Interview with Mark Evans of AC/DC
EC: What bands/artists did you like when you first started listening to music?
Mark Evans: I was exposed rock n roll at a very young age as I’m the youngest of 4 in my family. Some of my first memories are dancing withy a bunch of teenagers to Elvis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, great memories too, I would have been 3 years old. As a teenager I was into The Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Creedence. When I got interested in playing I was into Free, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath…but The Stones have always been a fave.
EC: Was bass guitar your first instrument that you picked up?
Mark Evans: I started with an acoustic guitar, and then got a bass because some guys I knew had a band and needed a bass player and I was desperate to be in a band.
EC: Are there any recordings of your first band Judd that may ever come out?
Mark Evans: That was my very first band, there were no recordings made thankfully. If there were I would buy them at any price and destroy them!
EC: You started playing bass with AC/DC in 1975-what was the most memorable show that year?
Mark Evans: During 1975 we would have played close to 400 shows so there were many highlights and on the other hand a load of crap gigs too. We were hired to play in a major department store in Melbourne, Myer Emporium for 4 lunch time shows during school vacation. We only played 10 seconds of the first show, the place erupted in a riot and the store got wrecked; we got paid for the four gigs though.
EC: Was the first record you played on TNT?
Mark Evans: Absolutely the first, it was the first time I saw the inside of a recording studio.
EC: The Australian versions of High Voltage and TNT were sliced and diced for the US market record. Do you think this watered down the songs impact?
Mark Evans: I think the tracking listing of the international version of High Voltage was a wise choice, it was much more representative of where the band was at the time.
EC: What do you remember most about the sessions for Dirty Deeds Done Cheap?
Mark Evans: How quickly it was recorded, two weeks from start to finish and that included writing the songs too.
EC: What was the recording highlight for you on Let There Be Rock?
Mark Evans: Recording the title track, Phil was amazing. That is just a killer drum performance. Working with Phil in the rhythm was a dream, there is no better rockdrummer in the world in my opinion.
EC: Can you describe in general how the songs came together in the studio?
Mark Evans: Very quickly through necessity. The three albums I worked on TNT, Dirty Deeds and Let There Be Rock were all written and recorded in a two week period.
EC: Were you and Phil Rudd involved in the songwriting process?
Mark Evans: Not at all.
EC: What shows with AC/DC stand out for you in 1976?
Mark Evans: The Marquee Club in London. We did a run of Mondays nights in August ’76 that really got the band rolling in the UK.
EC: What was the biggest audience you played for in AC/DC?
Mark Evans: Reading Festival in England, 1976, probably 50,000 people and we stiffed, got virtually no reaction from the crowd.
EC: What’s your favorite memory of Bon Scott, inside or outside the band?
Mark Evans: His personality.
EC: What songs that you played on are some of your favorites?
Mark Evans: “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” is my favourite. “Problem Child,” “Let There Be Rock.”
EC: Post AC/DC, you briefly toured the US with a band called Heaven. What was playing with Motley Crue like?
Mark Evans: I was warned the Motley Crue were hard guys, big partiers and then I meet them and they are wearing make-up and chicks’ shoes; I think their PR people got a bit carried away, not easy to look hard when you have girls’ shoes on.
EC: What musical project after AC/DC are you most proud of?
Mark Evans: What I’m doing now, it’s an acoustic blues/roots duo with a great singer named Dave Tice, he had a band with Pete Wells named Buffalo, Pete went on to form Rose Tattoo. They were pals for over 40 years.
EC: How did you like entering the music publishing arena and working with bands like Midnight Oil?
Mark Evans: It was cool, a very steep learning curve being on the other side of the business, I enjoyed very much indeed.
EC: What do you enjoy the most about your latest project-Tice/Evans?
Mark Evans: Going back and playing the blues with just two acoustic guitars and Dave’s super voice. It takes it all back to the roots, great way to build new tunes too.
EC: What was the real situation with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-you were nominated but then disinvited?
Mark Evans: No idea really, you would have to ask the Hall of Fame.
EC: Do you ever have any recent contact with your former bandmates in AC/DC?
Mark Evans: No, we move in very different circles, there is no contact whatsoever unfortunately.
EC: Do you have any upcoming new music projects on the horizon?
Mark Evans: Yes, I have a new band The Dynosaurs, two guitars, bass and drums and it is LOUD.
EC: They say you can never go home again-but some people have. Take Phil Rudd as an example. If Cliff Williams retired tomorrow and Malcolm called you-what would you say?
Mark Evans: Yes, of course !
EC: Thank you very much for your time.