It’s been two years since Devon Kay & the Solutions graced a stage in their hometown of Chicago. Since then, there have been three cross country moves, a wedding and a whole bunch of fart jokes. But now, they’re back… well, kind of. On Sunday, July 31st, I caught up with the band before their reunion show at Quencher’s in Chicago. The interview didn’t go exactly as planned. In fact, there was a bit of a catastrophe that was so Devon Kay & the Solutions you would think I was making it up. I’m not.
Devon: Oh shit, we’re already recording? *coughs* I really like to think that we really make a difference.
Kendra: Yeah? Tell me more.
Devon: Okay!…We just really do.
Can you guys go into a little backstory about how the band came into fruition?
Devon: Oh my god, yes. Yes, I can. I was not getting laid and then I decided that I would start writing acoustic songs about not getting laid and I played a couple shows –
Wait, were the songs supposed to get you laid?
Devon: I mean ideally. At the time, I didn’t realize that they were very bad. So basically, I started this rag tag group of weirdos and all of them went away. There was a piano player, a viola player. All good people. Heidi, Jerome, all of them. And then that got stupid which is when I started the three piece. Campy (Matt) has been there from the beginning. That’s why he’s looking at me. You can’t see him because this is a recording but he’s looking at me fevered because I haven’t mentioned him yet.
Matt: I’m staring at your ice cream ’cause you’re not eating it!
Devon: You can have it. Just take it. And then after those guys went away, I wrote a bunch of happy songs. But then I was sad and wrote more sad songs with Campy and with a guy who we found off Craigslist who ended up living in our apartment and almost going insane. And later Ryan, who used to drum for the Solutions, quit but we got him back because he used to play in an emo hardcore band. And a lot of people stopped listening to it which is fine.
Ryan thought this was the real money maker?
Devon: No, all he thought was this is something to do before my famous emo band becomes famous again and luckily that never happened.
If you guys had to invent a genre to describe the type of music you play, what would it be called?
Devon: Adult Anxiety Rock.
Matt: I don’t write any words so I don’t feel that anxiety. But he’s (points at Devon) a mess so, that’s fine.
Devon: Most definitely. Most certainly.
Ryan, do you agree?
Ryan: Yeah. Definitely.
Devon: Ryan has to drum to keep up with what my brain does. I don’t tell him that, but he knows to do that. I’m like “This part of the song makes me feel really insecure, so I’m gonna need a fast beat.” And he’s like crackcrackcrackcrackcrack and then it makes me feel more insecure and I like it.
If you had to invent an ice cream to represent your band where each member was a part of it, what would it be?
Ryan: Could it be a hot sauce instead because we-
Devon: WEEEEEED. Oh! Hot sauce and weed.
Matt: I can accept that.
Devon: And I guess like… infused with alcohol.
Like a weed, PBR, hot sauce combo.
Devon: And white wine! A chardonnay.
Like a boxed wine or a fine white wine?
Devon: How the fuck am I supposed to know?
And just like that, with no signal or warning, the recording app on my phone shut off without my knowledge. In total, I lost about 15 minutes of hilarious banter with these three amazing dudes. I had been receiving a large number of text and Facebook messages while we were talking and, after some post-interview research, I found out exactly what crashed my phone. Dick pics. Well, pictures of fruit and vegetables shaped like dicks. Still confused? Here are the four pictures that ruined my interview:
So, my friends send me weird shit. But I was able to cobble together the remainder of the interview from memory:
Band or artist that people would be shocked to find out that you’re influenced by:
Matt: Probably Billy Joel or Neil Diamond.
Devon: Neil Diamond, K-Pop and Sheryl Crow. He proceeded to sing a verse of a Sheryl Crow song as we all looked on eagerly waiting for him to stop or for Donald Trump to win the presidency and for the world to end.
Ryan: 90s pop, specifically boy bands. Interestingly enough, he looks like he could be in a boy band. He’d be the ‘edgy’ one of course.
Devon took this time to skillfully slide in the fact that the Solutions weren’t really doing this interview to promote the band. Instead, they were doing it to promote their new app entitled Crushin’ It. It was explained to be almost a hybrid of Pokemon Go and Tinder. You walk around and find these mattresses all over the city. There will be a person on said mattress and your goal is to lay down and to crush it. There are also positivity points. I inquired if there was any age limit to install the app, say 18+. Devon’s response was, “I am no longer responsible for Crushin’ It when it is out of my hands.” And then he made a dick joke and reminded me that the name was trademarked.
The guys also tied this into my next question – Can you recount a weird tour story? – by telling me about a time in Cleveland where some girl hit on Ryan. However, she was too shy to come out and just say anything blunt. Instead, she passed him a phone which had an unsent text message on the screen which read: Are you down to score tonight? Later, Matt and Devon were in the living room dealing with some drugged out roommates when they heard Ryan in the other room, Crushin’ It.
Just before the posting of this interview, the band sent me the below official trademarked promotional material for Crushin’ It. Coming to a phone and a mattress near you in 2017!
My final question was about the future of the band. With Ryan living in Los Angeles, how do they plan to move forward:
The Solutions are currently working on a six track EP. They also tried to promote the reunion show which was occurring later that day, 7/31/16. I had to let them know that I needed more than 45 minutes to put the interview post together. But I found that they’re not planning any tours or really any other shows at this time. Devon tried to swing it like their open future and lack of plans was due to Ryan’s distance and having a plethora of things going on in their personal lives. But Matt didn’t let him get away with that and informed me that it’s merely because the three of them are irresponsible. Everyone agreed.
Before we ended the interview, they told me that they do have plans on how they would want their ‘dream show’ to go. They would set up their gear, walk onstage to the start of Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic album. Then, they would just stand there, looking at their phones, every once in a while motioning to the sound guy to turn the song off. They would stand onstage until the whole album was over, then they would just pack up their gear and leave. It was either that or they would play the same song eleven times.
Fortunately, my camera didn’t also crap out on my that night. I took some photos at the show which will be up on the site Monday!
Losing IT was released in October 2013. Grab your copy below!