All-around Breakdown: Elway Frontman & Guitarist Tim Browne Breaks Down Latest Album The Best of All Possible Worlds (Red Scare Industries)
Elway have stuck with Red Scare Industries for a few years and, now, we've all been rewarded with their best album yet; or, at least, that's what they're saying. Elway's Tim Browne, Joe Henderer, William Orender & Brian Van Proyen, also, tell us that the prevailing theme of this collection of songs is, "... The Candide/Quixote Dilemma. As in, are we naïve for being optimistic?" Hoo-wee, sounds like Red Scare's gonna get rich off this thing! The Indie Punk quartet recorded a buncha songs out in their home state of Colorado and, then, they painstakingly whittled it down to the best 11 tracks for The Best of All Possible Worlds. All bangers here!
Even though it's been lean times for Indie Rock/Punk tours during The Pandemic, Elway has managed to play some recent shows with The Lawrence Arms, Hot Water Music, and The Menzingers and we expect the good times to keep comin' in 2022. Ever the optimists! We got a chance to chat with Elway's own frontman and guitarist Tim Browne about their latest effort. Tim was kind enough to provide us with a thorough track-by-track breakdown for the entirety of The Best of All Possible Worlds. It has been lightly edited for general clarity. Elway's The Best of All Possible Worlds is now available on Red Scare Industries.
"What've we got here? Well, well, well... if it isn't a world where technology has permanently branded us with cognizance of the aggregate despair and hopelessness of our existence and of every sentient thing in it and is, subsequently, being leveraged by monocled captains of industry to pray on the rudderlessness and desperation we accrue by simply feeling to sell us shit we don't need—or even really want—and estrange you from honest, un-monetizable, human connection. Yes, folks, this is a planet where love sweeps you off your feet and leaves you a bloated cadaver with a belly-full of microplastics being picked apart by seagulls on an Amazon garbage scow.
In many ways, this is the simplified version of the demeanor I cannot help but lug around as an over-thinking modern human. Seems like the amount of deception we accept willingly and unconditionally is really the meterstick for how successfully we can navigate this world as it continues circling the drain. But! Could it be my doom and gloom outlook on the present and future of this planet, our species, and the obscure hollow of the universe we occupy is a theatrical contrivance—or am I really onto something here? I'll spend the rest of this record, and probably my life, trying to determine the answer to that question. Welcome to The Best of All Possible Worlds."
"The only moments of real quietude I had during the beginning of The Pandemic were in The Rocky Mountains on any number or combination of entheogenic substances. I didn't really attain "enlightenment," but I did come to understand that the fixation on the self that our inexplicable connection with technology has saddled us with creates an awful lot of noise. Noise loud enough, by the way, to drown out our connections to each other, to the natural world, and to ourselves. Kind of a drag. That is, until you get out of cell service and spend a few days talking with your best friend about literally everything and literally nothing. Try it some time."
"So, we've already dipped our toes in the morose, black muck of existential pessimism, so why don't we rap a bit about what is best in life instead? This song is about being reckless, carefree, intoxicated, and in love. These moments are rare and powerful. My advice: don't spend any time over-thinking them while they're happening. The self-indulgence of hindsight will come later and it will be a pox on your house, rest-assured. For now? Follow that homeless guy behind the dumpster and partake of whatever is in that little [Ziploc] bag of his. Ask someone to dance with you on the hood of a cop car. Make your move, sissy lala, and be unflappable about it. Pretty soon you'll be unironically going to Chili's on purpose and it'll all be over."
"Here in Denver, there's a park not so far from my place where I like to take walks, sometimes. Cheesman Park, it's called. Here, be-dreadlocked White people who work Salesforce jobs bring their Subarus & Patagonia nano puff jackets to day drink rosé or hazy IPA's on the weekend and talk about the scary homeless encampment on their block of identical slothomes and pallid, Ikea-looking, eye-violating condos. Beneath the ground upon which they lay their $300 Pendleton picnic blankets are hundreds of unclaimed graves from where once The Denver City Cemetery lay.
A number of Denver government bureaucratic SNAFU's over the years, along with the re-working of the park itself have resulted in a kind of "oh, well, f**k it" attitude about exhuming the bodies. Is this germane to the subject of the song? I can't really say. Historically, I think humans will do what they can to make something right up until the point that it inconveniences them, then, they'll build a pilates studio right over top of the problem. If this song has a mission statement, it would be "if you want anything to get better, you have to suffer the slings and arrows of working to make it better." I'll heed my own advice sometime later."
"What can I say? Every time a friendship, romance, or honest connection ends in your life, some part of you is gone forever. You can recede into yourself, cursing a God who would tease his creation with love or you can take everything useful you can from the wreckage and keep trudging toward oblivion, grateful for the lesson. Sounds simple. What could go wrong? Big-ups to Deanna Belos from Sincere Engineer for lending her voice to that second verse."
"The coincidence of our existence and every miniscule affair within it is so infinitesimally unlikely to ever have occurred that the heat death of The Universe will happen before it ever occurs like this again. With that in mind, you should do everything you can to appreciate the terminal beauty that now does, in fact, exist and never will again. Everything is unglued and flying apart frenetically and randomly. It means nothing, ergo, it means everything. F**k. Rob this existence of every beautiful moment you can before it's all a f**ked-to-death pile of burning caca."
"It's easy to explain the sentiment behind a song once it's written. Once you can hold the finished product you've agonized to create at arms length it becomes so clear that it's insane to think of the circumstances that led to that agony in the first place. Such is our place in the world. Navigating waking life, inter-personal relationships, and stewardship of the places we inhabit is a real clusterf**k. You will say the wrong thing at the wrong time and blow your chance with someone you've had a thing for half your adult life in an instant. You will get fired for Tweeting about your boss' Funko Pop collection. You will spend most of your life tripping over your own dumb f**king feet just to get anywhere. Don't worry, it'll become clear what a mistake you made in retrospect, just after it counts. For now, make the sh*t you do in your life interesting because no matter what, it's going to be nearly universally stupid throughout."
"The other day, Collin Ingram, who produced this record, was remarking to me about Vladimir Putin griping publicly that Russia "is being canceled, like J.K. Rowling." He remarked, "have you noticed that everything is kind of the same thing now?" I know precisely what he meant. In a world where space and time are being ever compressed into a singularity, where we feed our own pre-existing cultural and political predilections with algorithmically-generated agitprop, like our own personal Audrey II, there is a built-in presupposition to be consumed about every news item there is.
Putin being culturally blacklisted by The West is the same as J.K. Rowling getting scrutinized for being a sh*tty transphobe is the same as people telling Kid Rock that he can't say the F-slur on stage is the same as MAGA people's kids being taught Sex Ed. in school. For The Libs, Louis C.K. j**king off is the same as Raytheon [Technologies] bombing children in The Middle East is the same as Trump mocking Rosie O'Donnell is the same as Jeffrey Epstein being besties with Bill Clinton. The only real throughline with these issues is that we have a viewpoint on all of these disparate issues mainlined into our subconscious, via The Internet. It all seems inter-connected because we demand it to be so. The worst part of it all is that the truths central to any issue are secondary to our opinion of the truth. We cannot be convinced, unless we want to be convinced. Horrifying stuff. Anyway, the whistle in the bridge of this song is by North Carolina Whistling Champion, Tony Woodard!"
"If we can replicate the experienced sense of joy, elation, friendship, or inspiration in a human being, via The Internet, is there any actual difference from the real thing? If nostalgia is so expertly packaged that it can inspire the same awe and wonderment as the real world it hearkens back to, is it just as novel an experience to be cherished? If we can feel the same sense of societal involvement and revolutionary zeal from politicking online as we can from bringing a guillotine down on an aristocrat's chicken neck, have we actually accomplished the same thing? This song posits that 1., no. 2., f**k you for asking, and 3., when the ocean swallows the coast and the bombs start raining from the sky, I hope you remember having the gall to even think so. [The] clip at the beginning of this song is from Édith Piaf's rendition of "Le Ça ira," the marching song of The French Revolution."
"Being that these all-too-often fragile relationships with other fallible human beings are the only items of any real value on this mortal coil, it is the hardest thing on Earth to lose someone. If you're a sucker, like me, your missteps, misfortunes, mistakes, and missed connections will haunt you a little bit forever. But fear not, this song is here to thunder out triumphantly that there is a beauty all itself in the moving on. Don't hold on to your grief just because it sprang from something that was, at one point, beautiful. I have never once successfully practiced what I preach here, but I am a constant work-in-progress and I will get it right someday... probably."
"In Sylvia Plath's Years, she emotes "what I love is the piston in motion... My soul dies before it. And the hooves of the horses, their merciless churn." To me, these lines always signified what I know in my very Godd*mn loins to be true, which is that the only way to feel like this universe is worth existing in is to find something that makes you feel, everyday, like you are keeping momentum. This song is a love letter to my good friend, Garrett Dale [of Red City Radio], who has helped me throughout our years knowing each other to cultivate the irreplaceable pursuit of creating art as a means of keeping the piston in motion. The world can very easily seem a wretched place, but negativity is cheap. Chase The Sun until you can't anymore. Turns out, whether or not *this* is The Best of All Possible Worlds is an unanswerable question; you have to finish living to find out."