The Avalanche Stage
Friday, June 8, 2018
By Eric Mackinnon
Hardcore legends The Bronx have crammed a lot into their 16-years in the ear canals of music lovers.
They are, and have always been, a band which hits hard and leaves the kind of first impression which is never forgotten.
After all they landed a manager at their first ever live show, and the next show drew offers from major labels.
Guns N' Roses legend Gilby Clarke mixed and produced their debut record and since then they have never looked back.
But the boys, who are second to last to play on the Avalanche Stage at the Download Festival in just two weeks time, have never stood still.
A band who refuse to rest on their laurels, bask in any glory or coast along, The Bronx are a band who forever push the boundaries, evolve and grow with their fans.
Their third record took a detour through Mariachi town with full-blown Mariachi band sounds. This earned them a place on the road with Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters.
Two albums later – their fifth – and there was a definite return to the hard hitting punk attitude - on their self-titled record.
The Bronx have a toe in almost every genre in their remarkable evolution.
And two weeks from tomorrow (Friday) the boys will be on stage at the Download Festival with a set just before Avalanche Stage headliners Bad Religion.
They have never been afraid to try anything but every note and beat which comes from the Los Angeles hardcore punks is from the heart.
And frontman Matt Caughtran admits they would never compromise their integrity to cross over into the mainstream.
“You get opportunities that are good, but they just feel wrong, they feel greasy, they feel like they're not right,” explains Matt.
“Whether it's a sponsorship from a company that you don't believe in but wants to give you a bunch of cash, or whether it's going on tours with bands you don't like because it's a good look or whatever. You come across those certain things. I mean even writing songs, you always just have to be in tune with the voice inside your head that's saying, "This isn't right." We always try to listen to that voice, instead of snuff it out.
“But of course things happen all the time where you get opportunities, and we say to no to them. And we've made mistakes before, we've said yes to a few things every now and then that we weren't quite sure was the right thing or not and it ended up being the wrong thing and you learn from those.
“It's something we take very seriously in this band because we worked very hard to get where we're at and build what we have. Integrity matters a lot to us and it matters a lot to this band. We take it seriously. But yeah man, it happens all the time, it's I'd say probably a weekly occurrence.”
Their last record 'V' was an ear bleeding return to their furious, frenetic best and Matt says it was a mirror image of where the band were at the time of writing.
“That's where we're all kind of at personally and just as a band, that's the reflection of the record,” he said.
“It wasn't just about coming back and making a Bronx record, we wanted to make a fucking kickass record, we wanted to make an angry record, we wanted to make a record that kind of reflects our take of what's going on around us, what's going on within us, and everything.
“It's definitely a product of its surroundings, Bronx V, but in a good way. We wanted to make a record that's connected and not one that's trying to dodge the state of affairs around the world, or dodge any inner struggles that I had going on or that the band has going on or whatever.
“It needed to be a connected record, we wanted to make it because we needed to make it. That's why it sounds the way it does.”