An Interview with Dave Evans

Interview by R. Scott Bolton
April 2006

Ask any casual heavy metal fan who the original vocalist for AC/DC was and you're likely to get a self-satisfied "Bon Scott!" screeched back at you. That's when you bet somebody a beer and enjoy a freebie while they read the following interview and learn that -- not only was Dave Evans the original AC/DC vocalist -- he's had a fairly successful career and is still putting out thunderous CDs, like "Sinner," which was just released in the U.S. this year.

Mr. Evans was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer some of questions about "Sinner" and, of course, his time with AC/DC (you knew we had to ask). I really want to talk about the new CD, "Sinner," but know that readers would never forgive me if I didn't ask you a little about your history with AC/DC. Can you briefly tell us about your stint in the band and why you eventually left?

Dave Evans: Along with the two Young brothers, Malcolm and Angus, Colin Burgess on drums and Larry Van Kredt on bass I am a founding member of AC/DC and the original lead singer. We founded the band in late 1973 and did our first gig at Chequers Night Club in Sydney, Australia on New Year's Eve where we performed mainly Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Free covers. Chequers was Sydneys Number 1 night spot and we performed in jeans and t-shirts at that stage but still wowed the crowd with the intense energy of the performance. It was not long before we got a record contract with Albert's Music label and recorded our first single "Can I Sit Next To You Girl" b/w "Rockin' in the Parlour." We also recorded "Soul Stripper" and "Rock N Roll Singer" towards the release of our first album. Just before the single was to be released Malcolm told the band that we were to do a film clip and we had a huge outdoor concert at Victoria Park coming up to launch a national tour and that we needed a different image to capture the attention of the public and the rock media. He said that they had decided that Angus was to wear a schoolboy uniform with short pants as he was just a touch over five foot tall and could pass as a young schoolboy even though he was actually 19 at the time and we would put his age back to 16 as a great gimmick. Malcolm would wear a satin glam jumpsuit and for the other three of us to come up with equally outrageous and colourful costumes - which we did. The single took off for us up the charts (it was voted that year as the Australian single of the year) and we toured throughout Australia doing a few support gigs for Lou Reed who happened to be in Australia at the time. In the beginning Malcolm and I had been good friends but we had entirely different upbringings. Angus and Malcolm were still living at home with their parents and were part of  a very close and supportive family. I had left home at 16 after a huge row with my father over my long hair and had headed for Kings Cross in Sydney which was a pretty rough environment. Although it was the gambling, drugs and prostitution centre of Sydney it was also where aspiring artists and musicians lived. It was quite an experience and a place where at times it was Heaven and other times it was Hell. I grew up in a hurry and was quite a wild young man in those days. I guess there was quite a culture clash between myself and Malcolm and our personalities just clashed too many times. My attitude was also very popular with the public as it was the 70s and everyone was a rebel or wanted to be. Anyway, the long and the short of it was that there became an almost pathological resentment towards me from Malcolm in particular and, as his older brother George (of EASYBEATS fame) was the Artist and Management manager of our record label, I had no chance of staying with the band. I had actually left the band in Adelaide after a huge argument but stayed on to finish our booking obligations in Perth. After arriving back in Melbourne and performing at the last gig of the tour we had a meeting at our hotel and that was when Malcolm said I was no longer in the band. I flew back to Sydney the next day. Okay. Thank you. Now onto the new CD. Tell us a little about "Sinner."

Dave Evans: I have been touring in Europe over the past few years and had been asked persistently by fans and the media alike about when I was to bring out a new solo album. After I returned to Australia in late 2004, I got in touch with Mark Tinson, who had been the other principal songwriter along with myself in our former band, RABBIT. Mark had been producing records since the early 80s and had written songs for other Australian artists. We both had demos of songs or ideas for songs and we agreed to get together again along with some of our friends and former band mates to record an album which Mark would produce. We all headed to Newcastle, just north of Sydney, and it was just great to be in the studio with some of the 'gang' again. As Mark said to everyone "how hard can it be?" whereupon we all laughed and said "let's do it." This is the music that Australia created in the 70s through to the 80s and was our music. It only took three weeks to finish the entire album and most of the guitar lead breaks were done in one take. There were no ego bullshit, just everyone enjoying themselves with their peers. It was all stations ROCK!!!! Why the CD title "Sinner"? Or do the lyrics of that song answer my question?

Dave Evans:  "Sinner" was already one of the tracks recorded before I came up with the title for the album. I have been asked so many times about what had happened between me and the other guys in AC/DC that "Sinner" seemed an appropriate statement about being just too bad for the baddest rock band in the world. Still the number One Rock n Roll rebel without remorse!!!  Still unforgiven but unbowed!! Whatever!!!  All I know is that you can't be a Saint if you love to Rock'n'Roll. You've got a great band backing you on "Sinner." Tell us a little about them.

Dave Evans: Mark Tinson, who played guitar in RABBIT, produced the album and wrote or co-wrote tracks on the album. Dave Hinds, who played lead guitar on half the tracks was also a guitarist with Rabbit. Simon Croft, who played guitar on a few tracks was guitarist in my band Dave Evans and Thunder Down Under in the 80s. Ngariki played bass on most of the tracks (Mark Tinson played bass on a couple) and lead guitar on three tracks and has worked with Mark for many years in Newcastle. Mac on drums is another Newcastle boy who has worked with Ngariki and Mark for years. These guys are Australian Rock. "Back on the Firing Line" has has entered my sub-conscious and won't leave. It's one of those great songs that stays with you. Do you have a favorite track on the CD and, if so, why?

Dave Evans: I always open my performance with "Back on the Firing Line" and it has just so much impact. I do love all the tracks but "Out in the Cold" still haunts me and takes me back to Kings Cross and into the seemingly entrapped hopelessness and despair of living in Skid Row. "Sinner" has a great energy level throughout. How do you stay in shape, both physically and mentally?

Dave Evans: When I am performing it is no trouble to stay in shape physically as I give all I have on the stage and the feedback and appreciation from the audience gives me such a positive emotional high and keeps me going for the next performance. Otherwise I do train at the gym a couple of times a week and make sure I go for a regular jog around the park. I like to relax whenever I can and do this by reading or listening to music and being able to enjoy just being with close friends who I can be myself entirely with. You're touring the U.S. with Black Zodiac this year. How did that tour come about?

Dave Evans: I flew to Dallas from Melbourne late last year to work with some of the local Dallas rock musicians that I had been introduced to by mutual contacts in Europe. The idea was to gig locally and at the same time look for permanent new management in the USA as I had been dissatisfied with my former management which was based in Germany. I finally made contact with Dave Brodsky of DaSBro Enterprises in New York City who agreed to manage me and to tour me with Black Zodiac, one of his new and exciting heavy metal bands out of Tampa, Florida. How long has it been since you toured the U.S.?

Dave Evans: This will be my first real USA tour and I am just looking so forward to performing with the rock fans throughout the USA as I have done for the past few years in Europe. I have to imagine that AC/DC fans, as well as fans of the other band's you've recorded/toured with, are highly supportive of not only "Sinner" but Dave Evans in general. Is that the case?

Dave Evans: Yes. The fans love the album. When I toured with Molly Hatchet last year in Europe the new songs really rocked the crowds and the live reviews were great.  It was also good to see that the album reviews in Europe and Japan were also great and I am now getting the same really good positive reviews of the album in the USA so far.  I noticed that you got a brief mention in the film "Thunderstruck"? Have you seen the film and, if so, what did you think?

Dave Evans: No, I haven't seen the film but friends did say that my name was mentioned as the original singer. Any plans to get back into the studio soon and record a follow-up to "Sinner"?

Dave Evans: I have been in the studio with Mark Tinson and we have almost enough songs for a new album. I will see how we are both placed for time after the end of my USA tour at the end of the year.

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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 31 Jul 2018 23:38:09 -0400