Four-piece rock band Broncho continues to embrace a strong psychedelic style with their latest record, Bad Behavior, which came out Oct. 12 via Park the Van Records. Each song holds a mellow, poppy feeling that contrasts the lyrical content full of themes branched off the album title. This, as frontman Ryan Lindsey puts it, is the sound of “emotional self-help rock 'n' roll” — the sound of Broncho.
While touring and promoting their previous album, Double Vanity, the band spent time between shows writing songs that would ultimately become part of Bad Behavior. The album started forming at a cheap warehouse the band rents in Tulsa, while most of the album was finished and produced by Chad Copelin at Blackwatch Studios in Norman. With two band members hailing from Tulsa and the other two from Norman, the two-hour distance between the cities and the Oklahoma environment in general shaped some of the music, Lindsey says.
“I think [Oklahoma] has a big influence on us,” he says via phone while looking for pizza in New York. “Whether it be through rebellion or compromise, we’re definitely infected by it. Artistically, what I’m saying is, you can kind of make your own rules, and there’s space to do it there. You can do that anywhere, for sure, but you can’t get a whole warehouse to yourself at an affordable price anywhere. And Oklahoma’s a comfy place.”
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Lindsey grew up in the small college town of Stillwater, about five minutes away from OSU, which he attended. He was exposed to things he says he wouldn’t have known about had the university not been there. The homey environment gave him the freedom to express his imagination however he wanted and felt comfortable and safe while doing so. As a result, Lindsey found Oklahoma to be the perfect place to work efficiently and creatively.
“I think what it does is give you the relaxation to create,” he says. “Some people work better under more stressful environments, but I like everything to be nice and relaxing. Maybe in my core, I have to be relaxed in order to be myself, and I guess that’s where we’re coming from.”
Perhaps the core of Bad Behavior comes from witnessing various tense environments in the world from a peaceful place, seeing people make amoral actions in order to keep up with the pace. Lindsey mentions that the title comes from seeing a lot of bad behavior in the media and world in general, but he prefers to leave the word bad open to interpretation, since its meaning can be subjective. The album cover, for example, is illustrated with a tongue licking cherries, which interprets the title in a sensual way as opposed to a criminal or dishonest viewpoint.
“'Bad' could mean so many different things,” Lindsey says. “Something that’s bad to someone else could be good to someone else. Anyone who would be concerned with someone’s bad behavior might be concerned with our record cover. So it made the most sense to put some cherries and a tongue on the front.”
Lindsey confesses that a lot of the album’s aspects weren’t thought out so much as they were merely hashed out when the band got together in sessions. Decisions were more based on feeling rather than guidelines, meaning their current sound emerged from a natural desire to contrast Double Vanity’s heavily reverberated sound.
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“These songs made a lot more sense dried out,” he says. “The last record, it made a lot of sense for us to find the reverb button and crank it all the way up. This record, it was like, we remembered where the reverb button was and shut it off in general terms. The main thing is figuring out how the song makes sense at that particular time. We could do this record a million different ways, but where we were at that time after making the previous record and touring on it forever and starting to write new stuff, I think it was just a natural progression to change the sound. Ultimately, when you’re in that moment, you try to make the most sense out of the song you’re working on. So it’s a snapshot of us in our lives with the outside person knowing where we come from with the previous record and the record before that.”
Having previously played at multiple venues in Dallas, Broncho comes back to Club Dada to promote Bad Behavior this time around. They’re ready to show some love to their neighboring state and, as Lindsey suggests, maybe even get a few souvenirs.
“When Oklahoma shops, they go to Dallas.”
Broncho plays at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 at Club Dada. Tickets are $15.