Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity and offers countless charms, but skipping a Boston winter was certainly a highlight. As the sun beat down, making March feel like July, Valencianos were still wrapped in their jackets—but the students at the Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain were strolling around proudly in shorts. Through the glaring sunshine, Bron Don approached me, donned in their finest summer attire. Well, most of them. Drummer Colin Mohr was at home, sleeping.

After deciding on the library as our interview spot, I followed them warily. “Bron Don,” though not a colloquial phrase, evokes a certain image, which the band certainly embodies in both looks and sound. Shaggy haired, walking with a lazy gait, and smiling broadly, the boys of Bron Don are laid back and, as they describe themselves, “decent dudes.”

They admitted that the name “Bron Don” holds no significant meaning. But they readily relayed a story of a time they were getting dinner with some friends, and one of the members was getting hit on by a waitress, so he referred to himself as a “bron don,” which they extrapolated to mean “the humblest bro.” “It means whatever you want it to mean,” they explained.

“Our music is fun. Fun vibes,” frontman Mitchell Cardoza said. In keeping pace with the weather and their persona, guitarist John Cattini added, “Beach vibes.” The boys laughed, and Cardoza explained, “[Our music] is fun because the way we portray it, it’s like anybody could play it.”

Bron Don gets their thrill from live performances, where they claim their band’s personality truly shines through. Having played in both Boston and Valencia, the guys are notorious for their energetic shows that engage fans. Band manager Aly Sarafa said, “What I like best about Bron Don’s live performances is that they bring a vibe to their shows that sets the audience at ease. They’re somehow high energy and incredibly relaxed at the same time. This is a stage presence that grew organically through the friendship the band shares offstage, and I attribute it to their success in drawing new audience members each time they play.” But they’ve noticed differences between crowds in the United States and crowds in Spain.

“The drinking age is lower,” bassist Wolfgang Cangemi said, as the band exchanged knowing smiles. “Plus they appreciate live music more here. Like, unheard of live music. There’s a lot of people who show up who we don’t know. In Boston, not as many people come out. The problem’s the age. There are all these 18+ shows, and I mean most of our friends are over 18, but I live near Boston, and I also have friends who are still in high school. But here, there’s a completely different vibe. Anyone can come out.”

After meeting at Berklee back in Boston, the band made the decision to come to Valencia together. In fact, they’d all decided they wanted to study abroad before Bron Don’s conception. Spain has been kind to them—they’ve gotten a lot more recording done since coming here.

Bron Don have been working alongside producer Stephen Webber, who has collaborated with high-caliber artists and earned an Emmy along the way. Webber has motivated them to go above and beyond in their recordings. “That pressure made us write more songs because he wanted a brand new song, and we had to pump that out,” Cardoza said.

Though they don’t cite any influence from Spanish culture in their music, they hope to carry the energy from their live shows here back to Boston. “And a fanbase,” they added. “We’ve made a bigger fanbase here, with people from Berklee and Emerson. A lot of people know about us now because we’ve made a lot of friends here. Hopefully our friends will talk to their friends, and we can branch out more.”

For fledgling fans, or those whose interest is piqued but aren’t quite convinced that Bron Don is the band for them, the boys would like you to know this: “We’re decent dudes. And because we like what we play, and because it’s nothing anybody’s forcing us to do, I think people like it more. Because they can see that it’s genuine. We’re not trying to be anybody, we’re not trying to be pop stars or anything.”

They then went on to suggest they might become the next One Direction, accepting Zayn Malik, a former member gone solo, as one of their own. (Joking, of course. Or were they?)

You can check out their 2014 release De La Cosmos below and get it on their Bandcamp (“For free. Or you can pay for it if you want,” Cardoza said with a wink). Follow them on Facebook and Instagram, @brondonvibes, “if you wanna enjoy a nice laugh, and keep up with [their] zany antics.” They look forward to working on an album upon their return to Boston, in addition to playing live as often as they can. Until then, in the words of Bron Don, “Catch ya on the cul-de-sac!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.