We're musicians, we play soft, we play loud, we start a tour together next week in Washington, DC.


Comments: 415 • Responses: 34  • Date: 

SorryKDev34 karma

Dear Kevin-

I was in an extremely dark place in my life a few years ago, heavily on drugs, just a mess of bad things were coming my way and I ended up at the end of the night at your show with Now Now at The Camel stealing 2 of your records. I would like to reimburse you with either the vinyl or money at the upcoming tour and from the bottom of my heart express how sorry I am. Is there anything I could do to better the situation besides reimbursement and constant love and support from now on?

"Kids do stupid things, and I was, and I did A long life ago, some other person lived"

Again I send my deepest regrets & apologies. XO

kevindevine19 karma

Hey there, I remember, and I appreciate your honesty, and I respect you for it. I've made mistakes too, part of being a person. Come out to the show, up to the merch table, say hey, and we'll sort. xo

Littlebluedude23 karma

Sooooo any info on Bad Books 3?

Also, how long are each of your sets gonna be for the tour?

Edit: How punk is Chris Farren really? Is it all a charade? Is Christmas really a punk topic?

kevindevine17 karma

Evan is going to play for 2 hours, I'll do like 25 mins in major markets.

Probably more like an hour each.

BB3 may be a 2016 joint, still discussing

TheBigTimer11 karma

And will it be called "worse books"?

kevindevine11 karma


TheBigTimer14 karma

Kevin, could you really be with anyone?!?

kevindevine16 karma

I mean, it depends how you define the word "be." Also, 28 year old Kev vs. 35 year old Kev would have to have a sitdown about it. Also, no. Not literally.

TheFertileCroissant10 karma

i ate 3 bagels today, should i feel bad?

kevindevine12 karma

Nah, dude

funinfuneral9 karma

big fan Kevin. You seem to be close with Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra) & Jesse Lacey (Brand New).

Tell us a funny story about each guy.

kevindevine17 karma

The first time I met Andy was with Jesse in NY. We went to Max Brenner Chocolate Bar or whatever in Union Square and Andy kept asking Jesse if everything in the place was made of chocolate. The tables, chairs. He was relentless. It was funny if you were there.

BagelsMmmm8 karma

Hey Kevin!

A while back you tweeted that you learned "The Temptation of Adam" for a fan as a Kickstarter reward. That's one of my favorite songs and I was wondering if there was a chance we'd get to hear that cover in the future? (Understand if not since it was for a fan)

Also, were there any other songs you learned for Kickstarter rewards that you hadn't heard before?


kevindevine5 karma

I'd love to share that, but it'd be up to that person, only fair.

I learned an Elbow song, a Dashboard song, an Everly Brothers song...Maybe that was it? It was a cool experiment.

emgeegole7 karma


kevindevine2 karma

That's hugely generous of you. I'm a words person, take it very seriously, so thank you.

My guitarist Mike does crazy shit like that all the time. He's a sonic wiz. It happened.

blackjesusfreak7 karma

Hey Kevin whats up man? My girlfriend and I have a question for you about the lyrics in Noose Dressed Like a Necklace. When you say, "I see a bumper sticker, it's a bearded man with a wanted sign." What exactly are you referring to? Usama? http://economicobjectorvism.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/fbi_binladen.png or maybe Uncle Sam? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Unclesamwantyou.jpg Or maybe just a jesus bumper sticker? "A myth we've made to scare our fears away, A slogan that we slap on all our misdirected hate, A muddy symbol meant to mitigate our pain, But it's really just a desert corpse, We've painted on the wall out in some cave." - which you do change to "just because we shot doesnt mean we should have been there in the first place" for the live recording- versatile meaning? Would love to know! Thanks!

kevindevine7 karma

It at the time was specific to OBL/Hussein. I like things that mean several things at the same time, or can. Thank you.

kevindevine7 karma

Thank you guys! Tried to get to as many as possible - see you at the shows - http://www.kevindevine.net/index.php/2015/01/20/984/ - xo

sarahLM6 karma

hi Kevin/Evan! how is the co-headlining going to work - who will play first? do you have a set length time? looking forward to seeing you both soon!

kevindevine3 karma

Evan fielded this with style. What he said. thanks!

comatosebutaudible6 karma

Kevin! I love your songwriting style. What is your favorite book/poem? Also, what's your favorite Elliott Smith album? You remind me so much of him it's crazy.

kevindevine9 karma

Thank you so much. I move around on favorite anythings all the time. I like that ee cummings poem about the rain, "no one, not even the rain, has such small hands," I can't remember the title. Book moves around - "The Corrections" was excellent, recent read for me so it's in my head. "Infinite Jest" is amazing. "100 Years Of Solitude" and "Love In The Time of Cholera", "Franny & Zooey", "Crime & Punishment"...

Depends on the mood. I love them all. Self-titled or XO maybe a slight notch more than the others, but that changes all the time.

JoseOle85 karma

Hey Kevin, long time listener first time caller. First and foremost I just want to thank you for being you and giving all the swirling thoughts in my head a voice. When you come to Pittsburgh in March you think you could hit us with a cover of 'Harvest Moon'?

kevindevine7 karma

Thank you, that's kind. Hmm, I could try and dust it off. Amazing song.

Fergj1875 karma

Evan- How good was the Philly Taco? I've wanted to try it ever since you mentioned it at the Vintage Vinyl show.

Intersections is incredible, I constantly have it on repeat at work.

Kevin - Was it hard to separate writing styles for songs on Bubblegum and Bulldozer or did it happen pretty naturally? The story of you getting into a fight and your dad asking you to take your little brother is hilarious. I constantly have to pause the video because I'm laughing so hard.

kevindevine6 karma

Thanks man. It's entirely and 100% true. Memorable lessons.

I think once I started working on them with a pretty clear directive, it was kind of clear to me which songs belong in which camps. Even the rockier Bulldozer songs felt different, less...punk pop/power pop than Bubblegum. Same for the quieter moments on Bubblegum. They felt more Pixies than folk rock to me.

TheFertileCroissant5 karma

I bought Bad Books II on vinyl, but there wasn't a download code. Is there a way I could legally get a download code for it without paying again? Great album, but just can't justify buying it twice.

kevindevine5 karma

I hope so! Did you write Triple Crown? They're reasonable

sarahLM4 karma

what have you been reading lately? Favorite books of the last year or so?

what gives you hope or inspiration these days?

kevindevine8 karma

I'm currently reading & really enjoying "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith, and just finished "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen, so clearly I'm 14 years behind the curve, but that was one of the best fiction books I've read in a long while. Recently really liked "Townie" by Andre Dubus III, and was flabbergasted by a collected reader of his dad's short stories - he is an all-timer. Hope & inspiration in small spaces. Just got home from working on a handful of country songs with my mom. She's been listening to music her whole life and just started writing songs. That's amazing to me.

jtmanis4 karma

EvDaowg - When can we get you down to play Carbondale IL? My bud and I talked to you about it at a Mineral show and were emailing for a bit but never heard back from you.

KDev: How do you make your ginger beard not look like shit in the scruff phase? That's my main prob.

kevindevine16 karma

Do I? I'm not sure. I think I see pictures sometimes and go, "Wow. That's face garbage." Other times: "Viking dope, Van Gogh status." It's a crapshoot, dude.

freshasaurus4 karma

Hey guys, seeing you next week in DC!

A few questions directed mainly at Kev, but I’d like to hear from both of you about the first one if possible!

  1. I imagine you may have done this more towards the beginning of your careers, but I’m wondering, when you’re writing a song, how do you power through that urge to say “Wow, this is shit” and throw it out? When I’m writing I feel like that urge is always prevalent and usually wins out.

  2. Can the next KD&GDB US tour have Antarctigo Vespucci as the opener? That would be killer.

  3. The Devinyl split series was a seriously awesome idea. Made sure to order it immediately. Do you know who the unreleased 3 artists are gonna be yet or is that up in the air entirely? Maybe Brian Sella, Jeff Rosenstock, Sean Bonnette, or Chris Farren, twitter verified punk celebrity? or maybe say… Evan Weiss? Just tossing out ideas here…


kevindevine7 karma

Hey, thank you - there are plenty of times I start something and don't think it's as strong or interesting as it could be, and I'm tempted to chuck it, but I've been trying to finish everything I write, for better & for worse, just to complete it, just for the sake of doing it. It's a muscle and it's better exercised than not; also, not everything becomes "Stairway to Heaven," some things are throat clearing. That's ok. The rest of your suggestions are being taken into consideration :)

BrattDamon3 karma

Hey Kevin. Bulldozer and Bubblegum were amazing albums in my opinion. As an avid listener, it was great to have a solid contrast going on between The Goddamn Band and the singer/songwriter stuff. Does this mean you've come to a definite crossroad with your musical sound? Will LP9 be more of a focused record in this sense, or more-so a combination of both styles? Also extremely excited to receive my re-issue of Brother's Blood on vinyl! Thanks!

kevindevine5 karma

Thank you, very kind. I'm not sure yet...I've written three songs towards my next stuff, and they move around. Some gentler, one rockier but not necessarily punkier...I just kind of show up for the songs that show up and go from there. I'm probably not recording lp9 until, at earliest, this summer/fall...so more will be revealed there. I like reserving the right to change my mind.

18zzz183 karma

I didn't realize this was a joint AMA so I wrote my post for Kevin, but I'm also interested in Evans answers, Into it. Over it rocks!!

Kevin, you're one of my biggest inspirations! Thank you for being you, your music and personality have brightened my day countless times.

What artists are on your playlists right now?

What was the biggest change for you/your career in 2014?

Thanks for doing this AMA! One last optional question, any news on Bad Books?!

kevindevine3 karma

Thank YOU. BB will play the odd show now and again until we record our next record, probably late this year/early next.

I've been swimming in talk radio for the past month or so. Listened to a Belle & Sebastian BBC 2001 session yesterday that was great.

2014, first year married & touring, turned 35, things changed subtly in the process of doing much of the same things I've done for the past ten years. Imperceptible evolutions, you realize you've moved along, elsewhere, time does its thing.

Probablyk2 karma

What band/artists are you guys excited about right now?

kevindevine2 karma

I like Field Mouse a lot, we're bringing them on tour in March...I really loved that Angel Olsen record, thoroughly, all the way through...I dunno, I'm so bad at this question. There's a lot of exciting music swirling around now and I'm usually slow getting to it.

radbun2 karma

hey, kevin! any chance of a proper bad books australian tour?

kevindevine3 karma

Oh man, I hope so - fingers crossed, nothing on the books, but someday

nectarsalt2 karma

Hi guys! I'm seeing you in a few weeks in Cambridge. Kevin, I've seen you play probably 10 times, and back in 2007, you played a very, very small show at my college, Emmanuel, which was unbelievable. Thank you. Evan, I've never seen you play before, but I'm jazzed about it.

What song, not your own, do you wish that you'd written?

Which one of your songs do you love playing the most?

iioievan6 karma

this changes for me all the time.

currently it's a song by the band kittyhawk. it's called Hans Christian Anderson.

my favorite song to play live right now is Upstate Blues. super fun to play on guitar.

kevindevine5 karma

Kittyhawk is great

Frajer2 karma

Kevin- what inspired your new 7" split series?

kevindevine8 karma

I really wanted to do something that essentially amounted to an album, or most of one, without being one, something that could be a sustained focal point for a year or so, but that was a bit more decentralized. I've always loved the split idea since I was a kid in hXc shows etc., cool way to play a bit looser conceptually, and to share space with other musicians you dig, an excuse to be collaborative and creative in bursts.

twattycakes2 karma

Hey guys. Huge fans of both of you. You're pretty much the reason I started learning to play music.

For Evan: how do you figure out some of your more nontraditional tunings? Wearing White in particular is unique; what is the discovery process like in determining "hey, this weird setup sounds good"?

For Kevin: how do you feel, looking back, about the stuff you wrote on circle gets the square? Is it something you can still relate to on some level, or have those songs kind of shifted into the "past"? I rank Protest Singer as one of my favorite songs of yours, and I wish you played it more live.

Can't wait to see you guys in Nashville!

kevindevine10 karma

Thank you for that, and I still like that song, still see it as an early corner turned, a moment where the songwriting voice got clearer. I relate to some of them, like bits of them musically; it's hard, some of those songs are literally half my life ago, so I actually have come to find more sweetness and patience towards that guy than I may have 5-10 years ago when it was still closer. I'll try and remember that one for the Nashville show.

Not_Stalin2 karma

Both of you, who are your songwriting inspirations? Also, how are you doing?

kevindevine5 karma

I'm good, eating thai food, talking to you, LA Confidential on in the background. Thank you.

It moves around, the baseline crew is Elliott Smith, Dylan, Sinead O'Connor, Nirvana, Pavement, Superchunk, Beatles, Leonard Cohen, R.E.M., Breeders, Pixies, good folk, country, power pop.

alackofcolor2 karma

Hi Kevin. Gibson discontinued the J-185 acoustic and I am in the market for one, looking to sell yours? :-)

kevindevine4 karma

Oh no! Mine are actually both very beat up, multiple times over broken where the headstock meets the neck.

hipposaurus2 karma

Hey guys!

I play drums in the band The Box Tiger. This question is directed more so to Kevin, though Evan, our bassist Cam wears your band's tshirt all the time (the Charlie Brown one).

Kevin: you gave us carrot sticks and acted friendly beyond our wildest dreams when we got to open for you in Toronto last year. We also had the opportunity to have coffee with you in New York once, which was the best! When we return to Brooklyn this April, on a scale of 1 - 50, how likely is it that you show up to hang if we promise to give you carrot sticks to return the favour? 1 is least likely, 50 is most.

Thanks! Hope you guys have a great tour!

kevindevine2 karma

  1. You guys are great. xo!

bvhj2 karma

Hi Kevin, a few questions!

On the Ally Coalition podcast you were on you mentioned there were some of your songs that you love that aren't exactly fan favourites, what are they? And how often do you work them in to sets?

I’m heading over to America in the summer and I’m hitting Boston, NYC, Portland, OR, and San Francisco, could you recommend me any must see things? Best places to eat, or anything else? (Anybody can feel free to answer this!)

I know you’re coming back to the UK in May now for a festival, I was wondering if you were planning any more dates over here? I saw you four times last year (thank you so much for spending so much time over here !) and it is never enough.

My last question is one I’ve wanted to ask for a while but I always feel dumb, but have you heard of Toh Kay? He does head a band called Streetlight Manifesto, but he has done solo stuff too with some really impressive guitar work and nice lyrics, I feel like you might enjoy his work, but I know you probably get about 100 people telling you to listen to 800 different artists a day. Here’s a link to a song, if you’re interested at least.

Again, thank you for your music, your spirit and your words. I always enjoy seeing you play and talking to you after shows, keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you for drawing this for me, too. (Do you still have the one I did for you?) And if you’re back in Leeds, Manchester or Liverpool give me a shout!

kevindevine2 karma

Hey! I've heard of Streetlight, but not Toh, I'll check it - thanks!

I think outside the 10 or so that are generally agreed upon by my audience, most of them are kind of degrees of deeper cuts. I try to play some every night.

I'll stick to coffee: George Howell in Boston, Stumptown or Extracto in Portland, Four Barrell in SF, Southside Coffee in Brooklyn. Endless deliciousness all around. Enjoy your trip!

MAYBE on the UK, and I DO have that drawing :) - thank you! xo

everlong121 karma

Hey guys! Big fan. Evan, this is for you. More of a comment. I just wanted to say that your lyrics and music has meant so much to me. IIOI got me through some shakey times. I can't stress enough when I say your music really means something. I follow a lot of your projects ever since I discovered you last year. Thank you for making such incredibly tunes, you too Kevin. Since I have to ask a question, I'll ask two 1. Can you pleas come to Albany NY? 2. What inspires you two to write these amazing lyrics?

Thanks again!

kevindevine3 karma

Thank you! I take words seriously, think about them a lot, try to be articulate & authentic, say something about the experience of being a person in a way that is specific and relatable, first to me, hopefully then to other people.

Nash12111 karma

Hi Evan and Kevin, thanks for doing this AMA! My question is about being a young musician. I'm 16 and play bass in a band that plays shows and has even gotten some radio play(I'm not bragging, just informing you of the seriousness of the band). I get frustrated a lot of times being in high school because whenever I'm not playing music, even though there's a lot of things going on, I feel like I'm not doing enough. I know both of you were also in bands while you were in school. What was your experience in high school like? How did you combat any similar frustration, if you felt that way?

P.S. You guys both are both a big inspiration for me as a musician and as an aspiring songwriter!

kevindevine3 karma

Hey there - first off, thank you for the kind words & congratulations on the band! I can relate in the sense that I've always kind of at least partially been thinking about music when I was doing other things - as a student, a worker, a partner (for better & worse). Someone once told me being neurotic isn't the same thing as being productive, and I agree with that. For me, thinking myself into frustration isn't helpful, and it isn't an action. Trust yourself, your effort, your commitment, and take care of the shit you need to take care of to clear space to reward yourself with your passion. Stoked for you and your band!

bernie16wb1 karma

Evan: I don't really know your stuff much. What should I listen to so I know a bit of your work when I see you next month?

Kevin: I'm having pork chops and baked yams for dinner. What should I make for dessert?

Also, it's a good thing digital music is a thing because otherwise I'd have worn out your albums from how much I listen to them. Though I guess that'd make good repeat business for you. Anyway, thanks for the tunes and see you in Cleveland.

kevindevine2 karma

Thank YOU. Maybe some Rocky Road Ice Cream.

SeePea1 karma

Hey guys.

Kevin, how did you find your time in Australia? Did you manage to get any breaks on the tour do some more tourist-y stuff?

Missed seeing you in Brisbane due to exams but hope you (both) can come around again some time soon. Cheers legends

kevindevine3 karma

Thank you! I love Australia - this trip was kind of insane, did 8 shows in 8 days, so touristy stuff was kind of at a minimum, BUT, I did get to hang out around Coogee Bay the last night in Sydney, walked some cliffs there, watched the sunset, hung at the beach. Very cool, very welcome. I hope to get back soon too!

alackofcolor1 karma

Hi Kevin. Just a couple questions. What do you think the set list will look like for this tour? Also, what led to the difference in your vocals in the later stuff compared to the earlier stuff, when your voice was a bit shakier in sound. Thank you.

kevindevine5 karma

I was recording Put Your Ghost To Rest, and Rob Schnapf said, "Hey, when you sing, don't do that goat boy thing. You have a better voice than that. Be confident." I didn't realize I'd been using that as a crutch, I convinced myself it was a certain loss of control in my voice that just "happened." I was wrong and I'm grateful to have been challenged on it. Set list for Feb & March will move around, cover at least something from most records nightly.