Thank you all for spending your evening with me - I got to as many of your questions as I could - thanks for being so thoughtful, interested, funny, kind. Hope to see you on the Manchester Orchestra / Balance & Composure dates, or overseas, or wherever. Thank you - xo!

Comments: 568 • Responses: 92  • Date: 

kevindevine55 karma

Hi everyone - thanks for coming - away we go.

comatosebutaudible47 karma

Hey Kevin! I think you and Manchester Orchestra should create a video tour diary again for the upcoming shows. Seeing you rap and get hit with baseballs was hilarious. You're quite possibly one of the funniest artists I know of. Also, any ideas for the set list for the upcoming tour? Will you be doing strictly goddamn band songs, or also some of your solo stuff? Any chance of a Bad Books song at the show?

kevindevine34 karma

Set list will vary, though our set is only 30-35 mins. Most likely Bubblegum heavy with bits of Bulldozer and a few oldies. Most likely all band. All of that subject to change. Totally a chance for Bad Books

wordsarentenough26 karma

Hi Kevin!

You're one of my favorite artists, so thank you very, very much for doing this!

Around 2009, I saw you perform at OU in Norman, Oklahoma. It was pretty much just you on stage with a guitar, so it was pretty intimate, which was awesome. I remember there being some people in the crowd who looked pretty young, and as you were singing "Billion Bees", it seems like they snickered at one of the lines. It seemed to me that you gave them a look, and they shut up pretty quickly.

My question is related to this (probably poorly remembered) memory. A lot of your songs are very personal, and sometimes it does seem like you play small shows, and it's just you putting yourself out there for your fans. What does it feel like being that intimate with strangers? Is it difficult to be on stage and sing those songs?

Also, I remember you playing "Ballgame", and changing the tense of some of the lyrics, along the lines of "It's what I'd become" instead of "It's what you become". This makes shows memorable, and really lets fans experience your music in different ways, so thanks for being so dynamic!

Best wishes!

kevindevine28 karma

Thanks for the kind words. I remember that show. It IS intimate, but it's intimate in an environment that carries certain expectations, there's an exchange inherent to it, and it's a choice I'm making, performing. Sometimes it's scarier than others, sometimes people being rude etc is more jarring than others. I feel a lot more comfortable now than I used to.

sarooster21 karma


kevindevine41 karma

Just being goofballs in the studio, taking a break, cleansing the palate, making each other laugh. No breakout rap plans for now. I'M MACKLEMORE

Amatueratbest20 karma

How did you feel when you found out a major show (How I Your Mother) wanted to use one of your songs in it? Also will you be doing a meet and greet after your show in Madison, WI like you have done with past shows?

kevindevine22 karma

I was pleasantly surprised to hear HIMYM was going to use the song...I don't know a ton about the show but knew it was a big deal. Certainly didn't hurt. I'm usually around at shows at one point or another, by the merch table. Say hey.

tjotjos18 karma

I was really impressed with the amount of money that was raised through the Kickstarter campaign to record Bubblegum and Bulldozer, and the albums are phenomenal! Do you see this as a viable option for funding future albums? Did having your fans back the albums change your approach to writing and recording from what it would have been for a more traditionally produced album?

kevindevine30 karma

I'm not sure if I'd do it again - it's up in the air - but I certainly do see it as viable. I'd have to be nuts not to, it was so shockingly successful the first time around. I felt entirely emboldened and free to write & record exactly what I wanted; I think the surge of excitement was reflected in the enthusiasm I felt writing. Wrote the records in like 3 months.

a-holz17 karma

Huge fan! As both you and Andy (of Manchester Orchestra) released new albums as your main acts recently, any chance there may be a new Bad Books album in the works?

Thanks for doing the AMA!

kevindevine54 karma

Plan is to do another BB record for sure, we have each written Skeleton #1 of our first songs towards it.

vaselinemyself2sleep14 karma

With Jesse Lacey working with you on Bubblegum was there any temptation to have him feature on a song like he did on Cotton Crush?

kevindevine26 karma

not really, he sang harmonies of the choruses of Private First Class and played bass on the half of the album I didn't - he was part of the band

bernie16wb14 karma

Hi Kevin! I have a few questions.

Do you see any and if so what sort of returns do you get from something like Spotify or Pandora?

What's the weirdest fan experience you've had so far?

I want to thank you for playing in Akron so often, it's nice to not have to drive all the way to Pittsburgh or Cleveland to see you. Speaking of Pittsburgh, why is MO not playing the Pittsburgh date with you on the up coming tour?

Not a question but Somewhere Unoccupied is fantastic, so are the rest of the new records but I'm especially fond of that one.

Thanks. :)

kevindevine26 karma

The Pittsburgh show is a Balance headline with us supporting. Not sure why there wasn't a Pittsburgh show on the tour-tour. I get minimal returns from those avenues, it's something but a small piece of the overall income. I'm terrible at "what's the (most)..." questions, immediate brain vacation. Had a drunk middle aged woman come on stage and try to sing Brooklyn Boy with me once, tell me her and her GF listened to it high on cocaine & cooking chicken. Security came for her. That was weird

TheShyMaid10 karma


kevindevine29 karma

Calm down

Frajer9 karma

What inspired you to cover Nevermind?

kevindevine22 karma

It's the record that started me on the path leading here. It's the only album I know how to play front to back. It was its 20th anniversary, and it felt like a fun idea.

raradee9 karma

Do you prefer playing solo or with Bad Books?

Also, how did you become so close with the Brand New guys?

kevindevine14 karma

I love both differently. Having both available brings balance to the force for me. Met BN through shows on Long Island forever ago, friendship & collaboration developed over time, first with Jess, then everyone.

sarahLM8 karma

Hi Kevin! 'Somewhere Unoccupied' is my favorite new song. Is there anything you can share about the inspiration/writing process for it?​

kevindevine15 karma

Thank you - hi - it's a series of conversations from shifting perspectives, about letting go of the need to be certain of things, about how we react to the pain in our lives, about acknowledging and feeling the ugly aspects of existence because that gets us towards something clearer. It's how we learn, not by ignoring, but by dealing.

kevindevine8 karma

Thank you all for spending your evening with me - I got to as many of your questions as I could - thanks for being so thoughtful, interested, funny, kind. Hope to see you on the Manchester Orchestra / Balance & Composure dates, or overseas, or wherever. Thank you - xo!

sarahLM8 karma

Kevin, since you share a lot of personal and family information in your songs and in interviews, how have the other people involved in those situations reacted to that openness? Has it been strongly positive or negative? ​

kevindevine10 karma

Good question. In general, positively, particularly in my family - they understand it's just my perspective, and I take liberties, and isn't meant to be representative of theirs or even 100% factual. One ex-girlfriend was bummed once, and her feedback made me rethink some of the way I was writing about that aspect of my life

Jakeisaprettycoolguy8 karma

Hey Kevin I'm a huge fan! I just wanted to say that your music has really helped me. What is your process for writing a song? Also I can't wait to see you in Denver!

kevindevine15 karma

Thank you kindly for saying that. Process changes a lot, sometimes music first, sometimes words, sometimes vocal melody. Usually written alone and built on afterwards.

platypossamous7 karma

Hi Kevin!

Last October, I went to your show in Seattle and it was one of the biggest highlights of my year. Not only because it was an amazing set but because I really appreciate that you always stay and chat with your fans after shows. I’m not sure if you were just being polite when you said you remembered me from another show about two years back (I wouldn’t expect you to), but I wanted to let you know that I was going through a rough time then but thanks to that and the pleasant conversation, I smiled for about a week straight.

I want to sincerely thank you because your lyrics have been a huge inspiration for me to keep trudging through life no matter what stupid mistakes or how off course I get.

I’ll stop with the praise now and remind everyone that this exists and it is one of the greatest things on the internet.

I guess I’m not so good with questions but I am wondering:

-Can we expect a third Bad Books album ever?

-Bubblegum quickly became one of my favourite albums. Any idea if you’ll be experimenting with your sound again like that in the future? New directions?

-Would you ever tour with Jesse/Brand New again? Also, because they haven’t announced who they’re coming to Vancouver with, is it you? Please?

-What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

Thank you for being such an amazing musician and awesome person, and for doing this AMA!

kevindevine12 karma

Thank you, yes on BB. I think the rock band show was moving towards Bubblegum for at least four years and two records so I think it'll stick around and also think I'll be experimenting over the course of my career in all kinds of directions, I hope. See below on the BN question. I love Salted Caramel, esp from Jeni's in Columbus.

sailoroats7 karma

hey kevin! can't wait to see you may 19th & july 8th! PLEASE tell me there's gonna be lil bulldozies dance squad merch

kevindevine12 karma

someday, fingaz x'd

sarahLM7 karma

When you do the Bulldozer (solo) tour, would you think about touring different/additional cities or maybe doing house shows?​ ​ And how would people in cities that are uncommon for your tour schedule get you to come play there?

kevindevine8 karma

My shows are booked by a guy named Andrew Ellis, and his contact info is on my web page(s). I think the Bulldozer tour, which is still in its conceptual infancy, will be similar cities with some curveballs thrown in. WHen I know more, so will you

prince-of-parties7 karma

Do you ever get annoyed at people bringing up Brand New or Manchester Orchestra?

kevindevine23 karma

Mmm, not really annoyed, sometimes a bit exasperated because I don't want to speak for them but I understand and am proud of the association

IntheBreezes7 karma

Hey Kevin! I just wanted to say I love your music especially Between the Concrete & Clouds and Bubblegum.

I was wondering what less well known/up-and-coming musicians you love listening to at the moment?

kevindevine14 karma

Well, I dunno what qualifies as less well known - i really like the Speedy Ortiz stuff, I like Buried Beds a lot, a band from NY called Les Vinyl, I love the new Angel Olsen record, though I guess that's pretty indie-popular...Harrison Hudson's last record was really nice

anna_conda6 karma

Hi Kevin, I just wanted to tell you how much you have changed my life. I grew up listening to your music. I remember when Split the Country, Split the Street came out in 2005 and I fell in love with your sound. I can honestly say that your music was the soundtrack of my teen years. So much of who I am today was inspired or took influence from your music and lyricism. It’s what made me become a Buddhist, an activist, and has influenced my study in University. I’ve seen you perform a few times but we’ve never met. I hope one day we can.

Also, I like to talk about baseball and Friends. I think that Matthew Perry is awesome and I think the world will never end.

kevindevine8 karma

thank you, very kind

blindtheskies6 karma

Do you ever recognize faces in the crowd? I went to undergrad in Hoboken, and use to go to Miracle of 86 shows whenever you were in Jersey or the city, which ended up being kind of frequently. I swear one time at Maxwells in Hoboken you looked right at me with a look of recognition that turned into an “oh no” look. 19 year old me just really liked your band!

and now for a thank you! i moved to the midwest for grad school and you ended up playing a show at my school. hardly anyone went. but i was so homesick it was the perfect dose of home and i loved it.

kevindevine6 karma

I don't remember mean mugging you - I assure you it wasn't intentional. Yes, I recognize people sometimes. Thank you

MagTron146 karma

Hey Kevin! Thanks so much for doing the AMA! I've seen you a few times around the Midwest. I loved the riot fest song you were singing with Bad Books, I was feeling really sick that day and it cheered me right up. You've made some truly amazing music solo and collaborative, I was wondering what was your favorite album you've worked on, collaborative or solo?

kevindevine8 karma

Moves around all the time, right I really love the new records

agaetisbyrjun226 karma

My friend wanted me to ask: "By now, most of us have heard the Disney World story. Are there any other incidents where The Goddamn Band's name has caused problems? Like, are you forced to tour solo/acoustic in states like Nebraska, or have they just completely banned you there by now?"

kevindevine3 karma

The Disney World one is the big one. There've been some venues in the southeast and midwest that have opted to list the band as "Kevin Devine & the GD Band" etc., but no banning or anything like that. It really wasn't my purpose at all, to be incendiary with that - I kind of forgot/didn't process it would be in certain places

deadst4r6 karma

Hi Kevin, are you planning on coming to Ireland at all this year?

Also, thanks for being such a cool & pleasant guy when I met you. Do you ever get sick of meeting fans?


kevindevine11 karma

I generally really like meeting people most of the time. Socializing is energy expensive, so sometimes I'm probably more available and present than others, but I'm legit glad anyone cares about it. Talking about when we can get back over to Ireland for sure, hopefully on these records.

aaronposeidon5 karma

Hey Kevin! A couple of years ago you were supposed to play a show in Howell, MI but your rental car had issues so you couldn't make it but you offered to play an optional show in some dudes Apartment. They code named this apartment "The Bat Cave" to which you played a ridiculously long set that I didn't get to stay all the way through. I don't have a question I just wanted to tell you how cool that was to 15 year old me and how much it meant that you still put on a show.

Thanks bud.

kevindevine9 karma

I totally remember that, and super fondly - it was a special night at the end of an awful day. xo

anamarie4905 karma

Does your creativity manifest itself in any forms other than music? (i.e. painting, short stories, native american beadwork, etc.) Or is music your go-to method of self-expression?

kevindevine17 karma

Music is my main one for certain. I write a bit outside songwriting, sometimes more, sometimes less. Impressionistic stuff, poems, prose poems. Not really narrative. I have alarmingly little visual talent artistically.

PatrickusRex5 karma

Do you and your brother fight over who has more Twitter followers?

kevindevine13 karma

Nah, I'd be the happiest guy in the world if he became the biggest sports writer alive

greenbaymike5 karma

Do you believe in the mets?

kevindevine13 karma

I'm trying to but they make it so hard.

lostmykeys4 karma

Thanks for all the good music, sir.

What's your favorite Elliott Smith song?

Also: Put Yr Ghost To Rest is severely underrated.

kevindevine25 karma

It changes all the time but I have a deep, undying love for The Biggest Lie

mcduhh3 karma

I can happily say I've been enjoying your music since about 2007!

My question is do you have plans to ever re-release Put Your Ghost to Rest on vinyl? It's probably my favorite record of yours and the only one I don't own yet :(

Thank you for all of the incredible music over the years!

kevindevine9 karma

We intend to re-print PYGTR & Brother's Blood on vinyl in the next year or two through Devinyl. Just been a question of funds to this point.

digitalsea1233 karma

Hi, Kevin! Im a massive fan and i just wanted to let you know that your music (along with man orchestra and brand new) really got me through some shit in middle school and high school. You're the partial reason i was able to get through a family death and a pet passing. Thanks for everything man.

Onto my questions: What is your favorite song to play live?

Also, where did the inspiration to write Murphys Song come from?

kevindevine5 karma

Murphy's Song was a story that kind of fell out of the sky one afternoon walking around. I followed it until it was finished. Not sure where it came from, the character was fully formed when he knocked. Fave song changes a lot - right now with the band, loving all the new stuff.

Guatemaulin3 karma

Hey, Kevin. I've been a huge fan since 2004ish and you're finally coming to Louisville this July. I'm unbelievably pumped. Thank you for the amazing music you've put out over the years.

kevindevine8 karma

thank you

himynamesjo3 karma

What's the deal with the "I don't care about your band" tee shirts?

kevindevine2 karma

That's a song on 'Bubblegum' - I liked the simplicity & boldness of the lyric in block letters.

ludvista293 karma


Love your music. Both solo and with Bad Books.

Not a question really but, I think you should tour with River City Extension. It would be rad.

Keep up the good work

kevindevine7 karma

we actually did in 2011, and played again last fall - thank you!

mattyjisturbo3 karma

Hi Kevin,

Huge fan of your work. Been listening since Miracle of 86, which leads to these questions:

  • what is your relationship with your past band mates?

  • Why did you guys decide to go separate ways?

  • what drove you to become a solo artist?

  • Ever think of recording a new miracle of 86 album?

  • is there any plan to rerelease the miracle of 86 albums on vinyl?

  • why aren't the albums available on spotify?


kevindevine6 karma

We get along well, better than we did for a while. Skinner is still close, he drummed in the GDB from '03-'09, co-produced and/or played on all records from Clocks to Blood. Robertson and I reconnected about 4 years ago and are friends, see each other now and again to eat and catch up and it's great. Chris I don't see as often, lives in Philly, we travel in different circles, but I love him, know him since I was 14, important person to me. Bands break up, especially when the members are 22-26 and drunk/high/broke all the time. I had a bunch of songs some of the members didn't want to play, so I started making other records. I'd love to reissue the records on vinyl, some licensing issues, exploring. That would be a question for the labels who released them - Spotify - not sure

zh1173 karma

I heard a rumor that Jesse Lacey did the backing vocals on your song 'Cotton Crush'. Is this true? and I was also wondering what your favorite penis shaped food was...

kevindevine16 karma

It's true & I guess a veggie corn dog or a banana if yo shit weird

serotoninzero3 karma


Years ago I e-mailed you asking you if Put Your Ghost to Rest would be repressed to vinyl or if you knew where to get any... you actually replied at the time which was great, but you didn't have a clue. This is the only album I'm missing of yours and would love to get it. Any plans for a repress?

Also, my wife and I got to say hello at your last show in Minneapolis before you went on, and I just wanted to say how great the set was. We handed you our wedding mix CD which BB was on. Hope you liked it!

kevindevine7 karma

Oh yeah, thank you, that was so cool! Still sorting the repress.

fuhcough3 karma

Kevin, my name is Keith Swift and I just wanted to say that you are my idol in music. You have inspired me to start writing songs of my own instead of playing your's. So my question is will you please give my song a listen and tell me what you think about it. It's the first I've ever written but it was definitely influenced by your songwriting abilities. I'll probably get down voted for this but I just want to say that kevin devine actually heard on of my songs.

Edit: there's also a cover of your song "carnival" on my YouTube channel from a long time ago that the folks in the kevin devine subreddit seemed to enjoy a lot

kevindevine8 karma

Thanks, I'll check it later!

Welcome_To_Bangkok3 karma

Do you ever get tired of people asking you questions about Brand New and, specifically, Jesse Lacey?

kevindevine6 karma

see above

onetricktofani3 karma

Pretending I needed to use the bathroom at work just so I could ask/say this. The first time I heard your music was 2 years ago at a Say Anything Concert in Boston and you were PHENOMENAL. I've been a fan of all your work that I've heard ever since, and your two newest albums are definitely no exception. Also I met you when you were hanging out at the merch booth and you were really awesome and humble and buzzed as hell but mostly awesome and sold me my favorite shirt. Anyway, which songs off the two new albums were your favorite to record? Can I get a copy of Brother's Blood at the May 23rd show in Boston? And will you be hanging out at the merch table after your set? Sorry for the run on, I get this way when anxious in between work and using reddit while on the clock, but damn if its not for a good cause.

kevindevine12 karma

I love when people think I'm drunk or high at a show because It means I'm still batshit crazy even approaching 6 years sober. Thanks for the kind words - I literally loved recording the entire two new records. Will not have Brother's Blood at the merch table, but I will be there - xo

katezor2 karma

Seeing you play live is my goddamn favorite. Acoustic or full band, it's always a great time.

What is the coolest thing that has ever happened to you?

kevindevine13 karma

Prolly like being born (NICE NICE NICE)

grumpycat122 karma

Hi Kevin I'm a fan from Nicaragua! What is the meaning/message behind Mesa, Az? I LOVE your music and your different projects, keep doing music please it is AMAZING!!

kevindevine8 karma

Wow, Nicaragua, amazing - thank you! It's a story song about two friends traveling west towards Mesa from east Texas, passing time, talking deep, getting high; one of them is dealing with a breakup. I do a version of that drive every tour I've ever been on in the US, usually a day off, and it's a long ass drive.

sarahLM2 karma

would you take requests for the B&C/Manchester tour? 'I Used To Be Someone' & 'She Stayed As Steam' are my FAVES and I haven't heard you play them in a long time.

kevindevine6 karma

We have a short set on the tour and probably won't get to those two but we will sooner than later, another go around

goddamkidsthesedays2 karma

Hi Kevin! Long time fan, was wondering if you play Fever Moon live frequently. Would love to see it in Denver soon.

You're the best! New albums are gold!

kevindevine6 karma

We don't play that one super often, either, but I really like it - it's the closest I've ever come to writing a mid-period Leonard Cohen song, sonically anyway. It may peek its head out on the Bulldozer stuff.

PeterBlair72 karma

Hey. Love your music so much. Seen you live a few times including this year in NYC. 1. What is the best tour you have been a part of 2. Who's idea was it to do that epic cover on this tour

kevindevine5 karma

Been lucky to be on so many truly great tours. The BN/KD/MO tour was special and had an enormous impact, obviously. I thought this last Bubblegum tour was special, too.

jolenesummer2 karma

Also What Advice what you give to a struggling 23 year old,or any younger person struggling with life shit?(Making ends meet,relationships,growing up,addictions,bullshit)

kevindevine6 karma

I mean this lovingly and with no trace of condescension - give it time. Time is a healer, a revelator, and has a tendency to render even deeply felt confusion/pain irrelevant, or at least casts it in a kinder, more digestible light. when I was 23, I was a mess. My dad died, my love life was messy, I was drunk or on drugs most of the time, I was just kind of chaotic, careening around, knocking things over, within & without. That became too painful eventually, and I had to make some changes. My inner life has changed a lot from 23 to 34, and I suspect yours will too. Try and be easy with yourself, give yourself time to get there. And I totally understand if that sounds cliche or doesn't make sense now, but try and trust that it will later.

avacuousmind2 karma

Hey kevin, I tried to ask this question a while ago during your Q&A on an (australian?) stream, but I was not Australian and without priority) so here goes:

Start to finish, what is your writing process like? Does the tune or the lyric come first, generally? Since you regularly posted lyrics in Facebook notes for awhile, I was convinced that your music came after the prose collected over a length of time. Is that not so?

I also noticed some of your material comes in small part by what you read, as you used to post your books on Instagram. American Pastoral comes to mind for "Awake in the dirt". Any other instances of that happening in your songs?

And since I have you here, I once pulled you aside after a show at the Hardrock Cafe in Arizona a couple years back. I asked you how you can go up infront of everyone and sing about the stuff you do without so much as a choke-up, as far as emotions go. I asked this because I was going to propose to my then-girlfriend with a song I wrote, but I'm generally incapable of keeping emotionally contained. The advice you gave me was more or less "Just do it!" It was pathetically simple, but I just needed to hear it from you, I guess.

Our first dance as a single being was "You are the daybreak", and you even played it at a show so we could have another dance in the crowd. I was subject to overwhelming emotions through the whole set.

I want you to know that I appreciate the effort you put into being who you are, and I'm glad my wife and I got to meet someone like you. She says hi :) See you in AZ.

Edit: as far as my proposal went, your great advice didn't do shit. I was choking up through the whole thing. But she said yes, so I think I did alright!

kevindevine3 karma

Hey - congratulations, that's awesome! Thanks for sharing it.

I think the books I read sneak into the songs I write all the time, subconsciously

kealoha2 karma

Hey Kevin!

I saw you several times in Athens, OH. You played Brother's Blood before that album was released, just you and your guitar, and it was/is one of my favorite live music memories. (My friend and I also recently saw you in Brooklyn with mewithoutyou, which was awesome/weird.)

My question: Has it been difficult keeping with it? I have actually grown frustrated on your behalf for your not being rich/well known. Obviously, that's not the sole intent of a songwriter, but it sucks. Some of your stuff is the best written political/activist material of our generation, and the fact that so few people know of it kind of pisses me off.

So, I guess, my ultimate question is, how have you not grown entirely fed up with the system? (Being aware of the fact that you've kind of gone outside of it.) Vague, I know.

kevindevine5 karma

Thanks for the kind words. There are rare moments where I can get trapped in a comparative place and traces of self-pity can creep in, about why certain things have/haven't happened certain ways in my career. Ultimately, I'm in control of the effort, and not the results. And for everything I can say I wish happened differently, or happened more easily, there are dozens of things I'm grateful happened just as they did. My career keeps growing in its way, and it seems to have taken a few steps out further these past two years. I'll keep showing up until it feels untenable to do that.

vaug29462 karma

Hey Kevin!

You play a show a few years ago -- maybe 2011 -- at a McMenamins in Forest Grove, Oregon. It was a small, free show in the basement of the place and you played for two nights. On the second night, you played your set and all of that good stuff then took a break. My girlfriend and I were the first ones that came up to talk to you and get a photo when you punched her as you put your arm around us. What's up with that!?

kevindevine6 karma


onlyeverythingbelow2 karma

Kevin- I'm a fairly new fan. I've been constantly playing Split the Country, Split the Street over the past week or so, it's a fantastic record. Eight albums in 11 years is really an incredible accomplishment.

Alright! I have a few questions:

  • After over ten years of making music, where do you draw inspiration from to keep writing?
  • Has your friendship with Manchester Orchestra and Jesse Lacey influenced the way you approach songwriting?
  • You use your political views to drive a lot of your songs, do most of your fans connect with that aspect of your music or is it tough for some people to accept?
  • Something you've always wanted a fan to bring you at a show?

kevindevine7 karma

I'm inspired by things I read, hear, people I meet, people I imagine, issues of social justice (sometimes), rarely by "politics," other art, things I see living where I live. Sometimes that stuff is mysterious and it just turns up, and my job is to make a bed for it as long as it wants to visit. Being friends with those guys keeps me sharp, because they're good at what they do. I think we all probably influence each other. Some fans like the social justice songs, some don't, and I totally get that and I'm fine either way, doesn't impact my decision to write and play them at all. I think it's cool anyone brings anything to a show. Cookies are a big tour hit.

mercifulzeus2 karma

Hey KD!

Even though I'm not a musician, you've been a huge inspiration in my artistic pursuits, namely writing. What is your creative process like? Are there certain conditions/settings that you do your best work in?

Also, how has the Kickstarter success changed how you'll approach making your next albums?

As always, you're the man. Thanks for being such a badass gentleman.

kevindevine6 karma

I wrote both the new records at my kitchen table. I set speakers up on two stacks of books, had my laptop on the table, an acoustic guitar and a bass on stands on either side of me. I liked writing that way, woke up, shook out the dust, and went to work. The Kickstarter really confirmed to me that I just need to be doing what I believe in the way I believe in it and not worry about popular consensus or what's trending etc. My audience seems more interested in me/us making music than in how we release it.

Sir_Yeshua2 karma

Hey, Kevin! Huge fan! I'm really looking forward to seeing you and TGDB with Manchester this tour! I have a two part question for you!

What inspired you to start your own record label and what is your process for selecting bands? Do you take demos and stuff or do you hand select your artists?

kevindevine6 karma

I haven't really looked too deeply into that yet, for now Devinyl is a kind of outpost for KD releases. I lend the name to things I think are great, and where I think I can provide some access to my audience for a band that deserves a platform. We did that with Buried Beds from Philly, who I think are stellar.

Iwannaholdyourhand2 karma

Okay, my husband and I have been to 4 shows together, he has been to several alone, and we always talk to you after the show. You are so incredibly nice and welcoming every time. Your music is one of the things that we both immensely enjoy, we have a picture of us with you framed in our living room. His daughter knows every word to Just Stay and sings it all the time. So just wanted to say we absolutely love you!

My husband wants to know what is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?

I want to know what the weirdest thing a fan has ever said to you?

kevindevine6 karma

Hi there. This past Sunday, the lady & I went to a movie, walked around a neighborhood we like, found a spot to eat, got some sweets from a bakery, went home and relaxed. I like stuff like that. Fans say strange things sometimes. Once I got told I had cankles. THat was rad

particlesoftruth2 karma


In '12 Bad Books come through NOLA. You probably don't remember this but I met you after the show and you hugged me, randomly, a few times. I was not going to turn that down. Are you a huggy person or did you just need a hug?

kevindevine5 karma

I'm huggy

sbran2 karma

Hey Kevin! I saw you and the Goddamn Band in Nashville this past November, and I was most likely the first to get tickets for your show there with MO at the end of May.

Anyways, my best friend Andrew passed away last year. April 19th will be the one year mark. He and I used to listen to your music (I introduced him to it) and cover a couple of your songs together (as we were both guitar players).

It would mean the world to me if we could sit down and talk when you come to Nashville on the 31st of May.

I love the new albums, and you’ve been extremely inspirational to me as a musician. You’re the best songwriter this generation has to offer. And thank you so much for doing this AMA!

kevindevine6 karma

I'm sorry for your loss, come say hi at the show, xo

freshasaurus2 karma

I don't really have a question, but I just wanted to say that I met you at the Idobi Meltdown Fest in Silver Spring last year and you actually called me out by name because you had seen me on twitter or something. That was entirely too cool. You're probably one of my biggest inspirations for writing. Thank you and see you at in Silver Spring in May!

edit: I guess I'm supposed to add a question what's your favorite Creed song?

kevindevine5 karma

N/A (thanks)

unarmedcivilian2 karma

Do you regret not meeting Rick Rubin?

Also, who would win in no holds barred free for all cage fight: Jesse Lacey, Andy Hull or you? It is ask me "anything".

kevindevine5 karma

I'd have been interested in meeting him as he seems like a pretty fascinating dude, but regret is too strong a word.


theafterdeath2 karma

Hey Kevin,

Seeing as a lot of your songs deal with your view on political events and themes, do you ever feel like they won't be as relevant later on when someone hears the songs, as opposed to if someone heard them right now?

Also, I was at your acoustic show in Toronto (loved it), and I noticed that you changed up the lyrics to Ballgame. Do you do this with a lot of your songs that you play live? If so, what's the reasoning behind changing the lyrics, even so much as adding in new verses. (I understand why you would change something like Private First Class, but why some of your other songs).

kevindevine7 karma

Sadly, and unfortunately, most of the social justice songs I wrote even 10 years ago are about things that are still relevant and happening today. I'd love for that not to be true. They could have the songs, I'd be happy to let them go. I just like being fluid with that stuff; I change, so the songs should too, sometimes.

stealballz2 karma

K Dev! Met you at Riot Fest, you're good people. As a fellow Brooklynite...What's your... A) favorite place to eat in the slope and B) favorite spot to order from off seamless??

kevindevine4 karma

I love Fonda for brunch, best breakfast burrito in NYC, and I like Dice Thai for home ordering, veggie duck pad see you

theonlystudever2 karma

kevin i love just about everything you done. i think back on the miracle of 86's s/t LP and how that style is coming around full-circle. i know you're pals with that movement of music, and also pals with the miracle dudes. would you ever get back and try again to encapsulate your take on that twinkly, introspective four-piece sound?

kevindevine3 karma

we did some shows in 2013, and the door is open to do some more; no talks about new recordings as of now

remainder2 karma

Hey Kevin, saw you at a show in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when you opened for Cursive. The crowd was noisy during your whole show, which really pissed me off, but when you got to the section of Brother's Blood when you stop playing guitar and keep singing, everyone finally shut up. Thank you for that moment. It was amazing!

I hope that experience didn't put you off ever coming back here though. Maybe you could come back when you tour LP9?

kevindevine7 karma

I enjoyed my experience in Belfast and would love to come back. Hope to sooner than later

BobZebart2 karma

Couple of questions -

1). I know you are a Brooklyn Boy, but if you didn't live in Brooklyn, which city would you most likely move to?

2). In your opinion, what is the most underrated band or artist that we should all check out immediately?

Love your music, seen you live about a half dozen times in the past six years or so.

kevindevine6 karma

Portland, Austin, Seattle, LA, maybe Boston, maybe Berlin, maybe somewhere on the Hudson, but all that is a fantasy for now.

Nada Surf should be the biggest band on earth.

ca1ty2 karma

How intentional is the alliteration that you use in your songs? Or does it just happen subconsciously? I always thought it made you stand out as a songwriter and added a poetic layer to everything you write.

Also, please play Ballgame when you come to Philly. Pleaseeeeeee.

kevindevine5 karma

I like the consonance of alliteration, I like how words sound rhythmically that way - the challenge is to use it while actually saying something meaningful, not just being self-indulgent. Thank you

zkiller2 karma

Has there ever been any discussion with Andy & Manchester Orchestra and Jesse & Brand New for any collaboration?

Some of those YouTube videos of all of you guys performing at various record stores are my absolute favorite!

Bad Books is fantastic and the only better collaboration in my mind would be a superband that added some Brand New.

By the way, caught you at The Shredder in Boise last Fall, EXCELLENT show. It had a great set list with just the right amount of old and new songs. Good mix on the house sound as well....and they have NBA Jams arcade games soooooooo.....when can we expect your return?...

theafterdeath2 karma

I was going to ask the same exact thing. A band that is made up of Kevin Devine, Andy Hull, and Jesse Lacey would be amazing.

kevindevine10 karma

No plans for that right now, but never know. Hope to be back in Boise sooner than later, really like it there. That venue is funny, punk rock

twikki2 karma

Hey Kevin,

It was great to see you in Manchester, hope you and Mr Kevin Douch had an awesome rest of the tour and can't wait to see you again.

This is quite a weird question but i've always wondered about 'Capybara' and the genesis of that track, it just seems like such a fun track that seems to be have born from an insane jamming session. What led you to just leave it instrumental and not add any lyrics to it?

More questions!

  1. This will probably change a lot but what do you find your favourite tracks to play live? You genuinely seemed entranced by every song

  2. Do you feel like you will carry the angsty punk sound to your newer material?

  3. Are there any songs you feel quite awkward playing or just outright refuse to?

  4. Main literary influences?


kevindevine3 karma

Hey George - I answered the other questions in some format elsewhere here, but Capybara started as something Mike Strandberg brought in. We played it a bunch and it ending up staying instrumental; it was best utilized on the album as an interstitial between tracks.

bvhj2 karma

Hi Kevin, I saw you with my brother and a friend in Manchester back in February and I wanted to thank you again for an amazingly engaging show and I hope that you can make it back to the UK regularly. I talked to you after the show and you are the most humble, compassionate person, and I want to thank you for listening to me. You wrote 'One day at a time' on my copy of Brother's Blood and I welled up when I read it. Thank you for being you and doing what you do.

A few questions, I guess:

  • When you played Brother's Blood here you sang 'across the blackbird sky' as opposed to bluebird, how did that come about? I thought it was interesting I guess and I sing it as blackbird in my head when I listen to it now!

  • What is your favourite breed of dog?

  • How has your day been?

  • What is an old song of yours that you haven't played for a while you'd like to bring back?

kevindevine11 karma

I just like to play with words. The image of a sky filled with blackbirds felt ominous and tonally appropriate one night, so I sang it. Corgis are mindblowing, I like bulldogs, I like chihuahua, I like DAWGS MAN. So far my day has been good, though PAYING TAXES SUCKS. I'd like to play Hand Of God, and Yr Husband more. Those are fun

dyserenity2 karma

I must know, where did you get the shirt in this video? Love your music!

kevindevine18 karma


andrewbecton2 karma

Do you have any advice for becoming more comfortable with your own writing? It seems like every time I write something the next day I think it's terrible. You're a huge inspiration and I only wish I could have half the song writing ability you have. Thanks and I hope to see you on tour this summer!

kevindevine11 karma

Some of what you write is going to be terrible, and that's okay. Some of what everyone writes is terrible, your favorite writers included. It's clearing your throat. You keep chopping and also you be nice to yourself. You're most likely you're own worst critic and your stuff is better than you think.

dainaar2 karma

Calvin DeFlame!

kevindevine4 karma

Forever and ever

ashtonmelancon2 karma

Hey Kevin!

First, as I'm sure many people will say, thank you for being such an accessible, friendly, & humble artist. It's always a bummer when you want to talk to someone after a show & you can tell they aren't into it. It has always been a treat to get to talk to you (and probably embarrass my fiancee with how excited I am to see you). It's always appreciated & we all love you for that.

I probably should have planned out a better question, but I don't. I suppose I'd like to know what you're currently reading, seeing as how you said you recently finished Infinite Jest, a book I loved but haven't managed to finish. Also, are there any legitimate plans for a "tell-all" book one day? After reading the whole POZ series, I think it would awesome to hear the full KD&GDB story one day.

Again, thank you for all that you do. Hope to see you back in Louisiana soon!

kevindevine6 karma

Totally discussing writing a book someday, yes.

I recently finished and loved The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. Also enjoyed half of the Morrissey book & am currently reading and mostly liking Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs.

placentasalad2 karma

Could you tell us a little bit about the kickstarter rewards (some of the larger ones) finally coming to fruition? How has it been? I like that we got to hear the song you recorded with one of the backers (I forget her name).

kevindevine5 karma

It's been uniformly and somewhat surprisingly very pleasant, actually. Lots of cool & gracious people. Yes, Stephanie - that came out great, as did the one I did with Justin -

lowercaselaurel2 karma

Hi Kevin! Thanks for doing this AMA. Just wanted to thank you for your music and the effort you put forth to tour consistently and connect with your fans. I've seen you live a few times and you've always been down to earth and so approachable. I was able to meet you a few years ago in Lawrence, KS and you signed my copy of Brother's Blood and chatted with me about your music for a few minutes. Thank you so much for that!

How much fun was it to be in that Front Bottoms video??

kevindevine7 karma

It was amazing fun. We jumped on a trampoline for an hour early in the morning in the winter, it was ridiculous. And, I got to rock fake blood and show off my acting chops

hR05E2 karma

Kevin Devine // Favourite Albums (Ep. 09):

While watching a youtube video in which you talked about Nirvana's 'In Utero', your comments on Cobain's death hit a contentious subject for me. When people accuse those who've committed suicide of being selfish, they alienate the already alienated– the ones who are still living but think day in and day out that they would rather not exist than live in the current and possibly or even likely lasting conditions of their lives.

Whenever someone labels suicide as selfish, I always wish I could ask them the following:

Do you believe that suicide is always selfish? What if the individual has no children? Is it not more selfish of others to expect someone to continue to endure a pain greater than the pain they'd experience from the person's death? Do you believe that suicide can ever be rational? What if someone has a chronic or terminal disease? Is anything always better than nothing?

kevindevine5 karma

In answer to your specific questions: No, I don't believe that suicide is always selfish. I believe the ramifications of suicide are brutal for the people left to contend with the fallout, and as a person who has had suicidal thoughts/made life choices for a while that amounted to a slow, deliberate, elongated suicide attempt, and as a person who has close friends who've been devastated by the suicide of someone close, I think those comments were more intended as a corrective to some other irresponsible frames typically put around suicide, namely that it is "brave," or a kind of martyrdom. I think suicidal feelings and thoughts are more common than we admit and totally understandable/relatable. Kurt Cobain's specific suicide and the response to it culturally was the (sort of) subject of that piece, and I was speaking more to the specificity of his circumstances - namely, that it is profoundly sad and not mysterious/romantic/cool when a young man suffering from untreated PTSD, mental health issues & severe drug addiction feeling stuck in a choice he'd made about his career path while surrounded by yes-men and an almost equally unhealthy partner, would think the only way he could resolve his situation was at the end of a shotgun. In a very literal sense, that is selfish, and comes from a profoundly misguided and clouded place, and is super, super sad, and in a figurative sense, given the age of and existence of his toddler daughter, not entirely a victimless crime, and in that sense, selfish. He's probably my favorite musician of all time, and he didn't want to/couldn't get help, and he had to go, and I accept that of course, but I was just speaking to the specificity of the circumstances, and it's my feeling after 10 years around traumatized people working to deal with their issues that there is more than one way through that maze. Thanks for the question.

xcopperboomx2 karma

Hi Kevin,

My fiancé and I are getting married this summer. What would you suggest for our first dance song?

kevindevine7 karma

I really like "Your Song" by Elton John. That is a sublime love song.

aroseagirl2 karma

you've run the gamut within your career from DIY/underground scene, to major label, and now independently with your own label. how did you manage to keep to your roots (for lack of a better term) during these major transitions?

also, selfish plug - come play in a vegan cafe next time your in montreal.

kevindevine4 karma

I can draw a line from the first hardcore/punk shows I played to now, step by step, over 20 years, and it feels very gradual, one link at a time. The politics of that scene & the way people treated each other is pretty deeply ingrained in me, moreso than the actual music by a wide margin. That helps, as has having good friends that don't blow smoke up my ass or get impressed by me for the wrong reasons.

unarmedcivilian2 karma

You make me a happy man that I live near Looney tunes. Why do you choose that place so much?

kevindevine3 karma

They've been really & earnestly supportive of me. I remember things like that.

emodro1 karma

Hey Kevin, I've seen you a few times and we talked a bit when you were in San diego last year (you were telling me how you changed the lyrics to ballgame). I wanted to know what kind of gear you use, I notice you use that red gretsch a lot, what is that? What kind of amps/ pedals do you use? I love your tone!

kevindevine7 karma

For live performance, I have a red Gibson 335, a '65 Fender Mustang, a Yamaha nylon string acoustic with a pickup, a Gibson J-185 acoustic/electric with a cutaway, a VOX AC30 & a Fender Deville amp. Chorus pedal, Walrus Audio Iron Horse overdrive, OCD, Holy Grail reverb, #1 Echo delay, Big Muff

particlesoftruth1 karma

What is your favorite kind of dinosaur?

kevindevine5 karma

I like a brontosaurus

SylarFox1 karma

Hey Kevin! First, I would just like to thank you. You are one of my biggest influences / inspirations as a songwriter and musician, and I respect you more than almost any other musician out there today. You’re honest in both your creative output, as well as your public image. That is something I find lacking in the music industry I wanted to thank you for always being that way. I’ve got a few questions for you as well, if you don’t mind.

  • What major differences are there in separating yourself from a major label and do you find that there are any cons to this approach? I feel that is the way the music industry is headed and would love to know your thoughts since you have seen both sides of things.
  • Are you going to get a chance to see Neutral Milk Hotel on their upcoming tour?
  • Lastly and most importantly: as much as I love Bubblegum & Bulldozer, when do we get an album of this stuff?

Thanks Kevin!

kevindevine5 karma

Thank you - I saw Jeff Mangum on the solo dates he did last year, and it was really beautiful. I'm on tour a lot during their dates this time around, but I'm at peace with that. I think I have a lot more freedom & ownership this way, and also more accountability; I also think I have less resources, so certain things other bands "get" I don't necessarily, or the build to them is longer, but I generally prefer the road I'm on now.

loveunderground1 karma

I went to the show in Pontiac, MI earlier this year and saw you for the first time live. The crowd was rude as fuck, but I had never heard your music before and it completely blew me away. I'm so excited to see you again in May in Cincinnati :) Your cameo in the new Front Bottoms video was also hilarious. How did you and the guys in TFB meet? Any other collabs with them planned soon?

kevindevine5 karma

We met when they played with me at CMJ 2011 in NYC, and more properly when they toured with me to SXSW 2012, after which we both opened for Say Anything. I love them and think their band is purely joyful and they're sweet, smart, good guys. I'm sure we'll do something else sooner or later

fuckinguywhocares1 karma

Is there anything you do to battle stage fright?

kevindevine5 karma

I just try to let myself be nervous. It burns off during the first song 99% of the time.

wilyo701 karma

Hey Kevin, thanks for stopping by! One of my favorite parts of Bubblegum and Bulldozer, apart from the music, is the colored vinyl. Was that your idea? I really love that touch! They look and sound amazing.

kevindevine5 karma

It was a shared idea, myself, Chris Bracco (GDB, producer and/or bassist on all records Clocks through Concrete, helps with the vinyl side of Devinyl), my management, and Fred Feldman,who acts as Devinyl's liaison with our distro.

imreallyangrytonight1 karma

What's your favourite song of yours and why is it Brother's Blood? Saw you play it live in the UK years ago a few months before the album came out and literally trawled the world to try and get it on my iPod. Alas, it was a wonderful day when I could finally shout along on the bus.

Cheers for being awesome.

p.s. this performance of it in particular is insanely good -

kevindevine5 karma

My favorite song moves around all the time. Right now I love playing a song called "Safe" from Bulldozer. Thank you

bornaliar1 karma

Hey Kev, Do you have any plans to do more full album covers like you did with Nevrmind or was that a 1 time deal. I know I would welcome a Figure 8, Either/Or album cover with open... ears? I loved the Fadeaway Records: Friends. Thanks for promoting that.

kevindevine6 karma

I totally want to do that, have a few records in mind, and a longer term project where the GDB picks and we just record a ton of covers.