Kevin Failure has always employed Pink Reason as an outlet for his most destructive tendencies, pouring his angst, grief and anger into the band’s explosive punk-rock output.
But now, after more than a decade of recording and performing under the name, Failure, born Kevin De Broux 33 years ago, is set to pull the plug on the group, citing everything from a desire to explore new musical avenues (“I knew [the band] wasn’t going to be around forever, so I was looking to do something different,” he said) to the fact the musician finds himself in a happier and much more stable emotional place these days.
“Pink Reason has always explored the darker aspects of my life, but now I’m in a different place and when I want to write songs I have to go to places I’m less willing to visit,” he said. “I have a wife and child, [and] Pink Reason is not about happiness or stability. It’s always been about transgression and desperation, and it’s difficult to go there when you’re trying to raise a child in a positive way.”
Failure said he formed the band in his early 20s because he had “no other choice.” Growing up in northern Wisconsin, he frequently felt like an outcast, and the music allowed him to vent his frustrations before they surfaced in more destructive ways. From the onset he poured everything into the group, demanding an equally intense commitment from his bandmates, which helps explain, in part, why more than 60 musicians had rotated through Pink Reason when he stopped keeping count a few years back.
“I’m kind of a dick,” Failure said, and laughed. “I feel like it’s an all or nothing thing. If people can’t make a practice or make a show — even if they’re friends — I just don’t want to play anymore. It’s gotten to the point … where I realized it’s not them it’s me.”
Before calling it a day, however, Pink Reason recorded a final EP, which Failure expects to release sometime early in 2014, and will play a final Columbus show at Café Bourbon Street on Saturday, Oct. 26. Expect the send-off to fare far better than the crew’s confrontational early shows, which Failure likened to a battle of wills between band and audience.
“When we started playing people would literally get up onstage and turn off our gear and attack us. There were chants of ‘worst band ever,’” he said. “To be honest, I don’t have a lot of nostalgia for that part of it.