With the release of his sixth studio album under the Bob Evans moniker Kevin Mitchell’s output as a solo performer has now officially surpassed that of his former band Jebediah. Not only was that significant milestone for Mitchell but the album in and of itself was significant because it marked the “beginning of a new chapter” as an artist.
Before even beginning the recording process for Tomorrowland Mitchell knew this record was going to be restart point for his music as his previous contract with EMI had come to end. So for the first time since 2013 Mitchell was a fully independent artist again, something which fought with it a sense of freedom.
“In many ways this record was the freest I’ve felt in a very long time,” revealed Mitchell. “The fact that my record contract had ended it felt like the timing was perfect to forge a bit of a new direction.”
That new direction saw Mitchell blending all era of his music career together to create a record which be believes he “couldn’t have ever done before.” For this record Mitchell says he set out with the “determination not to make anything that was cute sounding” and thus he infused rock element from his days in Jebediah with the Bob Evans folk-pop sound.
“I really wanted to make a record that was tougher and a little bit more reflective of the fact that it was being made by a middle aged bloke. This is not a kids album or an album being directed towards a teenage audience because I’ve outgrown that. I wanted to make an album that reflected the fact that I was growing up.”
In order to achieve this Mitchel recorded this album essentially live to tap with his touring band over the course of six days.
“At this time in my career I’ve grown the confidence to be able to back myself, the band and the songs to go in there and try to capture the live scene… It’s the kind of record that I don’t think I could have done before. It has taken me this long to have that confidence.”
Not only was the recording of Tomorrowland unusual for Mitchell but so was the release, thanks to COVID-19. During our conversation Mitchell explained that the record was actually completed pre-COVID lockdowns, something which he said was very frustrating.
“Like anybody who was affected by the lockdown and everything that came along with the pandemic it was just frustrating not knowing when I could release the record or what to even do in the interim… However there was also a silver lining to it too because it afforded me the entire year to work on all of the other bits and pieces. So I got so much time to do that stuff that I was able to do it really well and get everything exactly as I wanted it to – there were no rushed decisions in order to hit deadlines.”
Now that live performance restriction have been eased Mitchell is excited, and perhaps a little nervous, to be hitting the stage in Sydney this weekend.
“It’s going to be interesting because I haven’t played any gigs for the past year obviously. I also haven’t done a tour for a good couple of years. So I think it’s going to feel pretty new. I think everyone, myself included, is going to be a lot more grateful and appreciative for live music.”
Jun 18. Camelot Lounge, 103 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville. $48.45+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.camelotlounge.com