Broncho returns to Globe Hall for two headlining shows still mired in Bad Behavior
Globe Hall | November 22 & 23
By Jonny Rhein
Photo by Pooneh Ghana
“There’s a lot of bad going on and it just seemed like the title that made the most sense,” Ryan Lindsey, the frontman of Broncho, told The Marquee from a stretch of European countryside as the phone signal faded in and out. “‘Bad’ can be taken different ways. It just seems that people are not on their best behavior. I think the record’s meant to be lighthearted about the whole thing and an obvious name for an obvious weird time. It seemed like we didn’t even come up with it. We had no choice. It made the most sense.”
For decades punk bands have made statements with direct aim and backed with fast tempo and power chords to launch their message; sometimes the message overshadows the music itself. For a band with punk roots like Broncho, that’s not the case. They aren’t taking aim at anyone or picking a fight. Broncho has always blended aspects of punk with melody and aesthetic, and they accomplish that especially well on their latest album Bad Behavior. The theme of ‘bad’ could easily be masked by the vibrancy of the music. The record embodies everything about the charm of Broncho’s earlier releases – the cheekiness of Can’t Get Past the Lips, the simplicity of Double Vanity and the allurement of Just Enough Hip to be Woman — and takes it a few steps further.
Like many Americans, Lindsey spent time stuck in the daunting and draining news cycle after Broncho’s 2016 release of Double Vanity. Bad Behavior, is a reflection of the events of the times. There’s no name-calling and nothing too specific, but the themes stand out with tracks entitled “Family Values” and “Keep it in Line.”
“I don’t think I really try to be autobiographical in any of this,” he said. “I think it’s more of ideas coming out of an environment that we’re in and making sense of an individual idea and then finishing the idea. I don’t think it’s meant to be too serious and [I don’t] really take a strike at anything or anybody. I think it’s more just a simple reflection of whatever might be going on at the time. Sometimes, you’re just trying to be as funny and cute as possible.”
It’s challenging to call people out when the idea of ‘bad’ is so fluid. There are always two or more sides to every story, or ulterior motives from who is feeding the information. The lyrics in “Keep it in Line” could represent this idea: “You know I’d never report you. I got my version, they got theirs.”
“I think in some ways people are looking out for their own interest and sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad, and that can be taken in multiple ways,” Lindsey said. “Sometimes it’s somebody looking out for themselves in a good way and that can be bad to somebody else. I think it’s meant to be taken in a way that is up to the individual. Maybe something is not positive to them but it’s positive to somebody else, so it can be bad to them. It’s somewhat of a merry-go-round. What’s bad to some people is good to other people and vice versa. You try to take your own perspective — your own takeaway on whatever the news is, whether you’re reading the news or watching it,” Lindsey continued. “Watching stuff on TV, there obviously is an incentive to get more people to watch and to get more money from advertising. At a certain point, that starts to wear me out, so it’s fun to get away from it, but then sometimes it’s fun to get back into and catch all the ads. It kind of just depends on where I’m at. Sometimes it sounds kind of fun and sometimes it sounds like the worst thing I could be doing. I just try to cruise in and out of whatever might be there for me to take in. I try to take in stuff in different ways in life through hanging out with people, through traveling — that, specifically, was watching the news for a minute. I think it’s all about getting a balance.”
Getting that balance is easy for a band who tours as vigorously as Broncho. At the time of the interview, Lindsey and the band had just played Leeds and were heading to Brighton. Next was four nights in China before heading back to North America to finish the tour.
“I think I’m a nomad deep in my heart,” Lindsey said. “Denver’s a place we go to a lot and I love going to Denver. We were there, I guess, about two months ago now. We played with The Growlers — two nights at the Ogden. I love that theater. I like the people in Denver; everybody’s great. Everybody I run into seems to be chillin’.”
Broncho has been to Denver six times since 2015, but they never get to hang long enough in a city they love so much. That is partially the reason for two back-to-back headlining shows at Globe Hall — sort of a temporary stay-cation.
“After the last show (at Globe Hall), I think we definitely started talking about making that happen. It seemed like a place that would make sense for a couple nights. I’m glad to because we normally have to haul ass to Denver or haul ass away from Denver, so being able to relax for a couple days will be good. When we played with The Growlers, we kind of hauled ass to town. We had one day where we could chill, but then the second night after the show we just drove straight towards Kansas City. So, it’ll be good to check-in, sleep in, check out, sleep in and check out.”
Aside from a couple recently released remixes from Yeasayer and Computer Magic, Lindsey said the band has some new jams prepared and is ready to get back into the studio. “We’ve been slowly working on new stuff, probably once we finish up,” Lindsey said. “We do China, we go back and do west coast, Globe Hall, once we end there, it’ll be time to new-record it.”
It’s been a year since Bad Behavior was released. The wheels have still been churning — the 24-hour news cycle continues to pump out information and Lindsey still spends a considerable amount of time on the road. Not much seems to have changed.
“The record I don’t think gets too in-depth on anything specific on how bad life is, really,” Lindsey said. “But aside from that, in the world that we are in, things are moving fast, currently where it seems like some stuff might start happening soon tied in to all the global corruption that’s going on. But you never know, I hate to say that things are gonna be better. Every time I do that I feel like I jinx my reality I’m living in. I think there’s a lot of good people that I run into on the road and I forget about humanity. I think the question is ‘Who’s running the show?’ Those are the questions people will get to answer in a year. I vote. I’ve always voted. I think it’s important, and it’s important if things don’t go the way you want them to, to do something about it. But then you also hope that things are a way that your vote is maximized, and I think we’re starting to move in a way where that might start changing for the better. In some way, I think that things are looking up.”
Globe Hall | November 22 & 23
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