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an interview with The Bronx, pics from their boat show

words & photos by Keith Marlowe

The Bronx on a boat
The Bronx

“We’ve been a band for a long time, and we’ve toured all over, and I’ll tell you shows like this don’t come around very often. We’re on a boat going around New York City, and for a couple of you, this is gonna be the best night of your life. This is as good as it’s ever gonna get. It’s just a long slow slide to death from here,” Matt Caughtran told the sweaty crowd from the top of the speaker stack on the Queen of Hearts last Wednesday (6/22).

The Bronx played their first album from start to finish, and closed with a bunch of songs off their last two records. People were clutching the ceiling to keep back the constant push of the crowd, coupled with the slant of the boat to the back where the stage is, and the constant rocking from the water. Anyone who got on top of the crowd had to keep themselves from smashing into the top of the boat as they got tossed around. A couple times I heard the unmistakable sound of skulls hitting metal over the blaring music. And I got yet another opportunity to hold a mic so people slamming into the stand didn’t smash out a friend’s front teeth while he sang. Boat shows are great for that. They closed out the night with the brutal “History’s Stranglers” that had everyone screaming along ‘Motherfucker I want your bloooooooooooooood.’ Awesome.

Cold Fur opened the show, announcing this was their fourth show as a band, also their first and possibly last boat show. Cold Fur played a fast, heavy set, which is what you’d expect from a band made up of dudes from Rye Coalition and the Want.

The Bronx returns to town Tuesday night (6/28) to play a free show at Brooklyn Bowl as Mariachi El Bronx with Th’ Legendary Shack*Shakers and The Two Man Gentlemen Band.

I’ve known the Bronx guitar player Ken Horne for about ten years, from him touring as the lead guitar player for the Dragons. They used photos of mine on their albums on Junk and Gearhead records. I got a chance to talk to him a bit at Union Pool after the boat show. Our chat and more pictures from aboard the Queen of Hearts are below.

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Keith Marlowe: You joined this band after the Dragons? What’s the difference for you between the Dragons and Bronx?

Ken Horne: Being in the Bronx and Mariachi El Bronx is great. When I joined the Dragons, those guys were older than I was, had homes and families, so they just didn’t travel as much as the Bronx does. With these two bands, I’ve been all over the world, just such a great experience, and I have the opportunity to play two completely different kinds of music.

How many days a year are you on tour as one of the two bands?

A lot. 250, I guess. Maybe more.

And sometimes you play as both bands.

Yeah. We’ve been touring like this consistently for the last couple years, since the formation of Mariachi El Bronx.

Does one band get the foot in the door for the other?

Totally. And Mariachi is all acoustic, so we can play with the backline and just a drumset, and have the Bronx equipment set-up behind us. It’s cool because one band gets asked to play a venue that the other might not fit in at.

The Rocks Off boat….

Cold Fur

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The Bronx

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Their second full-length release, Mariachi El Bronx (II), comes out in August, and they will be opening for the Foo Fighters in September and October, with Rise Against and Cage the Elephant.

The Bronx – 2011 Tour Dates
6/27 Cambridge, MA Middle East
7/1 Norway Hove Festival
7/9 Chicago, IL Subterranean
8/7 Lympne, UK Hevy Festival
8/20 Ludinghausen, GER Area 4 Festival
8/21 Grosspona, GER Highfield
8/23 Nijmegen, NL Doornroosje with OFF!
8/24 Amsterdam, NL Melkweg with OFF!
8/26 Glasgow, UK Rock & Roll Damnation with Mariachi El Bronx
8/27 Reading, UK Reading Festival
8/28 Leeds, UK Leeds Festival

Mariachi El Bronx – 2011 Tour Dates
7/2 Borlange, SWE Peace & Love Festival
7/10 Chicago, IL Lakeside/Dave Matthews Band Caravan
8/9 Nurnberg, GER Hirsch with Gogol Bordello
8/10 Luxembourg Den Atelier with Gogol Bordello
8/14 Budapest, HU Sziget Festival with Gogol Bordello
8/18 Gampel, GER Open Air Gampel Festival
8/26 Glasgow, UK Rock & Roll Damnation with The Bronx
8/27 Reading, UK Reading Festival
8/28 Leeds, UK Leeds Festival
9/18 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Music Festival

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