Kevn Kinney interview with South Carolina's The State

On the Scene: DNC stays true to its Southern roots

Otis R. Taylor Jr., The State

DRIVING AGAIN: Kevn Kinney doesn't know why people don't say good morning on the sidewalk. It probably has to do with the way things are done in his new hometown: New York City.

"I'm determined to figure it out," said the Drivin N Cryin frontman as he walked through a cemetery in Queens. "It's an interesting study."

Drivin N Cryin released its latest album, "Great American Bubble Factory," Tuesday and the band will play Headliners tonight. "Bubble Factory" is Southern rock that was inspired in part by New York City life.

"It's inspired me in a few ways, (like) writing about the South actually," Kinney said. "Once you get out of something, you see it in a hazy hue. It kind of helps me to remember the South."

Kinney's not trying to make it in New York; he's living there for a practical reason: his wife has a job. "Bubble Factory" is DNC's first album of original music since 1997's self-titled album.

"It took a while before I felt like doing it, before it felt right," Kinney said. "The thing about Drivin N Cryin, there's no faking it. We either do it or we don't."

How did living in New York affect Kinney, who has released solo albums and fronted Kevn Kinney's Sun Tangled Angel Revival between DNC records? (He still keeps Southern ways; he has a barbecue pit in the backyard of his bottom-floor apartment in Brooklyn.)

"I'm trying to figure it out," said Kinney, who has also called Atlanta and Milwaukee home. "There's nothing like New York City. I'm not sure what all these peop

le are doing here."

A lot are trying to make it big in the city that never sleeps.

"You pretty much have to play for free here for a while until something happens," Kinney said of the young bands and performers he's been hanging out with.

New York is also a city where it's a pain to do gigs because there's no parking. Kinney wanted to purchase a Fender amp, but "I had to think if I could fit in a cab or not."

"People who make it here have definitely earned it," he added.

The recession has affected the fortunes of bands big and small. Kinney said the financial collapse has actually favored bands like DNC, as people look to spend less.

"It actually works in our benefit because we're not a huge band selling tickets for $50," he said. "I only have to sell 300, 400 tickets at $10, $15.

"Maybe the tickets prices will come down. Maybe the cool package tours will come back."

The band kept it simple with the new record, as the members had one goal.

"Let's just make a great Southern rock record," Kinney said.

Good thing DNC recorded it down here, because there isn't much simple about New York.