I’ve been wanting to do something like this with Dave Evans since 2005/2006. I’ve yet to meet the man, but I hope to do so one day. He’s always been a gentleman all while being a bad ass! Thank you Dave for the interview, and I look forward to catching you live in the US one of these days (Vegas!), and I’ll be listening to your new EP.
AV: What kept you busy in the 80’s and 90’s?
DE: The 80’s were still full of rock music and I was living in Melbourne, Australia at that time. I put together Dave Evans & Hot Cockerel, which eventually became Dave Evans & Thunder Down Under. I signed with Reaction Records and recorded a self titled album – Dave Evans & Thunder Down Under – produced by Mark Dearnley from England, who had produced hit records in the UK and worked with Ace Frehley from Kiss, AC/DC, and many more top artists; Either as producer or in another capacity during their recording process. The album received airplay and exposure on Television, but after internal bickering and power plays, Reaction folded and the album never got the push that it needed for ultimate success. The band still performed mostly in Melbourne and throughout the state. The nineties were really a non event in music for me; With Grunge music as the popular genre, which did not suit me at all and was nothing short of depressing and negative. I still performed from time to time, but went into the advertising industry and learned a lot about marketing, and ran two successful national industry newspapers during this period.
AV: When did you fall in love with music, and when did you know it was something you wanted to do?
DE: Music was always in my home as my father was a wonderful singer, and we didn’t get television until I was around 15 years old. My father played music every night and I was taught to read books, novels, and poetry. My father would sing at the local stage productions and I would attend as a little boy. I started singing at school concerts and in the school eisteddfods (competitions), so music was an important part of my life from as far back as I can remember.
AV: What are your vocal influences?
DE: As far as pop/rock goes – It was the Beatles first, along with the Rolling Stones, The Troggs, and all British bands from the 60’s when I was at school, and then from the rock/blues genre later on it was Free, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Deep Purple, and others from that genre and era.
AV: Tell us about your very 1st performance:
DE: As I said earlier, I have been performing since I was a child, but my first professional show was when I was 17 years old in a band called In Session; Which was in a small country town in Queensland, Australia where I knew everyone, and it was very exciting. I was very nervous at first until I heard the applause and I just kept on singing until the show was over. I was so relieved that everyone loved it, and boy was I popular all of a sudden.
AV: How about your 1st recording session(s)?
DE: Yes, that was with AC/DC and it was an amazing experience. I had never been inside a recording studio before. It was like being inside a magical cave, full of strange machines and buttons and things going round and round and watching the producers, the famous George Young and Harry Vanda from the recently split up Easybeats, as they worked the recording desk and controlled the recording process. I didn’t say much but just watched as my fellow band members started putting down their tracks, until it was my turn to go out into the large recording room to the big microphone and put on the headphones and stand there all by myself in the spotlight to put the vocals down. I was glad when it was all over and got the thumbs up from everyone.
AV: What album in your career are you most proud of?
DE: That’s a hard one, as some are a little different from the others. Especially “Revenge”, which I recorded with Texas rock/blues legend John Nitzinger. They were all Johnny’s songs, and I interpreted them my own way. So it was a blend of the two styles, Johnny’s and mine coming together as a unifying sound. The album received several 5 out of 5 reviews and one 10 out of 10 so that album is very special to me.
AV: Tell us some of the high points of the early AC/DC days:
DE: So many really. My first show with the band at the famous Chequers Nightclub in Sydney. Our first recordings, our first film clip, the show at the famous Opera House in Sydney, touring with the legendary Lou Reed, and all the fuss made about us by the press and the fans. Hearing our hit record, “Can I Sit Next To You, Girl?” being played on the radio on the hour every hour when on tour in some of the states. What a beginning for a new and young band.
AV: What about that time influenced you in life and music?
DE: Music was and had been all consuming, and I listened to everything that was being played by other bands. The influences for AC/DC were Free, The Rolling Stones, and Chuck Berry.
AV: What are some other Australian bands that you feel were overlooked in the 70’s?
DE: There were a lot of good bands, but only a few record labels; So it was huge to be signed and then get airplay back then. At that time, we were only concerned about ourselves as it was Dog eat Dog.
AV: What are some things you haven’t done or accomplished yet that you’d like to do. What’s next for Dave Evans?
DE: I have done just about most of the things really, at this time in my career. I just released a new 5 track EP on Real Vision Records that I recorded with Norwegian rockers, Barbed Wire. It is called “Wild” by Dave Evans & Barbed Wire. I am on tour in Europe as I write this, and am already planning next years tours, and talking about more recording projects.
Interview by Marcus Miller