by Evan Kramer
After listening to the projects Bulldover and Bubblegum, I have become a legitimate fan of Kevin Devine’s music. If one thing stands out to me, it’s his style. The mood while listening to Kevin Devine is similar to most indie rock bands, but his music, personally, is much more enjoyable. Bulldozer and Bubblegum are excellent albums, but my favorite one by far was Bubblegum, the album where Devine collaborated with The Goddamn Band. No disrespect to Bulldozer, but Bubblegum solidified me as a fan, and gave me high anticipation for an interview with Kevin Devine.
Devine is from New York, but his location doesn’t define him as an artist. If anything defines him, it’s his passion towards crafting music and his humble respect for his fan base. “I’m not really a celebrity, but the respect and support that I get from my listeners is just incredible,” Devine states. “It really keeps me doing what I’m doing.” Kevin Devine puts every ounce of his emotion into his craft, which makes his music a special listen.
For Kevin Devine, music became a part of his life while he was a fourth grader. “My friends and I from all around couldn’t really play our instruments, so they were just like toys and we would copy bands like Poison and Guns & Roses,” Devine recalls, “That was the first time I was really messing around with other people and trying to make something.”
As he matured, Devine involved himself in much more serious bands in school from singing in the chorus to playing guitar for his sixth grade class. From there, everything has grown out very gradually for him as an artist. He started playing under his own name about ten years ago after splitting from the fast-pace rock band, Miracle of ’86.
As I’ve stated, my favorite project from Devine is Bubblegum, with the Goddamn Band, and I asked him about their origin, “Well, after that band split up, I had this dream of performing live and wanting various musicians to play with me. I was listening to a lot of Hank Williams at that point, and I thought it would be funny to have them be called The Goddamn Band because it sounds like something you would hear at a shit-kicker bar somewhere in the south. The Goddamn Band has had many different identities and there has been about fifteen people playing for them over the course of time. So basically, it’s a shorthand for anyone that I’m making music with.” The relationship Devine shares with the various members is great, and he enjoyed making the record because it was more of a band rather than a guy with backing musicians.
“Music has always been a central factor in my life for as long as I can remember,” Devine tells me. Not only has music been his primary interest, it’s always been the one area where he’s always received the most credit. “After doing it for the last eight years, I really don’t think I can express the impact music has made in my life. It’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had in my life,” Devine honestly says. Music is like family to him, and without it, he admits his life would look extremely different, and not just career-wise, but as a creative person.
Kevin Devin is landing in Philadelphia on the 21st of November, performing at Union Transfer. “That fall tour will focus on the Bubblegum record, and sometime next year we are looking to do a tour that will focus on Bulldozer,” Devine informs me. His future plans of touring are stretching world wide as he goes across seas to Europe next year.
“As long as people are interested in hearing it, that’s what we’re going to be doing,” says Devine.