The ‘American Spirits’ of Bands
An Interview with Ryan Lindsey of Broncho
Words by Cher Dunn
Broncho is the band that your boyfriend has a crush on just as much, if not more, than you. The Oklahoma-based band creates the perfect mixture of pop and punk that explodes into a wild, sweaty dance party during live shows. After releasing one of my favorite albums of 2014, Just Enough Hip To Be Woman, I caught Broncho at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly. I spoke with guitarist/vocalist Ryan Lindsey about his dreams, the band’s record, and current tour.
At fourteen, inspired by seeing his older brother starting to play in bands, Lindsey decided he wanted to play music for a living. Growing up, he was inspired by nature, the outdoors and feeding his creative mind and imagination. Though those things are still very much a part of his life, he admits recently, his songs are mostly inspired by dreams. “I love dreaming”, he says. “I love waking up from a great dream. There’s nothing like it. It’s probably the biggest influence for me musically – the dream state. They’re [the songs are] about everything”, he goes on, “little bits and pieces of things that actually happened and things that didn’t happen, or maybe things the way I thought they happened,” he explained. Using a mixture of these influences, Lindsey challenges himself to make them into one coherent, two and a half minute narrative.
I needed insight into how the brilliant Just Enough Hip To Be Woman was made, and I learned that Broncho recorded in a studio outside of El Paso recommended by friends. “It was magical,” says Lindsey. “It was great. We had a lot of the record ready to go and a lot of songs, but there was a lot of sense to be made of those songs.”
While production started off in fine form, as it turns out, the album’s journey was a bit bumpy. Somewhere in between mixing and touring, the band’s label folded, and Broncho found themselves at a crossroads. Luckily, friends who they make records with came to the rescue by offering their studio. “It was one of those things where it’s like, if we get money, eventually we’ll get paid. We were fortunate to be able to record with no money, so this record is essentially recorded that way,” he said. “We sent it out to labels. Dine Alone ended up completely working out. So at that point they had heard the record unmixed…they liked it, and from there we mixed the record ourselves and put it out.”
How does it feel now that the album is finally out? Ryan says ecstatically, “It feels great! In a lot of ways, we are still introducing ourselves to people. It’s kind of nice. It’s fun to do it that way.”
Just Enough Hip To Be Woman sounds and plays like a classic. Each song flows together to form one concessive piece—a perfect form for vinyl. In an industry powered by singles, I wondered if this is something they thought about when putting together the record.
Lindsey says, “The interesting thing is, I’m really influenced by singles. I grew up hearing singles on the radio. But on this record I want people to hear the whole thing. It’s short and I like keeping people’s attention for a short amount of time. You get in, get out.” But, Lindsey doesn’t want you to necessarily just hear their singles. He explains, “I want people to be patient for a minute even though I’m not patient.” He smugly corrects himself, “I’m patient, but I’m- Yeah…I’m actually very patient.”
Broncho is currently touring the US and can’t wait to continue their tour in Europe. “We’re going to Europe in November and I’ve never been to Europe. I’ve always waited, patiently, for music to take me to Europe,” he emphasized. “I’ve always wanted music to be the thing that takes me over there, so that part will be fun and magical. I think we all like the idea of maybe being more exotic to people on the other side of the world than we are here. Maybe we’ll make more sense over there…maybe we’ll stay over there. But it would be fun to make sense in another part of the world and that’s kind of the way we view the US.”
If you are a fan of the TV show Girls, you heard Broncho’s “It’s On” on the premiere of the third season this year. I’m a huge fan of soundtracks and I wondered if the band noticed reaction from the episode airing. “I think so. It wasn’t an obvious huge thing. Like being on a show (as a band) has been historically, then next show a huge obvious change, but that’s not really our band either. I think we’re kind of this long, slow burner. We’re the American Spirits of bands. We’re good for you. Less carcinogens. And if you just relax and give us a minute, maybe we’ll make sense to you.”
What can we look forward to from Broncho in 2015? Lindsey says, “We’re going on tour with Billy Idol during January and February, and I cannot wait!” Idol is an influence on Lindsey, who added, “I still don’t think it’s actually going to happen. You know what I mean? It’s confirmed, everything is good to go, but I don’t really believe it’s going to happen until it’s done and it’s over.”
Luckily for Broncho, the upcoming tour isn’t a dream. Get your tickets and additional tour information here!
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