Across the USA with the Bacon Brothers
Actor, director, philanthropist, troubadour – and Golden Globe winner. Kevin Bacon is all that, not to mention one half of the Bacon Brothers, the band he created together with his brother Michael two decades ago. These days the multitasking and multitalented actor, married to Kyra Sedgwick and father of two, is juggling his new TV show, I Love Dick, with his band’s latest tour of the USA. Six degrees indeed! The HFPA recently caught up with the man to talk music, movies and more.
How different is being a musician from your day-to-day job as an actor?
When you write songs and you play music in front of people, you are at your most vulnerable place. We don’t sing covers. Our songs come from a very personal place. In fact, if you really want to know something about us, you just have to look at our lyrics. It’s all right there. So stand up in front of people, play songs that they don’t know because we are going to towns where people are not familiar with our music, it’s a really scary thing to do.
Why do you do it? What are you looking for?
A lot of people ask me if it’s a break from acting … or if it is a relief from it. I don’t see it that way. First of all acting is not torture, a horrible way of earning a living (laughs). I love being an actor. I adore acting. I love movies. I love TV. I’m a consumer of it all. So it’s not like I’m doing music to run from all that. It’s just that if you play piano, a guitar, if you know how to play, one day you write a song. Then you sing it for your wife and she says ‘oh, I like that song. Why don’t you sing it for my friends, for my sister, for my cousins?’ And eventually you want to put it out there for people you don’t know. You need to share it with strangers. That’s what it is. It’s what our band does and it’s what probably many bands do. It’s about sharing a song.
Do you remember your first concert as Bacon Brothers?
The first time I played the show was 20 some years ago and my knees were knocking, shaking. While I find acting also sometimes very aching too, there is that little difference. There is a character between me and the audience.
You are travelling the country with your tour. How different is the audience you encounter from your usual fans?
One thing I’ve always been very careful to do is I never want to try to get people to forget what their association is with me as an actor. That would be an impossible task. It’s probable that they have seen me in something so it’s unrealistic to ask them to forget about me. But the mood changes a lot from one place to the other. Yesterday we were in a Texas rural house and the kind of demographic was very different to the one in a theatre in NY, older and much more understanding.
Do you also get involved in the music selection of your acting jobs? I Love Dick has a perfect soundtrack of Spanish themes.
I didn’t have anything to do with the choosing of the songs. But there is a strange coincidence. In the pilot there is some nice music from Lhasa de Sela. She was my sister in law’s sister. It was a complete coincidence. Lhasa sadly died when she was 37 years old. But her music, she sang a lot in Spanish, is used quite a lot in the pilot.