Kevin Devine released a new album called "Between The Concrete & Clouds" and if you haven't heard it yet, go pick up a copy! It's very good and it's out now on Razor & Tie. Here's an email interview we did with the good man...
PRT: Between The Concrete & Clouds” is the first album you’ve done under your own name that doesn’t have a single song where it’s just you and your acoustic guitar. Was there a specific reason for working that way this time around?
Kevin: I just felt like the songs worked better on record this time around all backed with fuller instrumentation. It wasn't really too dramatic a shift given that most of the last two, three records were predominantly band-backed. This one just totally is. Most of the touring on the last record was me with my band, also.
PRT: So what exactly is there between the concrete and the clouds?
Kevin: Your life, reality, the present moment. Your brothers and sisters. Look around.
PRT: I read somewhere that you wanted to keep the lyrics more straightforward this time. What was the idea behind that decision?
Kevin: Not so much straightforward as concise. I wanted to keep the songwriting in general more economical, compact. I'm still a wordy writer, a pretty verbal person, and I still very much like playing with metaphor and abstraction in writing. I just wanted to keep an eye on meandering or overstating my case.
PRT: Two names that kept coming up while listening to the new album are Elliott Smith and Nada Surf. Are those artists you feel comfortable being compared to?
Kevin: Sure. I like and respect both very much.
PRT: Last year you released an album with Manchester Orchestra under the Bad Books moniker. How did that come about?
Kevin: We'd done a whole bunch of tours together, from 2007 to present, and always discussed making music together, actually writing something. My manager John reminded them of those conversations backstage at one of their shows in LA late in 2009; the next day Robert & Andy wrote me, we picked out some dates, and I flew down to Atlanta and we made the record.
PRT: And was that a one time thing or have you already talked about doing another album?
Kevin: We definitely have discussed doing another one. Probably sometime next year.
PRT: If you could pick any other artist to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
Kevin: I'd above all else love to have Sinead O'Connor sing one of my songs, or to write a song with her. I think she's totally amazing, principled, specially talented, and just someone I'm really in love with as an artist and a citizen of the world. Just such a bad ass.
PRT: You already have quite the discography. Are you one of those guys who when he has written new songs, just wants to get the songs out there as soon as possible?
Kevin: I guess. It just feels like what I do. I write songs, I put them together, I record them, I release them, I play them in front of people. It just feels like my spot in the world.
PRT: So what’s up next for you? A whole lot of touring? Any plans for coming over to Europe?
Kevin: I've got another 3.5 weeks of US/Canadian touring initially supporting the record's release that'll take me through October 27th. Afterwards, I do the Harvest Festival in Australia in November and then some regional dates back home to close out the year. Next year, yes - UK, Europe, both Australia & US/Canada again, hopefully. Everywhere the record comes out.