Josh Pyke & Bob Evans reunite for another evening
In 2006, Josh Pyke and Kevin Mitchell – aka Bob Evans – joined forces for a series of one-of-a-kind evenings that fans wouldn’t forget. A decade later and with their bromance and musical prowess stronger than ever, the Aussie troubadours have reunited for ‘Another Evening With Josh Pyke and Bob Evans’. We caught up with the inseparable twosome to discuss lyrics, their true feelings for one another’s music, and why this tour kicks the ass of the last.
What are you most looking forward to about this tour?
Kevin Mitchell: I’m looking forward to hanging out with Josh.
Josh Pyke: Aww!
KM: Performing on stage is a great thrill and I can’t imagine passing up the opportunity to do it with someone I consider a good friend. I’m playing not just my own but Josh’s songs as well. It’s a really unique gig because most of the time I’m either doing Jebediah or Bob Evans and this is something very separate from both of those. It’s also nice to know the reaction to the tour has been so positive so you know you’re not going to play for empty rooms.
How did you first meet?
JP: It was about 13 years ago now. I got asked to support Bob Evans at a show in Cronulla, Sydney, and was super excited because I’m a huge Jebediah fan. My manager drove us both down for the show and we hung out during the hour-long drive from the inner city. Driving back, we were a little bit tipsy and were singing along to songs in the car. It was just good.
About a couple of years later my album started to go well and we wanted to put a tour together. It was at that point we got to know each other properly. Since then we’ve always been really great mates. It’s been a long and fruitful friendship.
What can fans expect from these ‘once in a decade’ shows?
KM: The major difference from 10 years ago is rather than play two individual sets, we’ll be on stage together the whole time – going back and forth from Josh’s and my songs and backing each other up. We’re trying to create a show more special than the run-of-the-mill gig. Hopefully it’s going to celebrate the 10 years of music we’ve been making.
What are your best memories from the last ‘evening’ tour?
JP: (Laughs) I think the moments we can’t remember were probably the best ones. I do remember WA, which was really exciting for me because it was one of the first times I’d been over there, and because it was Kev’s hometown there were some great vibes wherever we played at – what was the venue again?
KM: The Rosemount [Hotel].
JP: Yeah, that’s right. I remember the Rosemount was – and I’m sure it was due to you being a hometown hero – absolutely rare. It was one of the biggest shows I’d ever done and it was absolutely thrilling and a bit of an eye opener for me. It was also the first time I hooked up with all the Perth musos like Kav Temperley.
You both write incredibly poetic and insightful lyrics. Where do you turn to for inspiration?
KM: It’s changed over the years as my life and circumstances have changed. Most recently in [Car Boot Sale] all the songs fit into categories. There’s songs very much about domestic life and the other half of the record are observational. I used to write a lot of songs about relationships but these days I’m writing more about the world. Other people get inspired by movies, art or books; I wish I was one but to be honest I’m not.
JP: You can replicate that exact answer for me. Before I even had any vague notion of turning it into a career, I wrote songs because I was compelled to try and express whatever was going on in my life. It’s the way I make sense out of the world and it’s always the same whether or not I’m a professional musician.
How would you describe the overall vision for each of your latest albums But For All These Shrinking Hearts and Car Boot Sale?
JP: For Shrinking Hearts I never really set out for a vision. I write a bunch of songs and when I’ve got about 20, I pick 10 or 12 that make the most cohesive sense. As cliché as it sounds, my vision for albums is always just to make them organic. As soon as you start to really overthink it, you lose some of the initial charm and magic involved in what got you into it in the first place.
You have both collaborated with many talented Aussie artists. Is there anyone you’re currently working with?
JP: I’m always into collaboration; I love it! It’s the way to keep your juices flowing and you always learn something. I think a studio at home makes it easier. I’ve actually got a young singer-songwriter called Jack Riley coming into my studio next week to do a bit of stuff. I also just recently released a psychedelic-rock EP called Bolters with Dave, an old mate of mine, which we put out last week on Spotify and iTunes.
How would you describe each other’s music in a nutshell?
KM: The main thing about Josh’s music that sets him apart from everybody else is lyrics. I don’t think there’s anybody who writes lyrics quite like Josh. He’s part of a select group of Australian musicians who do things above and beyond, like Paul Dempsey and Tim Rogers – it’s distinctly Australian and intelligent.
JP: That was beautiful! I would describe Kev as one of the most consistently hands-on songwriters I’ve ever met; it’s just like he kisses melody.
KM: [Laughs] I can’t say how much it fucking hurts, too!
JP [Laughs] Even just recently he was at my place walking around the studio tinkering on a guitar, and I was like, “What was that? That’s really good.” And he was like, “Huh? I don’t know!” It’s like he can’t write a bad song.
KM: [Laughs] I’ve written a lot of bad songs.
JP: Well you’ve never recorded them. I don’t actually write as many songs as people think I do, despite writing an album every couple of years. Kev’s done twice, if not more, the amount of albums and that’s a fucking massive achievement.
What’s on the cards for the next few years?
JP: Next year is wide open, which is a first in a long time so I’m excited about that. It’s all up in the air.
KM: For me, this tour will be getting to the halfway point of the touring cycle for the record I’ve made. I’m going to do a bunch of regional touring next year and then I’ve got ideas for the next creative thing I want to do but I couldn’t say at this point in time which of those things will actually come to fruition.
Thu 24 Nov – The Gov, Adelaide SA
Fri 25 Nov – The Pretoria, Mannum SA
Sat 26 Nov – Clancy’s Fishpub, Dunsborough WA
Sun 27 Nov – Live At The Orchard, Perth WA
Fri 02 Dec – Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane QLD
Sat 03 Dec – Solbar, Sunshine Coast QLD
Sun 04 Dec – Soundlounge, Gold Coast QLD
Thu 08 Dec – 48 Watt St, Newcastle NSW
Fri 09 Dec – The Factory, Sydney NSW
Sat 10 Dec – The Street Theatre, Canberra ACT
Thu 15 Dec – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave VIC
Fri 16 Dec – Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC