In the summer of 2010, Kevin Dye was working as an audio engineer in upstate New York, and, when he wasn’t working at the studio, he was tracking his own songs. Around the same time that he was considering moving down to New York City, his best friend noticed that New Jersey-based band gates was looking for a singer and a guitar player. Kevin sent them an email, and they sent him instrumental versions of “Burned Us Alive” and “A Vague Ambition.” At that point in his life, Kevin didn’t think he was going to play music again. “I showed up at that band practice thinking, ‘These guys are amazing. There’s no way they’re going to like what I send them.’ But they thought it was awesome,” he shares. Before they knew it, the gates lineup was officially finalized.
Still, Kevin had doubts about his potential, and, in the beginning, he assumed that his collaboration to the music industry would be via recording music rather than playing it. “I joined the band just being like, ‘If this doesn’t work out, let me record the EP. I just want to record it.’ I was hoping to prove my recording skills to them more than anything. And when we put out the first EP, I thought, ‘Oops. I guess I’m a singer now,’” he explains.
Kevin delves deeper into his thought process at the time, stating, “I was in bands when I was younger, but I was always just a guitar player. The first song on The Sun Will Rise and Lead Me Home was the first thing I ever recorded vocals to. I think [the band] saw something in me and believed in me more than I believed in myself for a number of years.”
Life has its ups and downs, and Kevin was definitely no stranger to that notion. During the production of the band’s second EP, Fear, the self-doubt resurfaced within Kevin and really made itself prominent. “It was very hard for me to write vocals to it; it was very guitar-driven,” he explains.
“It was one of those things where I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I’m good enough to write lyrics to these songs.”
Check out the rest of the feature in Issue 9 for free!
WORDS: LORI GUTMAN