Kevin Mitchell (a.k.a. BOB EVANS) is a busy man. Having only just finished his tour with Josh Pyke (selling out shows, including Canberra), he’s back out on the road to give us his solo show. Accompanying both these tours is the release of more music (highlighting his prolific songwriting). Oh yeah, and he’s also the lead singer of seminal ‘90s group Jebediah. What was clear when chatting to him about all of this was his passion for music, and happiness with where his career is currently at.
“I always planned that after the record tour I would go back out on my own and get to other places, but the Josh Pyke tour kind of came along and I really wanted to do it. So I decided this tour could just wait.” Aptly titled ‘On My Lonesome’, this tour has Bob performing completely solo in some intimate venues. We are lucky to be hosting him at The Front. It’s tiny size and capacity creates a strong connection between the artist and audience, which should suit Bob perfectly.
In support of this tour he is also giving away an EP of unreleased tracks with ticket purchases. “It’s been in my mind for years that I would love to find a way to release home recordings, because the reality is I spend so much time at home recording alone and no one else is really a part of that, so I wanted to get those songs out there to invite people in.”
Between both Bob Evans and Jebediah, Kevin has quite a repertoire of tunes now. As a prolific songwriter, I was curious about his process. “A lot of those initial sparks will be when I’m doing really mundane things. I’ll then record some of those melodies and ideas onto my phone. I set a time where I go to work, go into my studio and work on those ideas.”
Given his solid songwriting work ethic, I asked about when we can expect another album. “I’ve got a general idea of the sort of record I want to make and I’ve got a bunch of songs that fit, but it probably won’t be until the end of the year that I’ll have a strong idea. I normally need to write 30 or 40 songs before I’ll get close.”
Despite my reservations about asking about Jebediah, Kevin happily indulged me after I referred to my pleasant experience seeing them at a recent Day On The Green. “It feels like there’s more interest in our band now than ten years ago,” he says. “We have some spots supporting Midnight Oil, then there’s a bunch of other stuff that’s gonna happen that hasn’t been announced yet. There will be a bunch of Jebediah shows.”
As a fan, I thanked Kevin for indulging my nostalgia and giving us Jebediah shows, but I also asked him how he balances between Bob and his old band. “From a creative view I enjoy it, because they tend to feed into each other. The more I start doing Jebediah, the more I feel the urge to do something quieter, and vice versa. They’re like family, so every time we go away and play shows it kinda feels like I’m having a weekend with my friends and we get paid really well for it,” he says. “It’s a really cool opportunity that we all enjoy. On a practical level, if I didn’t have both I’d have to go mow lawns or deliver pizza.”
If you can get in quick enough, join the intimate crowd with Bob Evans at The Front on Thursday April 20. Tickets are $27.50 through bobevans.com.au.