Punk and mariachi music definitely have their differences; as the love child of legendary punk band The Bronx, Mariachi El Bronx is no novelty.
â€œI think for the most part people are open-minded to it because we arenâ€™t making a mockery of it, we take it very seriously and pour our hearts into it. Weâ€™re just as serious about the mariachi band as we are about the rock,â€ Jorma Vik, percussionist for the band says. â€œPeople respect what weâ€™re doing because itâ€™s coming from our hearts.â€
Jorma talks in an intense tone about his feelings toward the band, and itâ€™s little surprise when he tells me about the fruitful transition between punk and mariachi. â€œWe got asked to play a TV show and they wanted us to do an acoustic version of one of our The Bronx songs and we werenâ€™t really into the idea. So we got Mexican instruments and did one of our songs in mariachi style and we had so much fun, so we started writing some music. No one knew how to play the music before we started, we just got some instruments off Craigslist and watched YouTube videos and learned how to play them.â€
Spreading their musical wings meant adding synth and piano to the mix on their first album; now theyâ€™re working on album number two and feeling a lot more confident. â€œWhen we wrote the first one we had just got the instruments, and we had just started learning how to play it so the writing process was also a part of the learning process. Onto the second record we were definitely a lot more comfortable and didnâ€™t have to think about the rhythms we were playing. I feel like we were a little more well versed and had some doors open in our heads as far as what we could do and what might sound good.â€
Ahead of Mariachi El Bronxâ€™s Big Day Out appearance, Jorma wants an open-minded crowd. â€œJust eight dudes on stage having the time of their lives, playing music from our hearts and just enjoying Australia. Keep an open-mind â€” enjoy yourself. Itâ€™s so mindblowing to us, thereâ€™s so little Mexican culture down there, I think that the music is easily digestible you know?â€
MARIACHI EL BRONX PLAY THE BIG DAY OUT, AT THE GOLD COAST PARKLANDS JANUARY 22. BIGDAYOUT.COM