Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Loud, Rough and Earnest, Meet Atomic Bronco

Three words come to mind when thinking of Atomic Bronco's sound, loud, rough, and earnest. With a plethora of singles under his belt and an impressive seven-track EP 'Spectrum'.

Sitting comfortably between the styles of Kurt Vile and Arctic Monkeys, Kyle Russ is quickly making a name for himself under the guise of his creation, 'Atomic Bronco'. With a range of influences from electronic to Americana and country, it's safe to say that Russ is a master of genre-bending rock cuts.

With two singles being released from 'Spectrum', 'Cruel' and 'Headfirst', we receive a delightful taster of the rest of the EP that surprises and delights.

Chatting with Atomic Bronco, we discover the story behind the name, and what to expect from the future of the solo spectacle.

Hey! How are you doing?

Doing great! Really enjoying the summer so far! 

First off, I’d love to hear the story behind the band name, Atomic Bronco!

There was a restaurant I used to go to all the time in Denver called Atomic Cowboy, and I really liked that imagery, so when I was looking for an artist name that seemed like a good option to start from. After looking at a bunch of different options, Atomic Bronco was one with all the social media handles available, so it became the winner! Not all that inspiring, but hey, marketing is key.

Who are Atomic Bronco?

Atomic Bronco is just the work of myself (Kyle). I've been making music in one form or another since high school, and this seemed like the perfect vehicle for what my musical interests are now.

Do you think being a ‘one-man band’ hinders you in any way?

I think it hinders me in a live setting, since I've had to really think how I want to present this on stage, but other than that, I don't think so. Working by myself lets me work at my own pace, and I can change direction any time I want. I've learned that creating music is really important for my own mental health and well being, so it's great not to have to deal with anyone else's schedule or creative direction. I would love to start collaborating with other musicians now that I've had a few releases on my own, but overall I think Atomic Bronco works best as a solo project.

We loved you previous single ‘Cruel’ – what’s the narrative behind the track?

Cruel is about an unapologetic jerk, which is an attitude that I've always sort of weirdly admired. I sometimes wish that I had that unabashed confidence, so I tried to capture that in this song. I'm a pretty nice guy in real life, and would never act like that person in the song, but sometimes it's nice to live vicariously through your music. 

You’ve just released your second single ‘Headfirst’ from the EP ‘Spectrum’ – which do you think is a standout track?

I know it's a cliche, but I really like the Spectrum EP as a whole. If I had to pick, I think Headfirst is a good showcase of the latest direction going forward for Atomic Bronco. I really like the suspended energy and slight dissonance in that song. I really seem to be drawn to songs with a slight dark energy to them recently, and I think Headfirst is a good example of that. 

You cite a lot of influences, from Kurt Vile to Artic Monkeys – what music were you brought up listening to?

I grew up in a very rural area with only a few radio stations, and all but one were country, so I spent a lot of time listening to classic rock on that radio station. Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Boston, and all that good stuff. So that was my base, but when I heard Nirvana for the first time that really changed how I thought about music. Since then, I've been just been drawn to indie/alt rockers with a little edge, so I've really liked all the stuff that has come out the last decade from Arctic Monkeys, Kurt Vile, Royal Blood, and all those guys. 

Where do you think Atomic Bronco sit in terms of genres?

I'd say Indie/Alt Rock, but there is definitely some Americana/Country, Punk, and Electronic influences in there as well. I don't really think about genres all that much while I'm making the songs, it really only comes afterwards when you're looking for press that I start categorizing the music I make. 

Describe your sound in three words.

Loud, rough, and earnest.

What can we expect from the future of Atomic Bronco?

I'm working out a live version of Atomic Bronco, so I'm hoping to have that ready this summer! I've also written a few new songs lready so there's a chance those might be released later this year as well, so we'll see!

Lana Williams


Image: Provided by Atomic Bronco 

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