Nicole Brice & Chris Pryor
Jun 2, 2023
Kevin’s music is a hybrid of blues, rock, and pure Americana
Who is Kevin Dorin? That was the question that popped into our brains when he first came onto our radar. Although not well known here in the United States, Kevin has been making music for almost his entire life starting out in his home country of Canada as part of the rock band Bigger Fish Than Guns.
Bigger Fish Than Guns was a band out of Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta who saw great success in the late 2000s to early 2010s until they broke up in 2012.
“We had a meteoric rise after recording our first EP, and our single “Texas T” won us $25,000 in a radio station contest in Calgary. The song was added to stations across Canada and the NE U.S. and charted the Top 30 alt rock up in the great white north. Sound-wise, we rode the coattails of bands like The Black Keys and regularly beat out Young the Giant for radio placements”, says Dorin. “We even got an awesome opening gig for AWOLNATION, and just as we were offered an opportunity to audition for a Live Nation booking agent, the band dissolved.”
After the dissolution of Bigger Fish Than Guns, Dorin continued making music and working in the industry that shaped him. With a history rooted in Entertainment Business Management, thanks to his certification from The Metalworks Institute in Mississauga in Ontario, Canada, Kevin managed to make his way to the U.S. He currently lives in Idaho and consults for a venue in Sandpoint called The Hive. Being no stranger to the background workings of the biz, in the past Kevin managed the band Frankie McQueen and has had the opportunity to tour as a musician and as technical support for the indie band Sidney York.
In addition to touring, making music, running things on the business side, and helping young artists with his songwriting competition, the Sandpoint Songwriting Competition, Dorin made a documentary in 2013 called What is Canadian Music?
A true Renaissance man, Kevin Dorin is multi-talented and multi-faceted, and on April 7, 2023, he released a new single called “I Am Not Afraid” via all streaming platforms. The song is funky, soulful, and sounds like good, classic southern rock. The song fits our political landscape of today and we love the tones used with the music. The flow of the vocals is bluesy and merges well with the overall tone, which presents a powerful and evocative message about struggle, suffering, and resilience. The repetition of the phrase “I am not afraid” reinforces a sense of determination and courage in the face of adversity. The use of imagery like “body rotten bloody scene” and “sowing reaping feeding me” creates a dark and intense atmosphere that emphasizes the challenges faced today. The use of repetition and rhyming in the pre-chorus and chorus creates a strong sense of rhythm and adds emphasis to the message of the lyrics. Additionally, the use of metaphor like “the devil is the distance between our choices” adds depth and complexity to the song.
Overall, the lyrics present a complex and nuanced exploration of the themes of struggle, love, and resilience, and according to Kevin, “It's a song, it's a mantra, it's the Zeitgeist written to be a tool to give people HOPE in the ongoing chaos that is our world. Risk four minutes and it may just make you feel better.”
“I Am Not Afraid” is a song to take note of and we were so intrigued by Kevin’s history and backstory that we reached out to him to ask a few questions. Kevin Dorin’s talent is one to be heard and seen, so after you read this interview, we encourage you to go check out his entire back catalog. He is sure to impress you with his talent, energy, and passion, which comes through in his music.
MaM: Kevin, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us. We love your song "I Am Not Afraid.” It's soulful, it's funky, and it's pure southern soulful rock. What was the inspiration behind the subject matter and lyrical content?
KD: The song was inspired seven years ago by immigrating to the U.S. from Canada. I couldn’t work until my green card was approved and so I found myself watching more American news than ever before. At that time, Canadian news had much more integrity—not so much so nowadays, though. [At the time], I wasn’t used to the sensationalism and fear mongering. I took the feeling of how the American media made me feel and turned it into the lyrics for this song. I’ve been performing it ever since in the U.S. whenever things get especially weird and scary here. My fans tell me that they use the ‘I Am Not Afraid’ mantra in their own lives, and first-time listeners as well as fans sing it with me when I play the song live.
MaM: Did you record and produce the song yourself? The production sounds great.
KD: The song was recorded over a period of years, and I never felt like it was quite right, so I sent it out to a friend and mentor I'd worked for, Producer Trey Mills. He put the finishing touches on it. I sat on that recording for another 18 months and finally the chaos of the world got so insane, I figured the world could use the song.
MaM: When did you start playing music and what inspires you to create?
KD: I'm 36 and I've been in the music business my whole adult life. I was in a successful Canadian Alt Rock band called Bigger Fish Than Guns in my early 20s, but just as that band was peaking, we broke up and I moved to Idaho to get married. Since moving to the U.S., I've been getting deep into Americana styles of music and playing hundreds of shows a year so I can develop my skills to entertain at the highest level. As far as inspiration is concerned, if I live a strong life and maximize the potential of every day, I am always inspired to create. The adventure of life and the dynamic of pushing through the highs and lows provides me with endless emotion and stories to draw from.
MaM: Are you currently playing shows? If so, where do you showcase your talents?
KD: I consult for a gorgeous world-class venue in Sandpoint, Idaho called The Hive and I'll be recording my next show June 3rd on video and high-quality audio. We will be releasing a live video recording from that set of ‘I Am Not Afraid’ in mid-June, so follow my YouTube channel! Then I plan to get back on the road and play as many dates in 2023 and 2024 as possible to share the positive messages in my new music with the world.
MaM: I see you put out an album in 2010 and then another in 2018. Tell us a little more about your past endeavors. Why was there a gap in releases?
KD: My last album ‘Invisible Lines’ is one of my proudest achievements. It was recorded as a one-take, one-two microphone-style project through a mostly vintage analog recording process. It was a bit of a departure from my alt rock roots after living in the U.S. for a while and absorbing Americana. The goal was to be able to capture moments in the recordings like the quality of the heroes of old. I've studied the recording processes of music quite deeply and the records that make the most impact in my life are always recorded by musicians who have worked hard to be able to track a record live off the floor.
As far as why I leave so much time between releases, all my favorite artists usually only release major projects every four to six years. This seems to be a time-tested recipe to achieving quality control and amassing songs that are worthy of something notable that can really make an impression on people’s lives. Most great songs are timeless, so you should be able to sit on them for years until the time is right to respect the art and release it in a way that achieves the full potential of the songs. ‘I Am Not Afraid’ is a return to more of my alt rock sound developed in my band Bigger Fish Than Guns, and I have many more songs I'll be releasing as singles over the next 12 months that are a similar vibe. We just re-released our Bigger Fish Than Guns album ‘Through the Green Door’ after taking it off streaming services for about eight years. It's an awesome album. I’m excited for new people to discover it.
MaM: Where do you see yourself headed in the future musically?
KD: I've been storing a stack of songs over the last five years and working to become the best performer possible, so you'll be seeing a steady stream of music released from me and I'll be playing it all over North America.
To experience the music of Kevin Dorin, head on over to all of his social media pages and his YouTube. His music and talent are unmatched.
Do you have new music you’d like us to review? Reach out to email@example.com.