BRONCHO Has The Hots For Your Ears

reppin: norman, ok // dine alone records // 2010 - present

sounds like: all we are is dust in the wind (according to the band) 

last album drop: double vanity (may 2016)

featuring: ryan // nathan // penny // ben

broncho

broncho

Sometime 8 short years ago lead vocalist Ryan, guitarist Ben, drummer Nathan and a former member (now featuring Penny) got together and said, “hey, let’s start a band called BRONCHO” (it did not actually happen like that). But, little did we know that this special indie band was about to stick together for some time and expanding their name beyond the middle of the country. I would call this a fun ass mixture of pop and fuzzy garage rock with some early sprinkles of punk from the 80s that will make you move. Ryan’s vocals balance super well with the melodies and after giving it a listen you’ll see why they kind of start alone.

That mixture of fuzz and that high, fluid elastic voice gives you a sense of just plain fun whether they are in the headphone or one the stage. And trust me, not all songs are created the same with these kids. Check out a track like “try me out sometime” to get up and moving against “fantasy boys” which has a bit of a darker twist. Honestly all you really need to do is get those tunes in your ears for a second and they will have you. They really do have something for everyone as they can be up-tempo, mellow out or get groovy.

After 3 full albums, it is apparent that BRONCHO has hit home with a growing number of fans who can’t wait to catch them live the next time around. That addictive sound is even better when they are on stage, but these tasty ear treats can really fit the mood on any occasion whatever it is you are doing. They did mention they want you to get in, experience their music, then get out...but you’ll want to stay. It will be really cool to see how they evolve in the future so go catch them this summer!

Check out the quick chat I was able to have with them ahead of their show at Subterranean tonight, April 27th.
 

interview stuff

 

Think back to when your journey as BRONCHO started, what would you tell your former selves now? Any regrets? Would you do it all the same? Are the same values important to you as a band?

We would tell ourselves to stay in school and study more. We regret nothing, except maybe that one time with the Thai food in Idaho. Our values have always been incredibly important to us, but sometimes it’s hard to find a good bargain.

 

broncho | subterranean, chicago | 7.15.17 | @thefaakehipster

broncho | subterranean, chicago | 7.15.17 | @thefaakehipster

When it comes to the stories you tell through your songs, what do you want do you want humans to get out of your lyrics?

Whatever they need to get out of lyrics. They should get in there and then get the hell out of there.

 

When it comes to touring, how do you channel your identity to the live stage? When you make eye contact with that fan or are warming up a room, what do you want them to feel?

They shouldn’t feel anything they don’t want to feel. That’s for sure. You should ask Jim Carrey about identity. We think he’s got it pretty well sorted out.

 

What, if any, rituals, goofy corks and all do you have as a band during pre-show prep or after the show? What gives you the most fulfilling moment during this process of getting to a gig to playing it to winding down at the end of the night?

 

Palo Santo and chanting. We cork merlot but Penny prefers prosecco. Most fulfilling moment is that free joint, the paycheck and a fluffy pillow.

 

Every post/article I do is drawn from the experience of listening and seeing music. I like to be very detailed and metaphorical. If you had to describe the identity of BRONCHO with a metaphor, what would it be?

All we are is dust in the wind.

suggested listening experience: summertime outside hanging with the friends // getting the morning started // any mode of transportation

listens: class historian // fantasy boy // stay loose // try me out sometime // get in my car // it's on // señora borealis

broncho // fb // spotify // ig // twitter

interview stuff: FLAGSHIP

reppin: charlotte, nc // bright antenna records // 2011 - present

sounds like: a big wide, classic black umbrella in a storm, helping you get through it and keeping you dry

flagship | damen l stop | chicago, il |@thefaakehipster

flagship | damen l stop | chicago, il |@thefaakehipster

last album drop: the electric man (march 2017)

featuring: drake // michael

flagship | subterranean, chicago | 5.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

flagship | subterranean, chicago | 5.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

When the lights get bright behind Flagship and those crisp guitar intros kicks in followed by those delicious vocals, your ears really give you no choice but to see where they take you. Hailing from the East Coast that is Charlotte, the duo of Drake and Michael have been at it for quite some time and it is really starting to make sense for them. “You always have about a decade of work before things really make sense,” according to them. That night, I learned that not only can these dudes and their bandmates put on a stellar show, their humility is forever in tact and their hunger to have an impact is even greater. In what could not be more Wicker Park, I scooted behind Subterranean to have a chat with the duo under the L.

Personally, the new record, “the electric man,” is a mixture of a sense of comfort combined with the reminder that there is darkness that still exists. It allows me to go to this state of mind where there is vast imagination, a place where you can kind of run wild. Michael backed that up when explaining how they landed on this sound: “I’ve actually spent the last few years finding comfort in a dark vibe and realizing that life has a lot of negativity. Then, I can finding comfort in understanding that. That may have something to do with our creation of our recent music and is certainly what is going on in my mind. The vibe between the two has done wonders too. “We have definitely moved closer together over the years, as far as making music. What we tried to do on this album is trying to accept the negative realities of life, but also trying to be hopeful,” Drake added. You can immediately recognize the connection between music and life that these two hold close to their hearts. Isn’t that what makes music so special. Michael likened it to accepting the bad in life. “You spend your time growing up and trying to change the bad, but you eventually realize that the pain is part of you and growing up, it makes you,” he explains. “The quicker you realize that, the quicker you accept yourself.” Too many of us get caught up in trying to turn every little bit of bad into good, and sometimes, you just have to let the bad be part of your makeup. Music is a great parallel to remind us all that everyone goes through shit all the time. “Acceptance of things you can’t control is finding peace with yourself. Finding comfort in the darkness,” as Michael beautifully puts it.

flagship | subterranean, chicago | 5.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

flagship | subterranean, chicago | 5.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

These dudes bring a few buddies on tour to play with them, but one thing is apparent as they play live: there is a personal connection the band is trying to create with audience members. The live set is so important to them. As Drake states, “If I’m asking a question or making a statement, I am trying to use body language to mimic that and create a conversation. I think that is what we are trying to achieve.” Part of that comes from the notion that his writing is very much drawn from personal experiences. “Anyone can take those lyrics and apply it themselves and maybe not even pickup on what I am talking about at all.” Michael has a very unique approach to taking his creations to the live stage, “I like trying to get people to the place where I was in when we were recording. Playing that live and using that thought to push to the audience, maybe trying to get them feel that same rise and fall.” That is how you dig beneath the surface and truly connect with fans in my opinion.

So what is next? Currently, they are touring with indie rockers In the Valley Below and will be hitting Chicago on July 18th at The Empty Bottle. Whatever city you are in, swing by for an incredible and personable show with dudes who just want to kick it with you after.   

suggested listening experience: walking through a storm // unwinding after a long day // holding someone close

listens: the ladder // midnight // life underwater // waste them all // mexican jackpot // are you calling // faded

flagship // spotify // fb // twitter // ig

interview stuff: MODERN VICES

reppin: chicago, usa // unsigned // 2013 - present

sounds like: crying to the Pet Sounds albums in a moldy basement but at the same time getting off to Joy Division

modern vices | posing at Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | posing at Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

next album drop: fall 2017

featuring: alex // peter // thomas // miles // patrick

interview stuff

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

I swear to the music lords i have never dropped my jaw so low and perked my ears to attention that quickly. I stumbled upon Modern Vices as I scooted over to Subterranean to check out the magical fingers of Ron Gallo. These five baby faced dudes who couldn’t be older than their early 20s took the stage with their hair...lots of hair. As soon as they kick in that intro and Alex’s vocals fill the room like a helium tank making love to a balloon. Suddenly, you are intertwined in this romantic web of old school rock n’ roll with a touch of modern distortion. You’re enticed to grab onto the someone close to you and just soak it all in. These are those moments of going out there to discover new music when you know something special and different in brewing in your backyard.

modern vices | subterranean, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | subterranean, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

What began as a some friends just hanging and jamming slowly morphed into the a new beginning of a magical journey. As Alex puts it, “so it all started when we all lived with each other for a year. We played two shows in our basement for friends and the following month we got signed.” While the special connection of writing tunes was there, it can still smack you in the face as a young dude with little clue. “It all happens so quickly, being a band and all.” But isn’t that part of the fun, riding a wave that is already a mammoth from the start. “At first we were just talking about how cool it would be to just get a record out, nothing more than that,” Peter describes. “The first time we came together for that album, it was kind of a beautiful accident. These were songs that Thomas and i wrote in high school. After that we didn’t know at the time, but we were def not on the same page. But we were younger, just making music.”

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

Their first self-titled album gave them an identity to start with though. As Alex puts it, “the first record we made definitely honed in on that 50s vibe and the sound, tone and everything really branched off from that pop noise of that era. But, it’s not something they want to engulf themselves with. “While we started with that and still have elements of that sound, but we don’t want to be this ‘doo-wop’ band. It is part of our style, but not all of it.” This beautiful sound, while still a work in progress, translates seamlessly onto the main stage. “We really aim for that kind of smooth, flowing set,” frontman Alex said. The guys did add a distinct note, “we’ve actually been working on creating a distinct live version of songs that are somewhat different than what we record. Adding like a section, jam or a transition to change it up. It Gives fans another reason to see us live.” And ain’t that the truth.

The beauty of gelling together that early is having the time to evolve. “We had to ask ourselves that kind of band we wanted to be,” Peter mentioned. That thought has evolved into reality as their next record is due out this fall. They have worked diligently to expand their identity beyond just that 50's rock persona. Alex has taken some time to perfect his writing as well. “The first album I definitely had some weird lyrics and my friends were like, what the fuck does this mean. But, at the core, they are emotionally driven songs. It is the same kind of writing for this upcoming record too with more maturity. A romantic journey of sorts with these guys. We’re all in it together. The songs are about what all of us are going through.” It is the calm before the storm as you’ll see these dudes playing Chicago here and there throughout the summer as they gear up for this next release. As to what to expect with their new tracks: “We’re crying to the Pet Sounds albums in a moldy basement but at the same time getting off to Joy Division.” Too unique to pass up kids..I think you’ll be hearing this band name much more as we roll into 2018.

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

suggested listening experience: after that long day prepping for a relaxing night // chill hang session with the friends // getting amped up for the night out

listens: smoke rings // (don't) hold me down // keep me under your arms // baby // cheap style // pleasure gun

mv // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc 

interview stuff: CHAD VALLEY

gig: subterranean // 3.2.17 // chicago

reppin: oxford, UK // 2010 - present

sounds like: hugo’s words - 'my music is like the kid in the corner of the high school house party"

hugo | outside subterranean | 3.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

hugo | outside subterranean | 3.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

latest album drop: Entirely New Blue (2015)

featuring: hugo manuel

So bummer news because my phone crapped out and died on me the other week I lost a few interviews, Mr. Hugo’s included. Nonetheless I have a mind like a steel trap (that’s a lie, my memory is a spotty as can be), but now it time to improvise. I bring you a combination of an interview, concert review sprinkled with some funny filler.

Hugo has been doing his thing with Chad (and prior with Jonquil) for almost 7 years, leaving room for some experiences, both good and bad, that have impacted him. He told me he recalls getting on the road with his CV bandmates and not planning a single thing in advance...that came back to bite them in the most furious way. Broken down van, miscommunication, the works. Knowing how to be a good band involves knowing all the logistics of touring. Hugo has also had to adapt to collaborating with others on stage and in the studio. Writing all your own music can put you in the “my way or no way” kind of zone, so that has certainly opened himself up as a musician.

hugo | outside subterranean | 3.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

hugo | outside subterranean | 3.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

Hugo had some killer insight about his lyrics, which don’t necessarily tell a story, but is more of a hodge-podge of sentences (as he describes). He wants his fans to be able to put their own meaning and interpretation to his lyrics, as that is part of the beauty of writing. Take your meaning and run with it. When it comes to the live set, this dude can bring it. For one guy, he puts a ton of passion and energy out there and it is well received. He moves through his tracks so fluidly, with a few funny cracks in between, but you can immediately feel it and get to dancing. As the fog machine bellows from below, it meshes so well with the lights and then Hugo’s luscious vocals hit you…,game over. He was very clear in saying while he certainly wants that connection with audience, it comes from the energy they give back...a little give and take if you will. Once that is established, that is when he finds his zone.

hugo | outside subterranean | 3.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

hugo | outside subterranean | 3.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

It is not something we think about all that much, but how do you want to be remembered? Most of us probably do not give it a thought because we are preoccupied with surviving and making it to the next day. When you are constantly in front of humans that you want to please, you may have a different take. Hugo, one of the nicest dudes I have sat down with, say he just wants to be that guy you can sit and have a beer with at the end of the day. At the end of the day, don’t we all need someone we can just shoot the shit with over a beer?

suggested listening experience: on the way home after a very long day at work // bubble bath // pre dance floor warm up routine