An Interview With Morgan Evans


I firstly just wanted to congratulate you on your possible Logie nomination.
It’s pretty funny! I think it’s funny anyway. I think it’s awesome but it’s funny! It’s a huge deal. It’s something that’s never even crossed my mind. A friend of mine took a photo of the Sydney Morning Herald article when they announced it and texted it to me. I consider myself a musician and I do the TV stuff for the Country Music Channel obviously but I always considered it in a musical-way rather than a TV-way, I guess.

It would be pretty cool if you do get nominated and you get to go.
I’d love to go and hang out with all the guys and girls from Home & Away and all the other TV shows. Meet Scotty Cam from The Block. Do all that.

So, you’re going to be performing at the Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival.
I am, yes. I love that part of the world for skiing and snowboarding and stuff. I’ve actually been down there a couple of times when it hasn’t been snowy and it’s just a beautiful place so I’m glad there’ll be country music down there as well which will make it even cooler and its always fun to play.

What can people expect from your show at Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival?
Songs from the album – the EP. I’ve just come back from Nashville actually and I’ve got my head into writing as well at the moment, so we’re trying out a few new songs on the road which is always exciting and always nerve wracking but we shall see how people react to them. Above everything else, we haven’t played too much this year until last week and then right through until the Snowys Festival so I’m really excited to get up and play some music.

What’s it like performing in such a unique venue like Thredbo?
You always feel bad at some venues like that because last time I found there they had the stage set up at the bottom of the ski field. You know, they don’t ski at this time of the year but from the stage you’re looking up over this mountain range – it’s almost a better view than the crowd playing. It adds to the excitement. As you start driving out on that winding road into Thredbo, it’s always exciting and you get to play music at the end of it which is what it’s all about.

Do you have time to see any of Thredbo when you’re there?
Absolutely. The guys from the band are really hardcore mountain bikers so they’re super keen to get up and ride some trails and stuff like that the next day. We will try and make some time. We’re driving down there so I guess we can just take it at our own pace.
Being on the road, so often you get there and you have the sound check, then you have to get ready for the show, then you do the show and then you have to pack up after the show. Before you know it, your time is over but we’ll try to squeeze in a couple of hours the next morning.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing perform?
They’re all sort of friends of mine on that bill. Adam Brand’s on there, The McClymonts – I’ve known them all since we were all 15 at school, so it’s always good to catch up with those guys. Catherine Britt, another Newcastle girl, I never see her in Newcastle so I’m sure I’ll see her down there. I mean it’s just good to hang and catch up for us so there’s aspect to that as well.

Do you prefer a large festival gig or a small intimate gigs?
You can’t have one without the other, I don’t think as far as I’m concerned. As a songwriter it’s really nice to sit down somewhere like Lizottes in Newcastle, like we’re playing this weekend and you know everyone is sitting there listening to every word you’re saying. And then it’s pretty awesome to get up on a big stage to a thousands people and all singing the same song too. I write music for both situations and maybe that’s the measure of a good song too – if it can stack up in both situations.

Festival gigs must also be good a good opportunity for people for people who may not have heard of you to hear your stuff?
Yeah. Absolutely. I think with country music there’s a real community of people as well so to see or meet someone that just discovered you at that festival because they’re a country music fan, not necessarily ever heard of you and then they like a song or they like the set, then that’s always a huge benefit. Especially when we’re never the biggest band on that bill so it’s always its always great to play to other peoples fans.

Have you ever had any super-crazy stalker moments?
[laughs] Did you say super crazy stalker moments? I don’t think so. I mean that’s one of the things about a country music crowd is they’re all just real cool people. I haven’t had any scary moments, no. I’m wracking my brain as I say that.

How about if I rephrase and ask have you have any memorable fan experiences?
The most memorable fan experience you can get is when you see someone singing the words back to a song you wrote. That’s the greatest feeling that I can think of to do with playing music.
I think the most important part is of music is the expression of a feeling or emotion and then the connection with someone else that feels that. I think that’s the desire to fulfill that when playing on stage and you totally get that when you make eye contact with someone singing the words and every time that happens it’s the best moment ever.

You should try and squeeze your way to playing at the Logies if you’re nominated.
That’d be awesome! Can you put in a word for me? They’d only have to sort out one ticket so then they cover a performer and nominee. So that’d be great!

That’d be perfect! Just bump Jason Derulo or whoever they’ve got this year.
Jason who? [laughs]

That’d be cool as but I’d just be excited to be invited to something like that – that’s like a whole nother world.

It is. But you get to go to the County Music Awards – that’s pretty cool.
Yeah, the Country Music Awards are always fun. The CMCs will be huge this year – they’re really exciting. I’m just seeing it all come together because I’m hosting them so I’m trying to actually find out what’s happening so it looks like it’s going to be pretty awesome. Got some big international artists playing and it’s up in Brisbane this year too which will be new and exciting.

I didn’t know you were hosting.
I am, yeah. It’s a nerve wracking job. I figure if you over prepare you can go with the flow.

It’s all resting on your shoulders – not to put pressure on you or anything.
Oh yeah, thanks for that [laughs] I actually hosted the Golden Guitars in January as well so that was my first experience of it and the first thing I did, I was so nervous! But after a little while, I sort of settled in to it and it’s okay, but I’m sure I will be extremely nervous up there again and then hopefully I’ll settle into it again.

Just have to have a drink before hand and picture people in their underwear.
[laughs] Is that a good combination? Be drunk and then talking to nude people?! I’m not sure if that’ll help. [laughs] As for the drink thing, I find it hard to find some middle ground. I think it’s best to stay sober and then maybe have one after 20 minutes or something like that?

Who have you most enjoyed touring with?
The Taylor Swift tour is one that I’ll never forget because we were playing such a small venue. The atmosphere in there was insane – for that reason I’ll never forget that tour. Then there was the Alan Jackson tour we did as well which it was a year before last and we just got to go around and play all these massive places like Rod Laver Arena and Acer Arena and all these places you go and see your favourite bands play so there’s a buzz involved with that for sure.

How would you sum up 2014 for you? 
It’s the best year I’ve ever had. I brought out my first album and people seem to like it, which is an awesome feeling. And all the messages you get on Facebook, you see when they buy it and it goes on the charts, when the radio plays it and when people like you actually want to talk to me it’s a cool thing all because of the music you made.
It was an awesome year – by far the best one yet and the start of this year has been pretty amazing too. I guess I’m just trying to make the most out of every single moment.

What more can we expect from you in 2015?
Hopefully the best shows we’ve ever played, make every one better than the last. Most importantly the new music that I’ve started work on I’m most excited about that. It’s interesting to see where it will all go musically at this point.

You’re working on a new album?
Yeah, writing it and working on it and it should come out this year for sure. We’re aiming for an album to be out this year and hopefully a single sooner than that.

Whose album are you loving at the moment?
I’ve been listening to a lot of American country music recently. I’ve been in Nashville so I’ve been cruising around with the radio on. Gary Clark Jr always gets a pretty strong play in my car as well. He’s a blues guitar sort of soul dude. I just listen to Gary Church, Keith Urban and Sam Hunt – who’s a new kid of the block. He’s doing really well.

Why do so many musicians go to Nashville?
It’s just a musical center of the Earth at the moment. Everyone from LA and New York, London and Australia all going there to make music which makes it just an awesome place to be because you’re surrounded by all these people just wanting to create and escape into the studios and make music. It’s an inspiring place to be for sure.

Lastly, do you have anything to say to your fans?
Thanks so much for all your support so far and I can’t wait to see you down there in the Snowys and playing some music for you.

If you’d like to find out more about Morgan – and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you? Follow the links:
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Originally posted at the AU review

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