You also mentioned in the same statement that even though you’ve known each other for a long time, there are still a lot of things to learn from each other as well. What were the main lessons you learned from making this record?
That music is still fun and life is crazy but beautiful. Play to your strengths but work on your weaknesses. When in doubt, SCREAM!
In that sense, was it different to write this album in comparison to your earlier work? What was the process like?
Recording with Joe Barresi was amazing. This record just felt good. We all lived in a small apartment in Pasadena for a couple of weeks while we were tracking it. Doing our best to stay in the moment and give the record everything we had. Still though, no matter how much you prepare or rehearse, or re-write lyrics, some songs are just gonna come down to the wire. That’s classic THE BRONX.
What are some of the lyrical themes on this record? Any particular songs you’re particularly fond of?
I love the lyrics for “Superbloom.” That’s probably the most complete song I’ve written in a while. It’s about a day spent in the California wildflowers with an old friend, tripping out on life. It was a spiritual experience and when I left I knew I wanted to write a song about it called “Superbloom.” When I eventually sat down to write it, the lyrics just poured out effortlessly and the melody worked seamlessly with the music from the get-go. Completely inspired, super organic, and totally easy. I wish they could all be like that!
The album opens up with the energetic “White Shadow.” Was it an instant choice to have this song as an opener and do you have any stories about the song you want to share?
It actually was, there is a little tape rewind you hear at the beginning of the song and when that happened in the studio and we attached it to the front of the song, we all knew that was gonna be the opener.
One of my personal highlights on this record is “High Five.” What can you tell us about that song?
Awesome! That song is funny because I was torn between two vocal melodies and couldn’t decide which one to pick, so we used both! That’s what you are hearing in the verses, indecision [laughter].
How did you come up with the lyrical themes for “Breaking News?” I thought that song was very interesting because there is a certain feeling of urgency in the song, which matches very well with its title.
That song is one of my favorites. I had the lyrics written to that beforehand as kind of a poem. It’s kind of a classic punk-rock fuck-the-government type of jam, almost our version of “Media Blitz.”
I like the atmosphere in the video of “Curb Feelers”; how did you find the location and what sorts of memories do you have from shooting the video?
We wanted somewhere cool to shoot with Estevan Oriol and Yaniv over at Powerplant Motorcycles; our drummer Joey and Estevan are good friends. So it was all friends just doing cool shit together. We basically wrote a tripment around Estevan and Powerplant, which made it easy and fun for everybody. The video came out sick.
Each of the eleven songs on “Bronx VI” is being issued as a separate, limited-edition 7-inch. Who came up with that idea and was it difficult to find artists to collaborate on this?
It was a band idea and it was a lot of fun picking artists we wanted to work with! Some said no, and that’s all good! Most of them said yes and we are stoked to be creating some really cool art with them. That’s what it’s all about.
Of course, it’s still a bit difficult to talk about tours and such but do you have any plans to come to Europe for this record? Or any other plans?
I can’t wait to hit the road again! Europe has always been good to us! We’re hopefully coming over in January of 2022 and again later in that same year! As long as the world doesn’t explode.
Lastly, any last thoughts you want to share with your fans and our readers?
I really appreciate the interview. Our new record is fucking sick so go grab it and play it loud! Life is short, so be a good person and make the most of it!