What do you do when you have been a rock star for 20 years? Keep writing new songs, and explore new ways of performing them…
That is what Kevin Mitchell AKA Bob Evans plans to do after finishing his latest tour next month.
Bob Evans is performing at the Indian Ocean Hotel in Scarborough next Friday, 16 August, and Fremantle’s The Aardvark the following night, 17 August.
While Mitchell does have several significant gigs to finish off the year with his other role – as front-man to indi-rock staple Jebediah – this is the last tour of the year for his alter ego Bob Evans.
At the end of this tour Bob Evans will be going off ‘Into the night’ to spend some time deciding what to do next.
Mitchell said this was the first time in 14 years he had been in the position to do that.
“I am at a stage in my career and in my life where I think I have a few options open to me and so I’m looking forward to taking some time to explore those,” he said.
“I want to take some time away and I don’t want to go on tour again until I have new material.
“Hopefully I will be back in the studio recording early next year – and maybe back on the road soon after.”
Mitchell says he is open to anything right now – but he also has a vision and a plan.
“I have an idea of what I want to write about, and what it will sound and feel like,” he said of the new album he is planning.
“I have been listening to classic rock from the 70s and 80s – Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen – and I’m interested in making a record for adults, to not feel that I have to make something kid-friendly or super-accessible.
“I want it to reflect where I am at in life. Something a bit rough around the edges, and not as poppy as my previous records have been.”
In the past 12 to 18 months the 41-year-old has performed as Bob Evans doing solo shows, three-piece shows, full-band shows and a duo show – but this tour is just Mitchell playing solo, enjoying some of his older work but also playing some of his new material.
Mitchell describes his Bob Evans work as a hobby that grew.
And yes it is true that he created the name from the writing on a t-shirt. He said the name was created with as much strategic planning as the ‘Bob Evans’ project itself.
“I put such little thought into it, but names tend to stick and I didn’t go into it with any glossy ambition – I was just fumbling the ball but always managing to move forward … “
“Actually, that sums up my whole adult life!”
But don’t let his humility fool you.
As a 25-year veteran musician – Jebediah burst onto the national music scene with chart-topping success when they were high school graduates in the mid-90s – Kevin Mitchell is a man who knows what he likes and knows what he is doing.
He generally knows what needs to be done with his songs once they start creating a life of their own.
“I have always had a clear vision for what I’m writing,” he said.
“When I’m writing I’m in a particular mood and my writing fits two sides of the same coin – Jebediah or Bob Evans – and nine out of 10 times it’s clear from the start what I’m going to do with the song.”