theaussieword.com catches up with Bob Evans.
Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music? I was drawn to music pretty young. When I was about 7 I used to love the tv show Fame about the performing arts school in New York. I asked my mum to enrol me in dancing classes which I did til I was 12. By the time I was a teenager the dancing gave way to playing guitar and lots of acting in amateur theatre productions. When I was about 14 I discovered Ratcat which turned me on to pop songs played really loudly and noisily and soon after that I discovered Nirvana and by the time I was 15 I was a total grunge kid
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? Just trying new things and setting myself new challenges. I’m always listening to music and looking to discover new music, often by going back rather than what is current because there is so much music from the past that I missed and want to appreciate.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist? Just to survive and achieve longevity. I have already achieved things I never even dreamed of, which probably speaks to my lack of ambition. I’ve been really lucky to get to where I have. Now I just want to keep making different kinds of records and stay tuned in to my creative directions and not be scared of going to new places creatively for fear of losing my audience.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour? Yes I’m doing the Full Circle Tour accompanied by violin and keys.
Tell us a bit about your latest album and how would you best describe your music. Full Circle is an introduction to Bob Evans, a compilation of songs both well known and unknown, radio songs and deep cuts that cover five albums over 13 years.
Success, what is the secret to it? Learning to stop looking over your shoulder at what everyone else is doing. Learning to stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Learning that the period in your career where you are fresh and hip and cool blows over very quickly and it’s everything that happens afterwards that will determine whether you sink or swim. Learning that success is staying in the game, not winning it.
What has been your biggest career highlight? That is very hard to answer. I would struggle to name one single event at the exclusion of another. The highlight has been getting to this point where I am right now, with two decades of amazing adventures and experiences to look back on and a big wide open horizon in front of me waiting for my next step. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have made so many records and still be in a position to make another one.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring? Ever since I first started getting in to bands and going to live shows I have been inspired by Tim Rogers, the way he throws himself in to things. Paul Kelly is inspiring as someone who just seems totally in command of his art and his career after so many years and is still climbing new heights. I don’t really get that inspired by big international stars. It’s the local ones that I can relate to that inspire me more.
Any new projects in the pipeline? Working on a new Bob Evans album. It’s going to be different to any record I’ve made before. The songs are starting to take shape and I can see an album beginning to materialise.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? Probably to my detriment I have never really seen myself a few years from now. I hope the next album is successful enough to allow me to pay my bills and more left field, unimagined opportunities fall my way that I can grab on to.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists. I really like the new Emma Louise songs I’ve heard. I like DMA’s. I like that new Ainslie Wills song “Society”. I like watching Paul Kelly be so prolific lately. Gretta Ray sounds good. I saw Mamakin Spender play live recently and they put on a really fantastic show.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? Well it’s changes from record to record it’s hard to keep up. Everything will soon be online. Surely we are seeing the final days of physical print media. Where once there used to be a few media outlets that controlled everything, now it’s splintered off in to a million pieces. I think that’s the result of the modern digital age isn’t it? We have so much more choice than we used to and there is a niche place for everything and anything now that wasn’t there before. Obviously artists aren’t selling as many records as they used to and I’m noticing just how much people are touring now, which for regional Australia is kind of cool. There seem to be a lot more opportunities now for Australian bands over seas that didn’t exist twenty years ago. Overseas success for Aussies is almost humdrum now, whereas twenty years ago it was a much bigger deal cos it happened so rarely. That’s got to be a good thing. Generally though there is just so much music out there being released every single week that it’s super competitive now and harder to be heard above all the noise.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? Cheers! Go well in to the night.