Mariachi El Bronx, the Mariachi-infused incarnation of, well, The Bronx, have once again packed up their fancy jackets and set sail for Australian shores. But this is unlike any other traveling mariachi act to have ever happened.
This one includes a healthy dose of locally sourced chaos, masterfully provided by Violent Soho and Luca Brasi. Your ears will start ringing just from processing that sentence.
Prior to the band’s arrival, we caught up with vocalist and main man Matt Caughthran, to chat about the band’s soft spot for Australia, and which of The Bronxes will be releasing new music next.
Music Feeds: Mariachi El Bronx is heading back Down Under, it doesn’t seem like it takes much to talk you into an Australian tour.
Matt: I’d come down there and just, fucking, do traffic on triple j. I don’t care. Every time we get to come down there and play music we’re beyond excited. It’s a special place for us, we don’t take it for granted. We want to make sure we come at least once a year.
Right now, the band’s playing really good and everyone’s in the zone, so I know these shows with Violent Soho are just going to be really, really killer.
MF: Obviously the band is a worldwide phenomenon, but it feels like Australia holds a special place in the band’s heart, is that safe to say?
MC: Oh no it’s definitely special. I wish I could say that everywhere we go in the world people understand us, or what we are. But it’s just not the case. We got awesome fans, people who love and respect the band all over the world, but there are only a couple of places where things are next level; where it’s always just more turned on than anywhere else.
Australia’s been that place for us from the get-go. It’s one place for us that’s never faded, never lost interested, or skipped out on a record. Every time we come down, everyone is always as ready to go for it.
We have great shows in England, we do really well in places like Germany and the States, but I think Australia is the most special place for us because when we started the band we really didn’t think we could get to go outside of California. The first time we came to Australia it was literally a life-changing event for all of us. Everything was so easy and common, we just all get each other.
MF: We do like to have fun. We also love having things shouted at us, and shouting them back…
MC: Australia’s love to get loose and they love their punk music. They also love having a good time. There’s substance, obviously, in the band. There’s plenty to grab onto and think on, but it’s also something we have fun with. It’s the best of both worlds now. The attitude you guys have, and your history of rock ‘n’ roll and music, I think that’s kind of what brings us all together.
MF: You’ve rocked festival slots and club shows here. Usually, a band can only really cater to one and make it through the other. What’s the secret to this? Extensive training camps?
MC: Well, you know. We just try to be good every time we play. It’s always kind of fun opening up because you get the opportunity to fucking blow your friends off the stage. We like playing both, man, whether it’s an early slot on a festival or headlining shows.
The thing is, we like to surround ourselves with bands and people we respect, people we want to play music with and people who understand it. Most of the time that’s the case. Every now and then you do something that goes bad but our success rate with that has been pretty good.
With the Violent Soho guys, they’ve been friends of ours for so long. They’ve supported us and we’ve supported them, I have so much love for them. The fact they wanted us to come out and be part of these shows and make them extra special is really cool to us.
MF: Right so, local heroes Violent Soho and Luca Brasi, two hugely important and popular bands right now. Was it a no-brainer to return Down Under with this mob?
MC: Oh I’ve been following Soho forever. When they opened for us in Brisbane I got the Australian release of Jesus Stole My Girlfriend. I’ve been a big fan of those guys ever since I first saw them. Then when we had them come out and support us, it was crazy. It was El Bronx then Violent Soho then Bronx. We were playing twice a night with Soho in the middle and it was just killer.
One thing about both of our bands is we’re just dedicated to what we do. That’s one of the things I just respect the most about those guys. There’s lots of opportunities in this industry where the business side can drag you down and suck the energy out of the artistry. We’ve been through it, I know those guys have been through it and that doesn’t change who they are or the type of band they want to be and that’s a stance I admire and I know how hard it is to do. I don’t just love them as friends, I actually really like the band too.
MF: The last album from El Bronx was III. That dropped back in 2014. Is there anything new in the works for the project?
MC: Well, nothing for El Bronx at the moment, we’re working on Bronx V right now. We just started doing that so we’re not really going to lock in on it probably until November, that’s when we’re kind of slated to write the majority of the record, or finish writing it.
That’s the main priority right now as far as crafting what’s next. But after that, I’m sure there’ll be some El Bronx stuff to come. We have a lot of cool stuff in the works, a lot of big stuff, stuff that’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of work – but that’s what we like to do, so we’re going to go for it.
But everyone right now just wants to get radical, plug in a guitar and just crank it. I’m ready to scream my face off and talk some shit to people so we’re going Bronx V and I’m really looking forward to cranking it out.
The Bronx are currently touring the country with Violent Soho and Luci Brasi. Their alter-egos Mariachi El Bronx will play two headline shows this week, one each in Melbourne and Sydney. Catch the details below.
Watch: Mariachi El Bronx – ‘Wildfires’
Mariachi El Bronx 2016 Australian Show
Tuesday, 1st November – NEW SHOW
The Gasometer, Melbourne
Wednesday, 2nd November
Manning Bar, Sydney
Tickets: Manning Bar