Local drummer Brian Costello (nobody calls him that, we all know him as “Bronco”) has been a staple in the Lawrence music scene for nearly a decade. You’ll recognize him as the perfect-postured drummer from Fourth of July. In recent years, he spread his musical wings with The Hips. But his time to step into the spotlight and showcase his preferred sound has finally arrived with Coke Weed X, a new instrumental and electronic-based band in Lawrence. Bronco enlisted the help of his brother, Brendan (also of Fourth of July), to create music that is lush, ambient, and at times groovy enough to retain that Range Life Records sound we’ve come to love.
For Bronco, who has always been a much-needed support for his bands, this was an opportunity to step out on his own and create music based off of his own influences. “The music and the bands that I’ve played in, I haven’t fulfilled some of the musical desires and adventures I wanted to take,” says Bronco. “I wanted to take the stuff that I’ve been listening to, that I wanted to hear in any musical project I was a part of, and incorporate it into something I was doing.”
To get the sound he wanted, Bronco called upon the person who knows him best. “I’m kind of laying the groundwork down for everything and just getting the compositions together,” says Bronco. “He [Brendan] comes in and lays some sick guitar lines over the top of it, lends a few ideas here and there, and that’s kind of always how it’s worked.”
Even with this balance of songwriting for Coke Weed X, Bronco still didn’t want to put himself out there as the center of the project. “There’s a kind of ambiguity to who the frontman is, who’s really emotionally connected or invested or trying to express something through this music,” says Bronco. “I’m not singing at all, so I still feel like even if we did play live and I was up front, you still have to figure it out on your own. There’s a little more of a mystery.” Keeping Coke Weed X an instrumental band helped Bronco achieve a little more of that mystery. “Even though the music itself is personal to me, I’m not necessarily exposing myself emotionally in any kind of way through this music,” says Bronco. “I like that a lot about it. That’s the reason I don’t really write lyrics for the most part, I don’t have that much to say that I want people to hear about. If I want people to hear about it, I’ll talk to them about it.”
Putting it out there
The brothers Costello took their time perfecting this project, starting the band five years ago and spending nearly two years putting the album together. Bronco says he wanted to make sure the music they produced was something he’d want to listen to. “A lot of the bands that I listened to growing up, the style I was really drawn to, are not as existent anymore,” says Bronco, who has no problem admitting that he’s making music to appease his own musical tastes. “If it takes off and people love it, that’s fantastic. If it’s out there and nothing happens, I’m totally fine with that. I wouldn’t put all this out there if I wasn’t happy with the product.”
You can hear Bronco and Brendan put it all out there when the album drops digitally on Tuesday, August 28th, over at Range Life Records.