Matt Caughtran talks about The Bronx’s V, and dealing with depression in the rock industry

Los Angeles rock quintet, The Bronx, return after eight years with their fifth album titled V . Talking with lead singer Matt Caughtran, he filled me in on the works of the album. There’s significant changes to lyrics that seems to be more based on current world events and society on V, instead of the bands personal lives. 

“This album was definitely more external that internal, which I’ve found all our previous albums have been like (internal). It gets to a point in lyric writing where you just stop and think ‘Why am i ripping myself open just for this?’ and you can’t dig any deeper into yourself for it. I am insane, we as a band are insane, and the world is going insane. It’s so easy to overanalyse it all, and I didn’t wanna fall back into the internal writing. There’s a lot of craziness happening in the world at the moment, and we wanted to talk about that.”

The dynamics of the band has also changed with new drummer David Hidalgo Jr. V contains less dominant guitar work than previous records.

“As a band we’re always evolving and maturing… well maybe not always maturing.” he laughs. “When we make the music, we don’t critically listen to it, (we leave that to the journalists). We just ask ourselves if we like it or not. This is definitely the best sounding album we’ve ever made; there’s a mix or screamo songs, rock songs, unique songs, and just some fucking weird songs. We are very proud of V.”

The boys worked with Rob Schnapf over five weeks to produce the album. 

“It went really quickly. There were a lot of layers to it and ended up being pretty militant. Rob is a musical genius and was perfect for the band. He’s the type of producer that lets you do what you want. He’d walk in with just the right guitar tone, amp or even just plain word of encouragement, we were so so stoked to have him produce it. Some producers are just there thinking they have to help write new songs and mould you to them. Rob just lets us make our songs sound completely fucked up and just says, ‘Yes let’s do it,” to pretty much everything. He was the perfect extra voice and I can’t say enough about him.”

Caughtran has been dealing with depression for a few years now. There is never ending affects of the music industry on a person, with Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington recently taking their own lives, sparking more conversation around the topic.

“The industry is gnarly, and getting depression was a warning for me. I feel so sorry for Chris and Chester. I’d never ever, ever dealt with it until three years ago when it started fucking with me. The mind is so fucked up and will constantly tell you, ‘You are meaningless’. Just on that foundation alone, you have to respect it. You have to understand it and you have to talk about it.”

“In my twenties I never thought I’d be here talking and dealing with it myself. I believe everyone has depression, just some people it never comes to the surface, whereas others could battle it from a young age. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I do think about how I would say goodbye and end my life. Then I kind of snap out of it and think, ‘Holy shit, where was I?’. Recently I was reading this interview; this guy had a really good life until, one day, he was looking out a window and the voice inside his head told him to jump out. Life is short, but seems long for others. My heart goes out to anyone that has had to ever deal with it.”

Catch The Bronx  supporting Pennywise in October across Australia. Tickets are on sale now through Destroy All Lines.

October 27th | Forum Theatre, MELBOURNE | 18+
October 28th | Eatons Hill Hotel, BRISBANE | Lic/AA
October 29th | Enmore Theatre, SYDNEY | Lic/AA
October 31st | Nex, NEWCASTLE | 18+
November 2nd | HQ, ADELAIDE | 18+
November 3rd | Metropolis, FREMANTLE | 18+