So you guys just got back from Europe right?
Yeah, yeah. We did like a full three month thing. We were thinking about starting our new records, [but] it just kind of felt like we didnít have enough touring done for the last record, and especially for the El Bronx record. We did a full U.S. run with the Bronx and El Bronx, and then the U.K. with Gogol Bordello, and then Europe with Gogol Bordello. We did Glastonbury and a couple random festivals, we came home and relaxed for a little bit and then we did this. Now weíre done.
How did El Bronx go over in Europe?
Amazing. You would think itíd be a region specific type thing, you would think that wherever thereís no Hispanic culture or no Mexican music that people arenít going to get it, but I was so surprised to discover that people are so excited and thirsty to hear original music and fresh ideas that it doesnít matter where you are. People loved El Bronx in Australia, they fucking loved it in Europe. That kind of music makes sense in Europe, Europe has a lot of that traditional Old World music, polka and stuff like that. People are freaking out about it all over the place, itís rad. We havenít had a bad experience playing that stuff, itís been great.
Well the thing about it is, if you listen to it, and even if you donít know it, you like it. It makes you feel good. Itís upbeat.
Yeah. I think itís all kind of about the record and songs. The idea is one thing, but if you donít do it good, itís going to be off. We really worked hard on that record and in order to do something like that you gotta do your homework and you gotta do it right. Thatís why weíre so proud of it, thatís why we love playing it.
I know a lot of people were surprised when you first said you were going to do it, but the response was really good. Everyone seemed to like it.
Itís been cool, man. It builds your confidence as an artist and as a musician when you take a step out of the ordinary like that and itís a success. It makes you feel really good. That way you know you can trust your instincts more, and take more risks as musicians.
You said this is your last show for a while.
We have a couple one-offs. El Bronx is opening up for Primus in L.A., and weíre doing a couple things here and there, but we learned a while ago that once we get in the recording zone itís best not to have any distractions, like tours or anything like that, that can knock you out of rhythm. Weíre really excited to just kind of hit stride, go home and write. All of our brains are kind of in that mode right now, we want to work on new songs. Itís a great time in music right now, everyoneís writing good stuff, good records are coming out. Itís been a while you know, we really want to make a statement with the next Bronx record, so thatís going to be our main focus.
Thereís always been a classic rock influence to the Bronx, on the last one I thought it was a little more pronounced. Is that something weíre going to continue to see in the future?
I donít know. The Bronx III was a weird record, I really like it, but there was so much stuff going on during that time in the bandÖItís not really a focused record. Our next record I think is going to sound very different. We learned from the mistakes we made on that record. Our next record is going to be a lot different. As far as what the theme is going to be or what the main swagger of the record is going to be, I donít know. I know weíre going to try to really turn it on fast.
And youíre doing another El Bronx record?
Yeah, itís going to be a double record. So itís going to be Bronx and El Bronx.
In the future are you going to tour with both bands?
I donít know. Doing both bands is cool, itís a little bit difficult for us, but people dig it. I like giving people bang for their buck, and it makes for a really cool musical experience if you have a mariachi band, and then another band, and then a band like the Bronx. Weíll definitely continue to do that, but there will also be separate tours as well.
You said one of the advantages of El Bronx was that you could tour with bands that you might not otherwise be able to tour with.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, to be honest with you, thereís an experiment going on with El Bronx, itís very much a hidden kind of pop record, it allows us to get into different places. You know, going on tour with the Killers, playing with Primus, stuff like that. The Bronx is a very well respected band, we get a lot of respect from our peers, but there [are] certain rules that people follow as far as who can play with who. Itís not really something we do, but it just exists, you know? A band like the Killers could never bring a band like the Bronx out, you know what I mean? But itís like, those guys are our friends, and when El Bronx came out, they were like, ďPerfect.Ē Thatís rad, itís fun. If you get to be an artist, if you work your ass off and do this for a living, you donít want to spend your time doing the same shit. Itís all about how much further you can take it.
And your friendship with the Killers, thatís how the Christmas single came about?
Yeah, "°Happy Birthday Guadalupe!" [laughs]. Well weíve known them forever, because we got signed to Island at the same time. We went out to dinners together, we hit it off and we became friends. It was just one of those things that happened, you know, the timing was right. That tour was crazy, dude, huge places. Fucking insane.
Iíve got to ask about the Prince cover [of ďI Would Die 4 UĒ]. How did that come about?
We got asked for Spin. Spin magazine has been really cool to us. They were doing that anniversary issue [for Purple Rain] and they asked us to do a song. It was fucking hard turning that song into like a rhythmic thing, but it was fun. Thatís the rad thing about it, itís fun challenging yourself and making music. Itís crazy, you would be so surprised, the dream is always to get a chance to live doing what you want to do, and there [are] so many musicians who are so miserable, because theyíre so lazy. They put themselves in a box, and they convince themselves that they can only do this and they can only do that. We go out on tour with bands that just bitch and moan. Itís like, ďDude, you know there are people who would kill to be in your position.Ē Thatís the way we think about music and we think about our lives. Bring it on. You want us to try to cover this song? Perfect. You want us to do this? Perfect. You want us to go on tour with this fucking insane band? Cool, weíll do it.
Youíve got that Bronx Cologne too, right?
Yeah, yeah. ďBario Sweat.Ē We have a thing where, whenever we travel international, we always go to duty free and cover ourselves in shitty cologne, so whoever we sit next to on the plane is just fucked. Thatís how it started.
When you think of these things, how do you decide what ideas will work? When do you know when an idea is too, ďout there?Ē
You donít really know until you try. We dropped so much cash on a 3D stage show four years ago for our second record. We had this huge 3D backdrop, 3D stage shit, and none of it worked. We still have boxes of Bronx 3D glasses. Boxes of the things! We spent so much cash on it trying to make it work, we thought it would be so cool, and it just didnít work. They printed it wrong; it was a huge debacle. Youíre going to fuck up every now and then, some shitís not going to work, but you gotta try it.
And 3D is so popular now.
Yeah, we were ahead of the curve! We were so ahead of the curve, and we got fucked.
You played three shows at Sled Island right?
Yeah, the opening night we did El Bronx at the Distillery, last night we did the Bronx at Broken City, and then today [at Olympic Plaza]. Itís cool, man. Itís weird, I was a little bit burned out before coming here, because I was so excited to write new music and record. I wasnít really mentally ready for this, then I got here and it totally changed my whole outlook. Itís such a great festival.
Are there any bands that youíve seen that youíve been impressed by, or are looking forward to seeing?
Iím excited to seeDinosaur Jr.. You know, Iíve never seen Hot Water Music, Iím so excited to see them play. I know those guys well, Iíve met Chuck [Ragan] a bunch of times. Dave [Raun], the old Lagwagon drummer is playing with them, and I know Dave real well. Iím really looking forward to that, and of course, Melvins and Big Business. Itís a great day.
I think thatís it. Thanks for doing this.
Yeah, no problem man.