About Bob Evans
Bob Evans is the charming alter-ego and solo project of Australian recording artist Kevin Mitchell, who also fronts alternative rock band Jebediah and is one quarter of Basement Birds.
With a sound that breaks away from the overarching acoustic and somewhat alt-country style of previous records, the new EP "The Double Life" brings in the acclaimed Dean Reid (Marina And The Diamonds, Mystery Jets) for production duties, recorded at Sing Sing Studio in Melbourne. The new music showcases a progressive pop sound and an artist brimming with newfound inspiration.
The forthcoming full-length Bob Evans album is set for release in early-2013, marking the fourth studio release and a new chapter in the Bob Evans story. It follows on from the beloved 'suburban' trilogy; "Suburban Kid", "Suburban Songbook"; and most recently, "Goodnight, Bull Creek!"; which earned the artist dual 2009 ARIA Award nominations for Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Album.
A talented singer/songwriter, Bob Evans achieved the award for Best Male Artist in Rolling Stone Australia's 2007 annual reader poll, was a finalist for 2007's Australian Music Prize, and a strong contender for the lauded J Award in 2006. Bob Evans' second studio release, "Suburban Songbook", picked up the 2006 ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album, chalking up Gold accreditation in the process.
KEVIN MITCHELL & BOB EVANS IN CONVERSATION
KEV - This is the first time we’ve ever spoken to one another via the keyboard of a computer. Our conversations are usually less structured. We do, after all, inhabit the same psyche.
BOB - Well we've been in conversation for years really haven't we? Be careful, you're the one they'll call crazy.
KEV - It's been an unusual few years since we made "Goodnight, Bull Creek!" hasn't it? During that time I was in Perth making records with Jebediah and Basement Birds simultaneously and both those records came out one after the other and I toured them both and before we knew it three years had gone by!
BOB - It was a good chance for me to catch my breath. You needed to see other people and I needed to be alone for a while. It sounds dysfunctional but it was actually the best medicine for us both. It gave me a chance to map a new course for us creatively.
KEV - So where did the new batch of songs come from?
BOB - From you stupid! Whenever you weren't busy with Jebediah we were working on new material. At first it was very experimental. All we really knew was that we wanted to do something different, something that reflected where we were at in the present, rather than where we had been in the past. The songs slowly started piling up and they were imbued with a new energy inspired by loss, love and hope. There was a deeper philosophical leaning to what we were writing together that wasn't so much about our life in the suburbs but by our existence in the greater world and what it all meant.
KEV - Sounds pretty heavy. I must admit that the time I spent back in the saddle with Jebediah really inspired my approach to working with you. It was exciting to think that we could be anything we wanted to be and that we didn't need to feel tied stylistically to what we had done before.
BOB - I like to think that I bring out the artist in you Kevin.
KEV - You often do. You also bring out the drunk in me! (much laughter by both men ensues). Making the record at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne was a nice feeling for me as I'd made the first two Jebediah records there as a young fellow so I had good memories of the place but it was your first time there!
BOB - I'd never been in such a nice studio before! We recorded the album with a London based American producer named Dean Reid. He was great to work with as he really understood the intention of the adventure that we trying to pursue and encouraged us to follow it.
KEV - We were also helped out by some extraordinary musicians...
BOB - We talked a lot about how important the rhythm section was going to be for this record as we were relying less on acoustic guitars for these songs and more on feel and atmosphere to get them across.
KEV - I just happened to meet an amazing producer and bass player named Tony Buchen in a restaurant in Sydney earlier in the year and we got talking about the album I was writing and he became very enthused about it and told me that he was friends with our favourite drummer in the world, an American named Joey Waronker who drums for Beck amongst others. It was a wonderful moment of synchronicity that led to both of them forming the rhythm section for the album. There was a pretty specific feel that we wanted to achieve and with Joey and Tony in our back pockets we knew we had the best foundation in the world.
BOB - Yes. Conceptually it felt quite cohesive from the start but that is because of what you were going through.
KEV - Well in the time between our records together I experienced the grief of losing a member of my extended family and the joy of having my first child. The experience of witnessing death and new life close up like that was profound to say the least. Those are the two experiences that book mark the beginning and the end of the album and everything that happens in between is a reflection on both. You can’t help but ponder your own mortality but it also led me to thinking about my place not just in the world but the wider universe as well.
BOB – The end result is that life is beautiful in all its sadness and its joy and hopefully we’ve created something that goes some small way in telling that story from our own point of view.