Shakin’ Things Up: The Bacon Brothers

By: Melissa Deskovic

Solidified among the Hollywood elite, The Bacon brothers are synonymous with creativity. Kevin is a Golden Globe award winner whose name is currently etched on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With a career that spans decades, he’s regarded as one of Hollywood’s busiest actors. Older brother Michael, an Emmy award-winning composer, is a powerhouse behind the scenes. With over 98 credits to his name, he is a driving force behind some of Hollywoods best scores. Individually they are amazing but together they are dynamic.

In the mid-’90s the brother’s combined their talent to form The Bacon Brothers band. Captivating audiences with a style of rock, blues, and country; they’ve created a sound uniquely their own. Their chemistry carries a comfortability that comes from a brotherly bond, and audiences are eating it up.

You both have expansive careers in industries other than music. Do you feel you have to reacquaint yourself with audiences when you perform? If so, do you feel you’re able to connect with audiences on a deeper level?

K: It’s all about connecting with the audience. In the case of the band, we are hoping that they will connect to a song. Or even a piece of a song. An idea. A line they can relate to or a tune they can hum.

M: Nobody’s going to beg you to go out and play in front of people. Both Kevin and I have a compulsion to test our songwriting on a live audience. The level of depth is a function of how the audience is affected by the songs we’re singing.

With nine albums in your discography, how has your music evolved over the decades?

K: We play better, sing better and write better. It’s more complex and varied than when we started. And the ideas deepen with time.

M: Our style is pretty much the same but we’ve gotten a lot better at it. Still, personal songs, wide variety of orchestration and feels, lots of harmonies.

Clearly, your songwriting style is all about storytelling. How much of that is reflective of your actual life?

K: The songs are way more telling than any interview we’ve ever given. We share almost everything in the songs.

M: It starts with that but songs go where they will and there has to be some kind of universality or no-one will get it. I really don’t understand how novelists do it. I just saw Non Fiction and that’s what the movie was about.

Take us through your songwriting process. How do you decide what songs are going to be on your albums?

K: I have a guitar with me almost all the time. An idea comes. A title. A lick. A chord progression or drum groove. And it starts to come together. Sometimes it happens fast. Sometimes it takes months. Then I play it for Kyra. Then make a demo and share it with Mike to get his take. Then the band and hopefully a live crowd.

M: It’s intuitive. You have to imagine singing it in public in front of strangers. Then the recording process is improvisational. Ultimately, you really don’t know how it will be received. But mostly, it’s our wives.

You have played at venues around the world, what is your take on performing in small-town America? (places like Ocala)

K: We are big city boys in a small town band.

M: That’s my favorite part of touring-finding yourself in a place that one might not normally see. I always photograph the marquees so I’ll remember.

Kevin, you have a vast career in film and television how does it compare to your life as a musician?

When I play music I wear my own clothes!

Michael, how does the creative process for the Bacon Brothers differ from scoring a documentary or film?

Writing instrumental music is a source that our parents gave me from a very early age. They weren’t musicians but they had a wonderful, eclectic taste and a killer hi-fi system.

 

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