- Posted on Mar 8th 2010 10:30PM by Jonathan Dekel
Taking on the Spanish title of Mariachi El Bronx, the group now perform both as the Bronx and their Mexican incarnation, presenting one of the most varied rock shows in hardcore history.
In anticipation of the group's second trip to Austin's SXSW music festival, guitarist Joby J. Ford spoke with Spinner about the subtleties of Spanish music grammar, his secret love of Lady Gaga and avoiding creepy underage propositions.
Describe your sound in your own words?
A bunch of white guys and a couple Mexicans who love Mariachi music
How did your band form?
I basically hijacked players from other bands in town. I had a bunch of songs and invited a bunch of people to play on them, and then they quit their other bands to join mine so basically I hijacked them. [The] Mariachi band started with these same guys. We all learned to play Mariachi instruments and then made a Mariachi record.
What are your musical influences?
The two most important bands in my life are Black Flag and Los Lobos, so that's why there is the Bronx and Mariachi El Bronx
How did you come up with your band name?
I was trying to be witty. I was still pretty affected with the East Coast-West Coast clusterf---, and how it was a huge breeding ground for hate and credibility. I was so fascinated by how it was possible for that to become something worth fighting and killing people over. I just thought it was great. So, being enthralled with that feud and being a band from Los Angeles, I named the band after a borough of New York.
For the Mariachi band, in Spanish the Mariachi is kind of silent. It's a descriptive word that's not really pronounced. In the Spanish language that noun will come before whatever the title is to give the reader a hint of what the title is. So yes, it's still the Bronx in Spanish but the way the language works we had to describe exactly what we do before the band name.
What's your biggest vice?
Smoking cigarettes maybe? I need to quit.
What's in your festival survival kit?
In reference to SXSW? Trying to find a place to sleep. We did it last year and figured we would find a hotel or motel when we got there, but there was nothing. Luckily we've become quite adapt at couch surfing. So, ah, cab money and a charged phone.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
It was probably Alyssa Milano when I was 12-years old and I found out girls existed. I used to think she was so hot.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Probably pop radio. I get extreme enjoyment out of hearing these bands that you've never heard of in your life and they write these huge radio hits and people have no idea who they are. I love their production; the world's biggest kick drum, the world's heaviest snare, 120 guitar tracks. I love that stuff when I need a break from quality music. Like that Lady Gaga track 'Just Dance,' that track is f---ing amazing!
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Ah, the age-old question. As far as pop bands go, nothing beats the Beatles, but I like the Rolling Stones because they were obsessed with American country music but, because they were British, they weren't very good at it so they created this new sound that was rock guys trying to play country music. It was awesome because it didn't have the slapstick that the source material did and ended up creating some of the best music of all time.
A friend of mine was a roadie for the Stones and he told me that the band will never stop. He said that Mick Jagger was so addicted to attention that he will never stop touring 'til his body can't take it. He's just so addicted to the crowd and the attention.
What's the craziest thing you've ever seen on tour?
This is more creepy than crazy but this 15-year-old kid asked me to have sex with his girlfriend. That was so awkward that I bolted out before I ever got to see what his plan was. I mean there has been other stuff involving meth dens and BBQ oranges, but I'd say that that this was creepiest.