First and foremost, it's pronounced Braun-cho. Secondly, the capitalization is purposeful. And thirdly, this is a band, not a Mexican pony (important!). It's a band that plays gritty, straightforward punk songs a la The Replacements and Iggy Pop. It's a band that calls Oklahoma home (which is impressive in its own right). It's a band that self-released its debut album and gained International praise all on it's own.
This dedication and persistence paid off, and the quartet recently signed with Fairfax Recordings, which will be re-releasing 2011's Can't Get Past The Lips before dropping BRONCHO's anticipated sophomore release. In the meantime, the punk rockers are touring the States, including a stop at Costa Mesa's Detroit Bar on March 9. While en route to Oakland from Portland, bassist Jonathon Ford chatted with us about BRONCHO's origins, and how the new album will still be loud, but a little more sophisticated.
OC Weekly (Katrina Nattress): You all played in bands before BRONCHO; what made you decide to form this band?
Jonathon Ford: It's kind of a strange occurrence. Ryan had written a bunch of songs in the vein of BRONCHO, and he was currently playing with Starlight Mints and also doing some solo stuff. Nathan and Ben played on the recordings, and then Ryan told me to check out the songs, and I got super into them and was like, "Hey, we should just start a band." At that point we didn't really even have a name yet. We were excited and wanted to just start playing and recording. We finished up the record, started booking shows, and decided that we'd call the band BRONCHO.
How did you come up with the name BRONCHO?
JF: It's a line in our song, "Pick A Fight." It says, "Broncho, Broncho, your girlfriend is lame," and that all seemed to make sense.
And why all caps?
JF: It just kind of looks better. It jumps out more. It's a term for a Mexican pony, and capitalizing it makes it stand out from the Mexican pony. We have absolutely nothing to do with Mexican ponies.
Your influences come from the '70s punk music. How would you say your band has modernized this sound?
JF: We definitely haven't set out to modernize it. I don't think there's been any kind of goals musically, or anything like that. We just write songs that make sense and come out naturally, so I don't think we've set out to modernize anything.
What I love about your debut album is its conciseness. It's gritty and straight to the point. Will the new album still have this feel?
JF: It's definitely still BRONCHO, but it's less rowdy. It's still loud, but there's more sophistication. But at the same time we're still playing around with the three-chord, punk rock song. BRONCHO fans will definitely still like it. We're just growing as a band, and more things are coming into it.
Have you finished recording the album?
JF: We're about 80% done. We're finishing it up in April, with a projected fall release.
How's it been working with Fairfax Recordings?
JF: It's been good. It's just kind of starting to roll forward. They're re-releasing Can't Get Past The Lips, which we are super-happy about because it gets it out to a wider audience instead of the 1,000 copies that we pressed. The ball's finally starting to move. We've got an April release date for the reissue. A lot of good things are happening now.