Bad Books

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Bad Books
OriginAtlanta, Georgia / Brooklyn, New York, United States
GenresIndie rock, indie folk
Years active2010–2012
LabelsTriple Crown, Favorite Gentlemen, Sony Music Entertainment
Associated actsManchester Orchestra, Right Away, Great Captain, Gobotron
MembersKevin Devine
Andy Hull
Robert McDowell
Chris Freeman
Benjamin Homola
Past membersJonathan Corley

Bad Books is an American indie rock band formed in early 2010, and is composed of indie folk artist Kevin Devine and members of indie rock band Manchester Orchestra along with drummer Benjamin Homola. The collaboration began when Kevin toured along with Manchester Orchestra in November–December 2008 in support of his EP I Could Be with Anyone, and followed by the release of the split EP entitled I Could Be the Only One in January 2010.[1]

A self-titled full-length album by the band was released digitally on October 19, 2010, and on a physical CD on November 9, 2010.[2] A second album, simply entitled II, followed two years later, on October 9, 2012.[3]


Bad Books started as a collaboration between folk/indie singer-songwriter Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull. Devine has toured with Manchester Orchestra since signing with their label Favorite Gentlemen in 2007, and the two had a spot supporting Brand New on their US spring tour in March– April 2007.[4] Hull and Devine met again when they were co-headlining a tour in the US in November–December 2008, in support of Devine's EP I Could Be with Anyone which featured songs from his then-upcoming fifth studio album Brother's Blood.[1]

Devine and Hull then started writing songs on the road when they met again, as Devine supported Manchester Orchestra on their UK tour in July 2009, supporting their release Mean Everything to Nothing. The two then continued to work together, and on January 26, 2010, they released together the split EP I Could Be the Only One digitally.[5] They planned on pressing a 7" vinyl, but that was delayed indefinitely. The EP featured Kevin Devine covering the Manchester Orchestra song "The Only One", while Manchester Orchestra covered the Kevin Devine song "I Could Be with Anyone", both doing very different and unique renditions to the known songs.[6]

Following the release of the split EP, in an AbsolutePunk interview with Andy Hull in January 2010, it was announced that Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra are set to release a full-length album together, collaborating on 8 tracks with Kevin Devine writing four, and Andy Hull writing the other four.[7]

On April 10, 2010, Alternative Press revealed that the Kevin Devine/Manchester Orchestra collaboration album would be released under the new band name, Bad Books, and that it would contain 10 songs and not 8 as was stated previously by Kevin.[8]

On August 16, 2010, the band set an October 19, 2010, release date for their self-titled debut album. The band also revealed 4 east coast tour dates in support of the new release, including stops at New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Cambridge between October 20–24, 2010.[9] All dates were supported by Andy Hull's solo side project Right Away, Great Captain, Robert McDowell's solo side project Gobotron, and Dead Confederate's Hardy Morris.[9]

On August 25, 2010, the album's artwork and track list were revealed on the band's official website. The official track list is different than that previously given to Alternative Press, which was composed of working titles.[10] The album's artwork was designed by band member Chris Freeman and Brian Manley.[11] The same day, the band has also offered a free download of a song called "You Wouldn't Have to Ask" on their official website. It was the first song to be released by the new project.[10] Later that day, the band uploaded another new song called "Please Move" for free listening on their Facebook page.[12] The physical CD release of the album was announced for November 9, 2010.[13]

On October 8, 2010, it was announced that Kevin Devine and Andy Hull will embark on a short 5 date joint acoustic tour in December 2010, playing mostly Bad Books songs, as well as solo songs and Manchester Orchestra songs. The tour is also in support of the band's self-titled debut release, although the two frontmen won't be joined by the full band.[14][15]

On October 20, 2010, the band streamed a live acoustic performance on their website.[16]

On November 8, 2010, Bad Books released the music video for the official first single "You Wouldn't Have to Ask", on the website. The video, which was shot in black and white, was directed by Jason Miller and is based on the Everly Brothers' 1964 performance of the song "Gone, Gone, Gone" on the musical variety series Shindig!.[17] On November 30, 2010, the music video was made available for purchase on iTunes. [18]

On November 10, 2010, the band announced two new tour dates in support of the album, the band's first dates playing the west coast.

On January 11, 2011, the band released a free MP3 download of their cover of Built to Spill's "The Plan" on their official website, a song that has been a part of all of their live shows. The version released is a live recording from one of the band's first shows in October 2010, and it was released along with an accompanying live video as well, professionally shot by ApK Media.[19][20][21] On April 16, 2011, Manchester Orchestra released the live recording of "The Plan" (credited to Manchester Orchestra feat. Kevin Devine) as the b-side to the Record Store Day 2011 exclusive 7" single of their song "Simple Math."[22]

II was released on October 9, 2012, through Triple Crown Records.[23] The band also premiered the song "Forest Whitaker" off their second album, on the Rolling Stone's website.[24]

"Forest Whitaker" was also featured on hit comedy How I Met Your Mother in episode 13 of season 9 entitled Bass Player Wanted.[25][26]

On October 4, 2013, the band performed a Daytrotter Session at Strobe Recording in Chicago, Illinois.[27] The session was later given a vinyl pressing of 1000 copies and was sold at shows during Andy Hull and Kevin Devine's solo tour along the west coast.[28] The pressing then later went up for sale online on June 14.[29]

On March 11, 2019 they announced on social media that III was due for release shortly.

Band members[edit]

  • Kevin Devine – lead vocals, guitar, piano (2010–present)
  • Andy Hull – lead vocals, guitar, piano (2010–present)
  • Robert McDowell – lead guitar, backing vocals (2010–present)
  • Chris Freeman – keyboards, backing vocals (2010–present)
  • Jonathan Corley – bass (2010–2013)
  • Benjamin Homola – drums, percussion (2010–present)




  1. ^ a b "Manchester Orchestra announce headlining tour with Kevin Devine / Dead Confederate / All Get Out". September 5, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  2. ^ Kyle Mitchell (October 21, 2010). "New Music | Bad Books | Music Savage". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  3. ^ Emma Garland (October 9, 2012). "Alter The Press!:ATP! Album Review: Bad Books - II". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  4. ^ Aubin Paul (February 27, 2007). "Tours:Brand New (Canada, UK, USA) |". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  5. ^ Adam Home (Jan 25, 2010). "Manchester Orchestra & Kevin Devine, 'I Could Be the Only One' (Two-Song Bundle) -- Song Premiere". Archived from the original on January 2, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Aaron Hunt (January 26, 2010). "Manchester Orchestra & Kevin Devine - I Could Be The Only One". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  7. ^ "Manchester Orchestra - 01.21.10 - Interview". Jan 21, 2010. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  8. ^ "Manchester Orchestra: By The (Bad) Books". April 10, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Bad Books Tour Dates!". August 16, 2010. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "New Music, New Art, and Tickets!". August 25, 2010. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  11. ^ "Brian Manley | Credits | Allmusic". Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  12. ^ Dan Goldin (August 25, 2010). "Bad Books (Manchester Orchestra/Kevin Devine) Release New Song + More". Archived from the original on 2016-07-31. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  13. ^ "Bad Books - Bad Books". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  14. ^ "Andy Hull + Kevin Devine December Tour". October 7, 2010. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  15. ^ "Kevin Devine And Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull Team Up For Bad Books". August 30, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "[Watch] Bad Books Live Acoustic Stream Today @ 1pm EDT". October 20, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  17. ^ Peter Gaston (November 8, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Debut Clip from Bad Books". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  18. ^ "You Wouldn't Have to Ask on iTunes". November 30, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  19. ^ "Bad Books - The Plan (Built To Spill Cover)". January 11, 2011. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  20. ^ "BAD BOOKS – THE PLAN (BUILT TO SPILL COVER)". January 12, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  21. ^ "Alter The Press!:Bad Books Cover Built To Spill". January 12, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  22. ^ "Record Store Day 2011 Releases" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-07-26. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  23. ^ "Bad Books Announce New Record, Sign to Label". August 12, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  24. ^ Natalie Morin (August 13, 2012). "Song Premiere: Bad Books Stray From Comfort Zone on 'Forest Whitaker'". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  25. ^ "S9 · E13 · Bass Player Wanted". December 16, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  26. ^ ""How I Met Your Mother" Bass Player Wanted (TV Episode 2013) - Soundtracks - IMDb". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  27. ^ "Bad Books Daytrotter Session Oct 4, 2013". October 4, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  28. ^ Christopher Lantinen (March 8, 2016). "Devine, Hull Daytrotter 12" available with tickets". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  29. ^ Christopher Lantinen (June 13, 2016). "Bad Books Daytrotter session pressed to vinyl". Retrieved July 27, 2016.

External links[edit]