Bud Bronson and the Good Timers, upon first listen, might seem a bit childish. With the consistent themes of booze, weed and partying, the punky rock-and-roll band’s stuff could easily fit in as background music at a fraternity initiation event. The more heady listener should not be dissuaded, however — these guys are not a band of “bros.” They’re sharp. Their lyrics aren’t blather — they’re witty. They imply a self-awareness that other music in the genre doesn’t. The guys are out to have a Good Time” while they can, because they know the good times won’t last forever.
SP: How did your band come together?
Brian Beer: Luke and I met in the mountains of Colorado, while Austen, Andrew (original drummer) and I met at college in Boulder. We started playing shows summer 2012. Forrest hopped on drums summer 2014 once we realized that we needed someone who could tour and record on a regular basis. We recorded our first demos on a Tascam 488 inside my roommate’s ice-cold garage in Denver. We recorded our last album in super hi-fi at cushy Black in Bluhm Studios. Its a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll.
SP: How did Fantasy Machine come about? How did you get the idea for this album’s awesome cover?
Beer: We needed an album cover that captured the huge epicness of the album we were writing, so we called up our friend Sam Turner, who makes rad art for a bunch of metal bands and people who ride motorcycles. The stadium in the photo is actually based off Shea Stadium in New York, close to where I grew up, and it’s transported to the Front Range of Colorado, where we all live. It’s a nice representation of the east-west connection in the band.
SP: Even though your members are young, you guys have got a swagger among the likes of rock and roll’s longtime partiers, minus the arrogance. How do you keep that balance?
BBeer: We’re all just real, normal, regular guys. There is no actual Bud Bronson. We can become him when we are at our boldest, most brash, most reckless selves. But most of the time we’re just everyday pals living our everyday lives in the USA.
SP: Many of your songs, like FM’s huge and raunchy “Vapedemic,” have humor front and center. They’re also backed with the wisdom of the temporary nature of life — how things will always come and go like waves. How important is this theme in your music?
Beer: It’s huge. The balance between not taking yourself too seriously but also having something somewhat important to say is a huge part of this band. I don’t think any of us want to be cartoon versions of ourselves. We take this all very seriously. That doesn’t mean that we can’t also have a good time. Rock & Roll is supposed to be fun. If there’s anything that Craig Finn or Patrick Stickles has taught me, it’s that you can have it both ways.
SP: Would you say you guys are serious about not taking yourselves too seriously?
Beer: Well said.
SP: How important is comradery to the band?
Beer: This band is all about the glory of friendship. So many of these songs are written with that in mind. We want to create an all-inclusive, welcoming, celebratory vibe. Camaradery is a huge part of that.
SP: When you come to Champaign, you’ll be playing together with a lineup of some other great artists. Do you enjoy playing these kinds of communal shows?
Beer: We are super excited for the Champaign show. This is what being a touring band on our level is all about — bands helping other bands do their thing in places they’ve never been before. The guys from Old Fox Road and Bookmobile have been so helpful in setting this show up, and we’ve never even met in person. The network and community created through bands across the country is one of my favorite parts about playing and music.
Bud Bronson & The Good Timers play tonight at Institute 4 Creativity with Bookmobile!, Old Fox Road, and The Sun Will Rise. Tickets are $5 at the door, and show starts at 9 p.m.