The Bacon Brothers return to the musical world with 36 Cents, their first disc of all-new material in six years. In an interview with Billboard, both Michael and Kevin Bacon expressed excitement to get new music out to the public, and also amazement at the work that goes into releasing a project.
"Once you get the right songs, then you have to get all the loose ends tied up, like finding a distributor and writing the thank you's written for the CD jacket," said Michael. "When you're doing it yourself, there's a lot of loose ends, and they all have to be tied up. If you spell someone's name wrong or have the wrong mix of the track -- there's a lot of things that can go wrong, but hopefully we got it right."
To raise awareness of their new music, the brothers have been touring throughout the summer -- including a two-night stint at the historic Franklin Theatre just south of Nashville. Kevin Bacon tells The 615 that the vibe inside that particular venue was absolutely electric.
"It's a beautiful theater. It's very nice and extremely artist-friendly. The sound and the dressing rooms are both really nice as well. As is always the case in Nashville, there's always a little bit of an element of stepping up your game. There's going to be a lot of musicians and songwriters in the audience. Upstairs, there's a wall of fame with some fantastic photographs of some of the most amazing performers that have been there. You look at that wall, and hope 'Oh, shit. I hope I can live up to the tradition.' It was a lot of fun."
One of the highlights of 36 Cents is the intoxicating "Above the Clouds," which Michael says was written at a very special place. "We were asked to do a show called Live at Daryl's House with Daryl Hall. You come to his house in upstate New York and rehearse with his band. Everybody sings some of our songs, we do some of his, as well as covers. It's all pretty spontaneous. I think it's a unique situation -- and in a funny way, closer to how things go in Nashville than New York City, where it's very informal and respect for each other as musicians."
Another notable track is "Wonderful Day," which contains a great deal of irony in the lyrics. That fact was not lost on Kevin, who said, "The verses are certainly not happy verses. There is certainly some irony there. When people say 'Have a nice day,' it becomes something you repeat over and over without it meaning anything. The arrangement of the song and verse is a juxtaposition of the idea of having a wonderful day. It's one of the songs that we put in the hands of a friend of ours. We gave him the demo, which was pretty different, I think, than what ended up on the record. He took it to a whole other place, and we're very happy with it."
Michael says he and his brother definitely enjoyed the touring experience this summer. "We've been playing for a long time, but this tour felt different. I think we felt like we took it to another level, as far as musicality and audience response. I give our manager a lot of credit for making it easy for us."
Now, with the record out, things will resume their normal schedule, with Kevin getting ready to shoot another season of The Following. Michael knows that's part of the bargain. "Kevin goes back to his day job, and it's an incredibly busy time for him. He gets totally immersed in it. So the band has to fend for itself. What we are really hoping is that one of the songs will break out and collecting some attention. I feel good that this CD has some stuff on it that can garner some attention. Of course, I felt that way since 1970," he says with a laugh. "Maybe they're all hits."
Before the interview ended, we couldn't resist asking Kevin about the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game. He admits that it took a little getting used to. "I guess I hear that daily, maybe," he says. "Usually, someone will say, 'This makes us one degree' when they bump into you. I used to really find it annoying, but I don't anymore. There was a lyric in a song I wrote a while ago where I was talking about doing morning radio, and how every time I walked in, they wanted to play a round of 'Six Degrees.' It would drive me nuts. But it's not going away, so you can't fight it."