With three successful studio albums and a string of ARIA nominations under their belt, Evermore are Australia’s favourite adopted sons. Laurieton plays host to the trio this month, and Kim Gould talks to Pete about the band’s beginnings, the latest album and their current Australian tour.
You’ve been around music since an early age. When did you first pick up an instrument?
When I was about 7 years old I started playing the keyboard. I started playing because I was getting paid 5 cents a lesson and about a buck for every new song that I learned.
It was something our parents prompted, but we didn’t really get into music until Jon got a guitar when he was about 13. Once he had one, everybody else seemed to want one too. It seemed like a fun thing to do, so we started jamming in the bedroom.
> Where did the passion for music come from?
It’s just something we really loved doing; we’re all really big music fans. There wasn’t really much else to do growing up in a small town, so it seemed like a good thing to keep us busy, but the more we got into it the more we realised that music was what we really wanted to be doing.
> What’s it like being in a band with your brothers?
It seems pretty normal to me, but from the outside it might seem a bit weird. It’s good, because if we ever have any fights we can forgive each other – family always forgives. We’ve been doing this for so long now, and after three albums we’ve got really good ways of working with each other. It’s just really easy for us to work together, which is the best way to be.
We know what makes each other tick and what’s going to get on each other’s nerves. It works really well because we’ve developed together as a band, and things just seem to click when the three of us get together in the band room.
> Many Australian music fans think of Evermore as their adopted sons. What was it like breaking into the Australian music scene?
It happened about 6 years ago. It just seemed really natural to us, because we already had people playing our music over here. Obviously it was pretty tough to start with, because we didn’t really have any connections. We were sleeping on people’s floors and playing to crowds of 5 people, but I guess that was just part of the whole adventure. It’s such a compliment to now be regarded as Australia’s own.
> You got the name Evermore from a Led Zeppelin song. Are there any other artists who have had a major influence on your music?
Crowded House have definitely been a big influence to us, along with all the other music we grew up with – Bob Dylan, The Kinks, The Who and a lot of Brit Pop music. Pink Floyd and The Who are major reasons we have made this new concept album, because that’s the kind of music that really inspired us growing up. Albums like Dark Side of the Moon made us realise how big music can actually be and how it can really take you to another place.
> Your latest album, Truth of the World: Welcome to the Show, is a little bit different to your previous records. What’s it like making and promoting a concept album about trash media, advertising and political propaganda?
It’s been great, because we’ve been able to talk about things other than ourselves.
A big part of making this album was to step outside of ourselves and create something that’s not entirely based on our own experiences. We wanted to pilfer little pieces of information from the most unlikely places. I guess we were looking to create art out of trash with this album.
> You’ve been nominated for several ARIA Awards over the years, including Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Best Group. Did you ever expect that kind of success with your music?
I don’t think you can ever really expect anything in this business. You just don’t know what’s going to happen; things just change so quickly in this industry. If you try to create something that adheres to the latest trend or fad, by the time you’ve finished making the album, the trend is out of fashion. You just have to do your own thing.
> You mentioned Pink Floyd and The Who, but were there any other musical influences for this album?
Timbaland and the hip hop genre were a big influence in terms of the sound and trying to get some different grooves going throughout the album. We tried to capture some of that heavy groove that Timbaland makes work so well.
You can even hear a little bit of Queen in there too. There really was a mixture of different genres and styles that influenced this album. We took things from all over the place.
> Name some of the stand out tracks on the album?
The song ‘Can You Hear Me’ is one of my favourites. It’s the last track on the album, and I guess it’s like the emotional high point. It’s almost like a steam roller song; it just keeps building and building and building until it lets go at the very end.
It’s a bit of a strange song. Imagine if you were having a near death experience and your entire life is flashing before your eyes. That’s really the best way to describe this song.
> You’ve got a couple of gigs coming up across the Mid North Coast. Have you been to the area before?
We’ve done the rounds of Australia many times and have been to the Mid North Coast a few times now. When we first started out as a band, we played to the smallest crowd we’ve ever played to, and that was on the Mid North Coast.
There was just one guy in the audience. There were no bar staff or anything like that, just this one guy who’d come over from New Zealand. At one point he left to get a beer and it felt a bit like one of those “if the tree falls in the forest” kind of scenarios … if there is no-one listening to you playing, is it actually classed as a gig? He did come back, so we dedicated all our songs to him. He comes to all of our gigs now.
> What can readers expect from one of your shows?
We’re going to have all the screens from our latest video clips set up behind us. We’re going to be taking the wall of screens all around the country with us. We’re wanting to put on a theatrical show for our fans this time around.
We want to take people out of the predictable rock ‘n’ roll show setup. You know those shows where the band plays maybe 50 minutes and pretend their set is over, but then they come back for an encore? We want to do some different things with this show, and we’re going to shake things up a bit. It’s definitely going to be an experience.
> Who are your support acts on this tour?
We’re touring with End of Fashion and The Sundance Kids this time around. The Sundance Kids are pretty new so it’s going to be exciting for them, but we’ve known the guys from End of Fashion for years now. They’re a great rock ‘n’ roll band. It’s going to be a pretty big show for everyone.
> Thank you Pete.