Bob Evans is the alter-ego and solo project of Australian recording artist Kevin Mitchell, who also fronts legendary Perth band Jebediah. He already has five solo studio albums under his belt, one of which received an ARIA award, and several other nominations followed. His upcoming sixth album ‘Full Circle’ is a best of compilation, featuring a special treat in the form of a brand new single, ‘Drowning’. Set for release in October, he’ll be heading out on a national Australian tour to promote the album.
Kevin is a prolific and successful musician with years of experience, so of course we couldn’t say no to peeking into a week in his life!
A job description in your own words
I run my own small business. It’s kind of like owning and running a small corner store, except I don’t have a shop front as such and instead of selling cans of soup and cigarettes and the like I’m trading in the songs that I’ve made and merchandise. Oh and I travel around playing shows. Okay, so maybe the corner store comparison is getting flimsy but in terms of the size of the business I run, it’s kind of on par I’m guessing.
I’ve never done anything else for work. So, this songwriting, playing guitar and singing thing that I started doing for fun when I was a little kid ended up being my career and now I’m 40 and it’s still what I do. So I guess that makes me a professional musician but I often don’t feel like one.
I play in a band called Jebediah who might play maybe 20 gigs a year these days. It would be more if we had a new album out but at the moment we just say yes when the phone rings and the money is good. I also have a solo thing called Bob Evans. I try to make a new Bob record every three years and play as many shows as I can.
I’ve struck a nice balance between these two worlds where I can do both and rarely do they get in each other’s way. So I guess it is my job to keep writing songs, recording albums and playing live shows as often as I possibly can.
A brief daily journal over a week
For the last seven years, I have been juggling running my business with bringing up two small children. So most days during the week I am going from playing games of ‘Uno’, to answering emails, to taking my daughter to dance class to rehearsing for a gig etc. I try to squeeze my working time in to the hours where I have the house to myself, which is afternoons, Tuesday mornings and all day Fridays.
I try to use Friday as my demoing day, where I can disappear in to my garage and write and record new songs, steadily compiling them until I have an album to make. I will often work in my studio late into the night once the kids are in bed but I can only keep that up a couple of nights in a row before I start falling asleep at inopportune times, like when I’m driving my car.
On weekends, if I’m lucky, there will be a show to play in some exotic locale, like Cairns or Warrnambool, either by myself with an acoustic guitar performing as Bob Evans, or with my best friends Jebediah.
This week, as I have a Bob Evans album coming out and a tour approaching, my child-free hours are being taken up with interviews and press opportunities. Soon I will start rehearsing for the tour, which will be a lot of work as I’ve promised a song raffle, where I will play requests of any Bob song. There’s about 80 that I will need to have up and ready to go. As we get closer I will be spending my evenings driving in to Melbourne to rehearse with Cleo and Esther, who will be accompanying me on piano and violin.
I will also be trying to organise meeting up with guests to record my podcast, “Good Evans, it’s a Bobcast!”. On Friday just gone I went to Paul Dempsey’s house and we chatted for an hour and a half about music and life. I will have to spend a few hours editing the final version together before I upload it online.
Challenges and accomplishments in your week
The great challenge of my week is finding the time to do everything. Scheduling can be a nightmare. Having specific hours during the week where I can be creative and write is challenging. It’s forced me to be more disciplined but I still struggle with it. Sometimes when I feel really creative I’m not able to work and sometimes when I am able to work I don’t feel very creative. The great accomplishments are when I write a new song, start demo recording it and feel like I have something promising. If I’m away playing shows, the accomplishment is in nailing the songs, winning over the audience and getting a top shelf rider to dive in to.
Highlights of the week (pros of the job)
Everyday, I wake up excited about the opportunity to do work cos I love it so much. That in itself is a massive luxury.
Lowlights of the week (cons of the job)
There isn’t much job security in what I do and there is that fear that you are always only six months away from cleaning toilets.
Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field
You gotta be resilient and really self-motivated. I know there are a lot of far more talented musicians than me out there working day jobs dreaming of my life, while I dream of earning their salary. Sometimes I think it’s sheer enthusiasm that’s got me to where I am, rather than any superior talent. A sense of humour goes a long way, cos it is a pretty ridiculous job. Also, surrounding yourself with people who you would hang out with even if you weren’t working together will pay dividends.
If you found Kevin’s week intriguing why not check out our music industry business courses to learn the ins-and-outs of launching your own music industry career! Or if you wish to find out what other exciting hats the industry has to offer, have a squizz through our previous Week In The Life-Of’s!
BOB EVANS NATIONAL ‘FULL CIRCLE’ TOUR – GRAB TICKETS HERE
- FRI 19 OCT | BLACK BEAR LODGE, BRISBANE QLD | 18+
- SAT 20 OCT | LEADBELLY, NEWTOWN NSW | 18+
- FRI 26 OCT | THE GOV, ADELAIDE SA | 18+
- SAT 27 OCT | THE ROSEMOUNT HOTEL, NORTH PERTH WA | 18+
- SAT 3 NOV | NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, NORTHCOTE VIC | 18+