‘My earliest memory of music was what my brother was playing or the music he brought home,’ Kevin Bacon recalls. ‘I would sit on the steps of our basement while he was downstairs practicing with our sister, Hilda, and their band. So my heroes growing up were all rock ‘n’ rollers. I wasn’t really into sports, or even movies. If I could save money I’d buy an album.’
With 2009 marking 14 years of the Bacon Brothers band’s existence, any cynical preconceptions about well-known actors ‘dabbling’ in music now can safely be discarded. The band has gigged relentlessly to build up a following, and New Year’s Day represents their sixth LP release. Along the way, the younger brother has apparently caught up with his elder sibling in some ways.
‘Kevin writes a lot more songs than I do,’ Michael says. ‘While I spend a lot of time writing instrumental music, lyrical songs are tougher: if I write one or two a year that I like, then I’m happy. But Kevin has this amazing gift of turning everyday experiences into universal thoughts that everybody can identify with.’
Having played with the same crew of musicians for all of the band’s existence, Michael and Kevin agree that the band has become just as much a part of the whole endeavor as the two frontmen. ‘With New Year’s Day, the guys in the band produced a couple of tracks each,’ Michael points out. ‘We gave the band much more creative responsibility for the product we ended up with. I think that’s why it sounds more like a band album.’
‘I like risks,’ notes Kevin, a classic understatement from an artist, who’s played challenging, unsympathetic roles in everything from The Woodsman to Sleepers to Oliver Stone’s JFK. ‘And there’s nothing more risky about being a well known actor and playing in a rock band.’