Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with original AC/DC singer Dave Evans. Several excerpts follow:
Blasting-Zone.com: How did you initially become involved with AC/DC? It would seem your exact origins with the group are a bit of a mystery…
Dave Evans: "Well, I was with an Australian band at the time in 1973 called VELVET UNDERGROUND, which was the Australian version of VELVET UNDERGROUND. Whilst I was with that band, they used to speak of a former guitarist Malcolm Young, who was the younger brother of the very famous George Young from THE EASYBEATS. They finally broke up and I was looking for a new band, obviously. I answered an ad in the Sydney Morning Herald for a heavy rock singer into FREE, THE ROLLING STONES and that kind of stuff. When I called about the ad, the person at the other end of the line was Malcolm. He said 'What's your name?' and I said 'Dave Evans' and he said 'Oh, Dave'. He knew who I was because he'd kept in touch with the other members of VELVET UNDERGROUND. So him and two other guys, Collin Burgess on drums, who was famous anyway because of (legendary Australian group) MASTERS APPRENTICES, which was a big band in Australia, and another guy, Larry Van Kriedt on bass, who I had never heard of, said 'Get over here quick.' So I went over there and met Malcolm for the first time. I was really wrapped up with meeting Colin Burgess because he had been a big star when I was still in school, of course. We jammed, it was great and we shook hands and said 'We have a band'. About a week later, Malcolm informer us his younger brother Angus's band KANTUCKEE had broken up (and was wondering) if he could audition for us. We all agreed to that and Angus came along and we jammed with him, it sounded great, of course, so we all shook hands again. That's how the band got together, as it were.”
Blasting-Zone.com: At what point did you realize your time with AC/DC was coming to an end? Was it a gradual process or was there a single incident that ultimately paved the way for your exit?
Dave: "Well, I guess the petty jealousy started with one or two members of the band. Some guys get jealous if you're getting too many girls (laughs) and the other guys are missing out. I didn't really pay too much attention to it, but is just started getting worse and worse until the end where I was virtually going out without them. We had a little bit of time off and I was disappointed because the band was killin' it. We had a hit record on our hands and I was very popular with the band. It was just a personal thing from a couple of the members. But it really came to a head, I guess, in Adelaide when I had a run-in with the manager. We were worried where all the money was going to. We were doing top gigs… we had done the Sydney Opera House, we had done all the top gigs on TV, we'd had a top five hit and we were scraping together money. So we were all a bit worried about what was happening. I'm sure if the manager had explained to us where all the money was going, it would have been okay, but we didn't know what was going on and it came to a head one time. I learned very quickly that you don't go beating up your manager (laughs). That was the end of it, really. But we still had to leave Adelaide to go to Perth because our record was still in the top five over there. So we went over there for about three or four weeks and it was fantastic. We did all the big concerts and all that kind of thing, but by that time, I wasn't really speaking to the manager at all and the other guys weren't speaking to me (laughs). I was still havin' a blast. I was having a fantastic time. I was still popular with the crowds and with the ladies and all that kind of stuff, but when you're not talking to key band members and the manager (laughs), you know that there's something up. I wasn't happy with the band at all. I wanted to get paid at least something. So there was gonna be this big meeting, this big showdown. They just decided that I was out and said 'Here's your ticket back to Melbourne for tomorrow morning'.
Blasting-Zone.com: In hindsight, do you feel RABBIT should have been more commercially successful?
Dave: "I do. We certainly had our records sell in Japan. Back in those days, you really had to have the backing of your record label to get overseas. Not a lot of bands from Australia went overseas in those days. In fact, when AC/DC went over, that was a big thing. They just packed up and went. It cost a lot of money, you had to have connections to people…it was just hard. It was a big thing. Nowadays, it's not so bad. You've got the internet and you can make friends all over the world. You can get in touch with agents yourself, if you want to. You can get in touch with record labels yourself. We absolutely killed it. Everywhere we went, we were a very wild band both on and off the stage. In fact, the gear that we were wearing when I got with the band was tights, boots, braces and stuff like that. It was a great. It was a good look and then KISS came out about a year later with similar clothes and pissed us off (laughs). I said to the boys 'If they have a big hit…these KISS guys from America, then we're stuffed because everyone will think we copied them.' We were down in Melbourne touring and I put on the radio and on came 'Rock And Roll All Nite'. It was a huge hit, of course and the next minute in some of the newspapers we started seeing 'Oh, RABBIT…they're copying KISS.' As soon as I saw that, that was it. I said to the boys, 'We gotta change out of this gear. We're not copying any bastards', ya know?"
Blasting-Zone.com: What are your current touring plans? I'm assuming you'll be touring as much as humanly possible once "Sinner" is released domestically…
Dave: "Well, Destroy All Records, my management and I are all working on a U.S. tour for early next year in the spring when the weather gets a little bit better. But I've also just got a new agent as well, Lane Productions… I want to get back to Europe, of course, but the whole reason why I came to the U.S. was that I'm hardly known here. I'm known in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world like South America, but in the U.S., I'm virtually unknown, so it's about time I got out here. The only way to get known somewhere is to go there, present yourself and cause trouble (laughs). And that's what I've been doing (laughs).”
Blasting-Zone.com: What musicians are you currently working with? Anyone of national or international notoriety?
Dave: "I'm working with some local boys from Dallas. It's taken me a while to get the right guys. I must admit I've gone through a few guitarists and drummers (laughs). This type of music sounds easy to play, but it isn't. It's all about the attitude. That's the conviction in the music. I grew up with this music. It's personal to me…this tough attitude. It's not some pretend thing. This is not some AC/DC cover band. You wonder why the AC/DC cover bands don't sound like AC/DC…well, that's because they're cover bands. AC/DC are the real thing and this music is the real thing, too. It's taken me quite a while to go through and get the rights guys…they have to be able to play the music and they have to have the right stuff to play this music. They're local boys…experienced guys, but there are no real big names in this band. But they've been to hell and back with me, believe me (laughs). I'm not called 'the king of all badasses' for nothin', mate."
Read the entire interview at Blasting-Zone.com.
Rockinbones.net conducted an interview with Dave Evans on September 22, 2007. Watch the 11-minute chat below.