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Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
You've spent the last couple of months supporting Refused on their tour. How surreal has that been? We're you guys fans of the band and what was the first thought you had when you were asked to support them?
Speaking personally, Refused were a huge influence on the way I create drum parts. I got hip to "the shape of punk to come" just as we were forming the bronx. the way they incorporate polyrhythms into punk/hardcore makes the music interesting without making it overly technical and still listenable. I still cop the style in the parts I write today.
The shows were amazing, the guys could not have been sweeter and getting to watch them every night was truly inspiring. It's such a great feeling when you meet artists who are inspirational to you and they turn out to be wonderful people as well. Stoked to be able to call them friends now.
The Bronx have now been together 10 years. How would you explain the ride?
It's been absolutely incredible. We were still kids when we started the bronx. We had no idea what we were doing. There's some stories from the early days that we look back on now and wonder how we've come out the other end unscathed. We've cheated death more times than I'm comfortable with admitting, traveling the world with reckless abandon and very little concern for consequence. And we had the time of our fucking lives doing so.
I'd like to think we've matured over the years but maybe its just a heightened awareness of our own mortality. That and our bodies aren't as quick to rejuvenate as they were when we were younger. So things are a little more low key these days. For instance, the backstage antics on our latest UK tour consisted of an afternoon group nap. Getting to travel the world with your best friends for the past decade is something we do not, and never will take for granted.
The first Bronx LP will forever remain one of my favourite all time albums. The enthusiasm and adrenaline the album ensued definitely marked your arrival in the music industry with a nice punch in the face and maybe a with a little sly swagger. Looking back on that album, do you think damn this shit is good or was it something that kinda blew you all away equally?
I was on tour with my old band when Joby called me up one afternoon and asked me to start a band with him. All he had was a name and a couple riffs. So we started working out songs before we had a singer or bass player.
Joby had told me about another band he was in called The Drips who Matt sang for. So I went and checked them out one night and was absolutely floored by Matt.
Once we had a singer in place we got a mutual friend to play bass and started putting the pieces together in a rehearsal room. Our PA was so bad that we had no idea what we sounded like as a whole.
Right around this time Murder City Devils, who we were all big fans of, had started a new band called Dead Low Tide so we thought we'd record a few songs in hopes of landing an opening slot on tour with them.
I have a friend who had a recording studio in his garage at the time so I'd memorized the songs and gone and laid down the drum tracks to Heart Attack American, White Tar and Strobe Life. After that Joby and James went in and laid the guitars an bass but we still hadn't heard what it would ultimately turn into.
So once we had all the instruments tracked Matt came in and laid down the vocals to Heart Attack American as we were out grabbing lunch. I still to this day remember coming back from lunch and playing back the track with Matt's opening scream being the first thing I'd heard. That was the first time we really heard what The Bronx sounded like as a unified effort. We all started taking it a little more seriously at that point.
Has it been difficult trying to keep that enthusiasm and edge as you work on each new album? How has the writing and recording process changed from those early years to now? I mean shit, you guys are all grown up now.
The writing process for every record has been very different.
Our first record was essentially a compilation of two sets of 3 song demos during which we met Gilby Clarke from Guns N' Roses and ended up recording another batch of songs with him to create a full length LP. A lot of the energy on that record stemmed from things that were happening to us in our personal lives. They were some pretty dark times.
When we did our major label record (II) they set us up with a big name producer and the process was much more labor intensive. We'd spend days on end getting that "magical take" of one song. You can witness a lot of the frustration if you go through Matt's lyrics on that record. The end product we were ultimately happy with but it nearly drove us to insanity getting there.
Our third and now our latest record were both recorded at our own studio that we pieced together using money that we compiled on a ruse from the major label we were on before we got dropped, which is a whole other story in and of itself.
Bronx (III) felt pretty rushed through as we were also recording the first Mariachi El Bronx record at the time. We definitely had our hands full but we were happy with the outcome regardless.
On the new record we had a certain confidence in our songwriting after broadening our horizons with the mariachi records and really getting into the craft of writing and looking at song as a whole rather than the self indulgent, masturbatory overplaying that comes with youth. A more mature, refined Bronx? Maybe. Or at least as close as we've come to it.
I have had the privilege of seeing both Bronx and El Bronx many times and suffice to say your live shows never disappoint. Australia has a great love for The Bronx. Are the shows in Australia and Australian crowds in particular any different to anywhere else?
I'm not just saying this cause it seems appropriate for this particular interview but honestly our Australian shows are the most fun we play. There's an almost palpable energy that you can feel from the crowds that is overwhelming. It seems that Australia is one of the few remaining places where the electric guitar is still very much alive as well.
The energy and collision of testosterone you guys manifest on stage is always electric. What's the typical Bronx pre-show mantra?
We typically sit naked, cross legged in a circle in complete silence as the spiritual advisor we bring on every tour blesses us with a smattering of sage and fresh picked thyme from the nearest fresh water spring.
Or we sit around and drink beer while cracking jokes about each other.
You have had the opportunity to play alongside some epic bands over the years. Have you got any stand out tours or any fan boy moments of your own?
Too many to mention. From our first tour with Rocket From the Crypt to our last tour with Foo Fighters and everything in between, I'm pretty much a perpetual fanboy. Nobody likes a name dropper tho, right? ;)
Is there any one band you haven't played with that you'd love the opportunity to?
We've become good friends with Queens of the Stone Age over the years but have never gotten the chance to share the stage as our touring cycles seem to always be opposing. I'm hoping our cycles align soon (insert menstruation joke here).
The Bronx as a band seems to have a real family element. Are you guys super close outside of touring and how do you not kill each other on tour?
It trips people out, but yeah, we actually hang out quite often while we're at home as well as live all the way up eachothers asses on tour for the better part of the year. We're a very tight knit group of dudes.
How? It ain't that hard. Don't be an asshole.
Are we likely to see The Bronx back on Australian shores again soon?
I'm not sure if I can mention the details yet but we will be back in the spring of '13. Wait. Our spring. Your fall? Uh. Before summer. Our summer...
What does 2013 hold for The Bronx?
Hopefully a golden chalice in one hand filled with the promise of fame and fortune. And in the other a crystalline scepter granting us eternal youth.
But realistically, probably some more sore backs to whine about.