For most casual fans of music, the forty-five minutes that a band spends on the stage is all they can see. However, when the guitar cases are closed and the venue’s floor is littered with empty beer cans and trash, most bands load their gear into the van and return back to their normal lives.
Mother Church Pew’s Off The Stage is a series that celebrates a band’s path to where they are and the things they do behind the scenes to stay there.
Singer/songwriter Tim Bruns, frontman of folk-rock band B R U N S, is a jack-of-all-trades; after the breakup of his band, Churchill, he took some time off from music, finding rest in mowing lawns and being a maintenance man; he also tried his hand at wood-working, served food, and worked in coffee shops. However, it was his time as a self-taught bartender that Bruns enjoyed the most: “I was working in a restaurant here a while back, and they’d gotten all the stuff to have a bar, but they needed a bartender. So, I bought an app and some books and starting reading and experimenting. I made lots of really nasty failed experimental cocktails, and couple of good ones.” After learning the basics, Bruns got braver, and began making his own preparations such as bitters and simple syrups for his craft cocktails.
He makes cocktails of all varieties, but he’ll tell you, with a clever smile and gleam in his eye, his absolute favorite ingredient is whiskey: “Whiskey cocktails are my jam. My Old Fashioned, I know that’s a really simple one, but I make a lot of different variations on the Old Fashioned. I love Sazeracs, all those New Orleans-style cocktails like the Vieux Carre. Whiskey-based cocktails are my go-to.”
Upon thoughtful consideration, crafting cocktails isn’t altogether different from crafting songs. “It’s the creation of something again. It’s super-creative. Once you know the theory behind it, how much bitters or how much simple syrup and how much booze to put in, you can start creating your own,” explains Bruns, adding, “there’s something really cool about being able to do that. Mixing a lot of random ingredients and making something really great.”