Catching Up with Kyle Kinane

In every great comic’s career comes a time where you have to do press for a thing you made. Sometimes it’s a new special, a big movie role, or a chart-topping podcast. And then sometimes a label decides to re-release your album from a year ago on limited edition blue vinyl. Such is the case with Kyle Kinane, whose Loose in Chicago was recently released on bright blue vinyl from Comedy Central Records. There’s only so much you can say about an old album on vinyl, so in addition to that I talked to Kyle about good merch, gout, and the Boogie Monster podcast.

So I guess let’s talk about blue vinyl. Did you choose the color?

I think I asked my art guy Dom, who does all my albums, “What color do you think is best?” Whenever I have an album I have no concept, really. I’ll come up with the name for it and then be like, “Alright dude, I’m doing a record.” That’s the only instruction he needs to design the covers. I was like, “What color do you think would be good?” He said, “I think the blue will look good.” People love this vinyl shit. I don’t care about it, but people seem to like it.

I think it’s a collector’s thing. I figure most of these people have already watched the special and have the album.

I’m grateful people want it and I’m grateful people are buying it. Personally, I don’t collect anything. I would like less stuff in my life. I’m always mystified by whatever kind of palpable joy collectors get. Is there something out there I would collect, but just haven’t yet? I think I’m too worried about being a hoarder.

I imagine you’re going to get tagged in a lot of Instagram photos of dudes with flipped up Suicidal Tendencies hats standing next to your vinyl playing on the Technics with a Run the Jewels deluxe vinyl also somewhere in the frame.

Hey, I’ll take it. Any format you want to enjoy it in, right on. I’m not going to see any money off this thing, so I’m glad people are getting stuff they like. I guess putting a record on the player and sitting back and being forced to listen to the whole thing is a dying art with shuffle being a default way to listen to music nowadays. Especially with comedy, I can see when you’re forcing someone to listen to the way the whole album is paced, that’s cool. But I love MP3s. I don’t have to worry about a book of CDs in my car or a tape getting…let me date myself by talking about tapes getting caught up in the tape player. But anyways, yeah, it’s blue.

The last time I interviewed you was about a year ago when Loose in Chicago first came out. Let’s catch up on what’s happened since then. Do you have a new hour coming out anytime soon?

Yeah I’m working on writing stuff. I’m doing a voice on an animated show called Paradise PD. I’m on the road too and will probably have another hour ready to go next year. I’ve been slowing the pace down. I know the pace is to release an hour every year because that’s what Louie does, but Louis is a different animal. If I don’t have the stuff to talk about I’m not just going to put something out because it’s been a year already. I’ll put it out when I think it’s worth purchasing.

It’s probably good for younger comics to hear you say that, because there are a lot of people who put out albums too early in their career or think that putting out an hour every year is more important than having one solid, well-crafted hour.

I don’t understand how it became this gimmick. Someone will be like, “I’m putting out an album every month for a year.” Why? You’re just wasting plastic. Put it out when it’s ready. I get if you’re a road guy how having merch definitely pads your income when you’re on the road. An album is better than a joke t-shirt that somebody’s going to buy that night and never wear again. If you’re going to make shirts, make a good shirt, something that someone would want to wear. This is just me and I’m not saying it’s a rule of the world, but I don’t need any more fucking pins. Every time somebody gives me a pen or a button I’m like, “Well, I’m going to leave this in the hotel room.” You’re just putting crap into the world. If everybody threw out all of the reusable tote bags that they got at a festival that island would be bigger than the one made out of plastic trash bags.

What do your tours look like now compared to say, five years ago? I imagine with all the other things you have going on you have to pace yourself and take care of your body more.

I have more of a domestic life now. I live with my girlfriend and I enjoy it. I’m not doing this, “Fuck it,  I’ll just go out for a month, month-and-a-half.” The longest I’ll do is maybe two weeks, and even that’s pushing it. I’m getting a much shorter fuse. I have less patience at airports. That’s not going to end well. You don’t ever win an argument with airport security. The more I go out, the more frustrating experiences I have. I’ll fly to one city, rent a car, drive the tour, and fly home from wherever. But it’s good. I’d say 95% of the time the crowds are great. I’m lucky that people are coming to see me and not just a comedy show so I don’t have to…it’s a skill you should have, knowing how to win over a cold audience. But I’m lucky in that I get to walk up to a warm audience almost every night. I’m a little rusty in the winning strangers over from zero.

Any updates on the gout situation?

I’ve been feeling good, which means I’ve been feeling like I can drink and eat whatever again. It’s like, “I think I’m better now.” But I’m not better. It’s always there, man. It’s not going away. I’ve been taking my medicine and trying out this thing called moderation that I’ve heard about. I’m not too good at it.

What are your vices? Booze & BBQ?

Yeah, I’ll just drink a bunch. The food thing is…living in LA, you can get so many different types of food, vegetarian food and all that stuff, that is still great. It’s not like you’re on the road driving between cities and your only vegetarian option is a Subway sandwich with no meat in it. That’s going to fucking suck, so you just wind up caving and getting whatever. Most cities and college towns will have vegetarian and vegan options that are still made pretty tasty. I’m not vegan. I’ll still eat meat here and there. When you grow up in the Midwest, if a meal doesn’t have meat in it you didn’t have a meal, you had a snack. You can have a meal that doesn’t have a meat protein in it. That was the weirdest concept for me to understand. But just because I eat more vegetables doesn’t mean I can drink more. That’s what I’ve told myself, but that’s not how the world works. “I haven’t had bacon in a couple weeks.” “Cool, go out and drink whiskey every night this week, Kyle.”

Boogie Monster has been taking off. I know a lot of comics whose podcasts blow up and it becomes a whole other job for them. Have you hit a point where you’re putting way more work into the podcast than you thought you would in the beginning?

Our whole point from the get-go was it was just going to be a fun thing that we do with no plans of taking it really seriously. We introduced a Patreon in August, so now we’ve indebted ourselves to people who give us a couple bucks a month. It’s tough scheduling when we’re both road guys working the road, but it’s still been primarily a good time, which I think is pretty evident when you listen to it because there is little-to-no research done on the topics we try to talk about. It’s like every other comedy podcast: a jerk-off party with a couple of dudes. Hopefully our bullshit sounds a little better than someone else’s bullshit. That’s the hope.

Photo by Laurie Fanelli.

Catching Up with Kyle Kinane