Musician Bryan Devendorf Had a New Appreciation for Home

“I left in 1993 as a clueless kid from Anderson Township and returned as an adult with a different perspective and different ideas of what matters in life.”

NAME: Bryan Devendorf
AGE: 44
WHO IS HE: Drummer for The National and leader of the band Royal Green, which released its debut album in 2020.

Photograph by Graham MacIndoe

At what age did you leave Cincinnati, and when did you return?

I left at age 18 and came back at age 37 in February 2013.

Why did you return?

After a while living in Brooklyn, it had become too expensive to justify living there anymore. The rest of my bandmates in The National were more or less leaving New York City, plus we were new parents with two babies. After firing blanks on finding an affordable apartment there, I became obsessed with the Sibcy Cline website where entire houses in Cincinnati (with yards) were beautifully photographed and reasonably priced vis-à-vis the East Coast.

Were you excited to return, or hesitant? A little of both?

Excited. Maybe a bit bummed that the kids wouldn’t grow up in NYC, but I got over that. We’ve taken them back many times over the years for shows. They love the Staten Island Ferry and the pizza.

How has Cincinnati changed since you first left?

I left in 1993 as a clueless kid from Anderson Township and returned as an adult with a different perspective and different ideas of what matters in life. So really everything here seems changed, only the locations remain the same. And there’s a beer bar inside the Hyde Park Kroger now. Why?

How is it the same as before?

Sports are still a really big deal here.

What’s your favorite new discovery since returning?

Cincinnati Parks, the Krohn Conservatory, and Fortune Noodle House in Clifton Heights.

What keeps you here now?

Inertia and Graeter’s.

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