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17 Dec

The Bronx’s Matt Caughthran reflects on how music gave his life meaning

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FREQUENT FLYERS: LA punk band The Bronx have toured at least 12 times since their 2002 formation.MATTCaughthran recalls growing up in Los Angeles in the ’90s devoid ofany direction or purpose.
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He was popular, and hardlymiserable, but his career aspirationsappeared unlikely to branch beyond a series of dead-end jobs.

“I was empty inside man,” Caughthran says from Huntington Beach.“I always felt like a heavy soul or a burden.”

Until one day guitarist Joby Ford came along with aproposalto form a punk band. It would become The Bronx.

“Honestly, music just took all of that away and it was my place to put everything,” he says.“It became something for me that I can’t live without.

“It’s not just listening to music, it’s the whole thing. It’s having it consume your life. It saved me as I would have had nowhere to go with everything I was going through.”

Sixteen years later The Bronx have takenCaughthran around the world numerous times, including a dozen trips to , as a wild punk rock frontman.

The Bronx have released five high-energy records and popular singles Heart Attack American and Knifeman, plus three albums as spin-off band,Mariachi El Bronx.

The Bronx – KnifemanLast year’s album V was a particularly important moment for The Bronx.Caughthran admits the band needed to be brought back to life after a difficult spellthat involved the loss of original drummerJorma Vik and his replacementDavid Hidalgo Jr, before settling on ex-Queens Of The Stone Age memberJoey Castillo.

“There were a lot of things on the industry side of things that were frustrating and those frustrations carried into everyone’s individual lives,” he says.

“The easiest way to explain is to sayit was a rough patch. It was just hard. There were things that needed to be done in order for the band to grow and move and to continue. It was a trying year or two and we got through the process of making the record and that kind of sealed the transformation.

“It represented a rebirth and showed that we made it through the dark ages.”

In July The Bronx added Splendour In The Grass to their list ofn festivals withBig Day Out, Soundwaveand Groovin’ The Moo.However, that hasn’t stopped the five-piece from returning in October.

“Whenever we’re looking at our year we try to come to once a year,” he says.“That’s the goal. Obviously sometimes it can’t happen, but then sometimes we go twice in a year to make up for it.”

A major reason for The Bronx’s continuing live appeal is the sheer physicality of their shows.Caughthran is renown for throwing himself into the audience.

Despite turning 40 in February,Caughthran has no plansto curb his energetic performance style.

“Whatever we have to donate to the stage and the crowd, that’s what is gonna come out,” he says.“Honestly it’s just an amazing release.Bronx shows aren’t forced, it’s something that’s a genuine raw emotion and it makes your body move.”

The Bronx perform at the Cambridge Hotel on October 23.

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