New York punk trio Ronx are taking us on board a time machine back to the good old days of late ’90s and early 2000s punk rock, honing a sound that they describe to us as “punk as fuck.” Not only that, they’re on a mission to reignite a love for guitar bands in The Big Apple’s hip-hop and Latin dominated music scene.
The band have been going since high school, originally formed by bassist Josh Reguillo and guitarist Miguel Vasquez, who evolved the band’s sound before eventually settling on pop-punk. As Josh explains: “As we discovered more music through different genres and had members come and go we settled on being that pop punk band that loves joking around and having fun, being ourselves to the truest sense.” They added drummer Dave Rivera last summer, then made the big move of changing their name to Ronx.
Josh added: “At first, it took a while to get used to, but now looking at it, it’s a pretty dope and standalone name. We all went to schools with some kind of music program in it, so that played a part in making us want to create music.”
While Dave explains: “A friend of mine introduced me to two dudes who needed a drummer and listened to and had a similar taste in music. I always watched bands perform on TV growing up, and it was just so entertaining and inspiring to see how some dudes with instruments could make music so empowering and life-changing. I wanted to be a part of something like that.”
The trio have honed a nostalgic sound that they summarise as a fusion of Blink-182 and Neck Deep. The latest offering of this is new single Take It All, which was released on Friday (11 May).
The track kicks off with a low guitar intro that’s soon joined by a fun opening lyrics “Take it slow, Tell me what you’re missing, I’m here and ready to risk it all.” Big drum hits kick in under the “You’ve got this glow and it slowly pulling me in, Tell me what you need and I’ll give it all.” Fast-paced punky guitars kick in, then out of nowhere a big organ noise comes in “Take it all, Take my inhibitions, You’ve got a hold of my heart, You’re in my head I just want to come back home, Tell me what you need and you can take it all.” The punky guitars return under the organ sound, then a big blast of punky chords take over alongside driving drums, then drops back into a repeat of the verses.
It’s fast-paced, lively and energetic, with big punky guitars and engaging vocals that’ll have you singing along, epitomising the band’s penchant for deep, empowering lyrics.
Josh tells us: “Like most bands and artists, I feel we write about experiences we’ve been through and emotions that have been held in for so long. We have songs about falling in love and songs about heart break, then even deeper songs about problems at home and relationships with parents. For me, I struggle with relationships with people and even family, so a lot of my songs eventually come out about that, but I love experimenting too and writing beyond those things.”
They’re strongly influenced by bands that get across emotion in their music and lyrics, such as Blink, State Champs and The Story So Far. As Miguel says: “Those bands are the root of my song writing inspiration. Their catchy instrumentals and lyrics make me want to write songs that sound happy but the lyrics are sad. Music has been in my life for a while now and I love songs that have some feeling.”
We haven’t met too many New York bands yet, so we asked the guys for their thoughts on the city’s scene. Miguel said: “In the Bronx you never really hear anything about bands. It’s always about hip hop or Latin music and so on. Me and Josh went to a music high school (Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music) and I would say that the biggest genre in the school was guitar driven bands like The Contortionist, Chon and so fourth. But Ronx is trying to make a scene happen and as we are doing this we see many of our friends that did not like punk/rock music are now getting back into it, which hopefully can spark something up!”
Ronx are a really exciting new band with big plans. Expect oodles of feel good punk sounds, with an edgy, darker background. In Josh’s words: “Ronx is the band you want to go see when the world is shit and you just want to be reminded of some of the good feelings that come with all the bad. We love to have fun and get people through tough times, we make music for others as much as for ourselves. Ronx is an open family and we hope others will be a part of it.”
They hope to release their first full length record, which is just about recorded, this summer, then they’ll be back on stage doing gigs building up to the album release.