Hi Bob, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been well thank you. I’m in Adelaide at the moment just finishing up a show for the Adelaide Fringe Festival. It’s not my own show, it’s a tribute to the artists that died at 27 years of age, called the 27 Club. I get to sing Nirvana songs which is a lot of fun.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Concrete Heart”?
I had the music for this one years ago but just never finished it, so it’s a bit of a leftover from my last albums writing sessions. I revisited it and the lyric for it came and it just all fit together. It’s a response to the accusation of being a ‘bleeding heart’. I just find it to be such a funny diss. I wear it like a badge of honour. So it’s my response to that and saying, ‘okay, we’re different’.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Not one event in particular, I think it’s just the result of an accumulation of social media experiences. You know, they warn you not to read the comments section on things but sometimes I get sucked in to it and it can become quite depressing.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
My friend Arlo Cook, who made the clip to “Born Yesterday”, made this one too. We shot it in a day in Castlemaine, Victoria. The band are set up in the front bar of the Bridge Hotel. It was a pretty straight forward day really. We shot the band stuff first in the morning and then the rest in the late afternoon. We wanted to get a bit of that sunset light.
The single comes off your new album Tomorrowland – what’s the story behind the title?
So much of what the songs are about revolve around the concept of time. It starts with a song called Born Yesterday and ends with a song called End of the Day. I was thinking about how when we look back, our memories are far from perfect record keepers and people remember the same events differently, so there is a certain mystery about the past, just as there is with the unknown future. I think at this moment in my life I have never felt such an unsettling anxiety about the future and the challenges we have ahead of us.
How was the recording and writing process?
I started writing for this one in late 2016. Then I put out a best of in 2018 and chose a song called “Drowning” to put on that. The other songs I had at that point kind of fell by the wayside. I had an idea of the kind of album I wanted to make, something that captured the sound of the band playing in a room and also something a bit tougher sounding. It took a few years before I started to really collect good songs that fit within my vision. I guess by the end of 2019 I was ready to go and we made the album in March 2020. Then of course the pandemic hit and I spent all of 2020 just slowly putting the finishing touches on everything and the art work, video etc etc while we waited for a time that we could release the album and tour it.
What role does Melbourne play in your music?
Not as much as it used to. I moved to Melbourne from Perth in 2008 and stayed there til 2014 when we moved out of the city to the coast. My band are all staunch Melbournians however and they all play in a million different bands, so I guess my love of Melbourne is filtered through them a bit. I definitely feel like my band mates create a kind of link between me and a lot of Melbourne bands and people.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Well, musically speaking I am always hearing ideas for songs in my head. The music is always swirling around so I don’t really do anything other than try and seize those moments and see what I can make of them. Lyrically, I was inspired by the people in my life, my family and my friends as well as where we are headed as a society.
What else is happening next in Bob Evans’ world?
I have a few shows here and there, in Sydney and in Echuca on a paddle steamer! The album comes out in April and I will be crossing my fingers that I might be able to tour it soon afterwards. It’s a moment in time that is being defined by it’s volatility and constantly changing parameters so I’m just doing my best to navigate all of that and just be ready for anything.