Watch Kevin Devine & Jesse Lacey Talk New Album ‘Bubblegum’ (Part One)

DIY brings you the first of a four-part video series, in which Devine, Lacey and the Goddamn Band get to grips with the process of creating the new record.

Today, Kevin Devine releases two brand new albums: ‘Bubblegum’ and ‘Bulldozer’. For the first half of the record-duo, the singer songwriter called up his collaborators, the Goddamn Band to create ‘Bubblegum’. They then recruited Brand New’s Jesse Lacey on production duties and together, they formed a more raw, fuzzy and altogether, noisier rock record.

Now, following on from the preview showcased last week, DIY joins Devine, Lacey and the Goddamn Band members Mike Fadem and Mike Strandberg, as the four discuss the brand new album. In this first part, the conversation deals with the beginning of the writing process, and how exactly Lacey helped to shape the album.

We’ve even got some words from producer Jesse Lacey himself, on the whole process of creating ‘Bubblegum’, giving the video that extra bit of context.

”Bubblegum’, I guess, started as a phone conversation between Kevin and myself in which I expressed my interest in working in a producer role on music outside of my current band, Brand New. I was explaining to him however, that I felt like maybe I was somewhat too opinionated to try out that role on a band that I didn’t know personally, or have a friendship with. Working on an album is an intimate thing and it can be hard for people to be candid, or to put aside emotions and allow other peoples ideas to permeate. Basically, I was telling him that he was one of the only people I was close enough to, outside of my band, to be able to be a complete jerk in the studio with in order to make a good album. He agreed.

‘So I had this idea that it would be a great thing to make a Kevin Devine record that was actually a Goddamn Band record… with Kevin Devine. Monikers are tricky things when it comes bands. Anyway, that’s how we went into it, with Mike, Mike, and Kevin all on equal footing when it came to input, and they, graciously, allowed me that footing as well. Approaching the record as a three-piece also allowed us to attempt to have certain parts of the songs, or whole songs, remain what we, in the song writing business, call, ‘stripped down’. What I mean is when there are five guys in a band, they all want their parts to make the song.

‘What you end up with is a mixer’s nightmare that you justify as a ‘wall of sound’. (see: ‘The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me’). On ‘Bubblegum’, we tried to keep the idea of three people in a room, as three people in a room. While I don’t think we were consistent enough with this idea throughout the album, I think it shows best during most of Mike Strandberg’s lead guitar parts. They are fuzzy, crisp, and singular, and for the most part are allowed the space for their nuances to be heard.

‘When we got back together to do this little video interview, I had to leave early, and I found myself disappointed because I could talk for days about recording. And I loved talking about this record especially because it was my first foray into ‘outside’ production, and also because, while recording ‘Bubblegum’, I realized the work that happens in a studio, figuring out the puzzles that the songs propose, and then committing them, solved, to a recording, is something that is undeniably part of me. I feel hugely fulfilled whenever I finish any record. And whether they know it or not, it is also an integrated part of who Mike Strandberg, Mike Fadem, and Kevin Devine each are as individuals. I was… shocked, honestly, at the consistency with which each of them were able to veer course, or write spontaneously. And there is no understating how creative and proficient each of them are on their instrument. Making the album with them was one of those times you wish had not ended. I hope we can do it again soon.’

Check out Part One of the four’s discussion below.

Check back for Part Two on Thursday 17th October.

Kevin Devine’s albums ‘Bubblegum’ and ‘Bulldozer’ are out now.