Kram interviews Bob Evans

Long before they chose the solo life, Kram and Bob Evans led two of Australia’s best-loved live bands. Spiderbait and Jebediah have a shared history of festival sing-alongs, Triple J Hottest 100-ruling and onstage shenanigans.

With both Bob and Kram heading to Splendour 2009 in their new guises, FasterLouder got them together for a catch-up. Here the bearded drumming powerhouse throws the –  “Kram Questionnaire’ at his old mate Kevin Mitchell. Take it away Kram…

“Hey Bob/Kev – how are ya fella? I have been trying to write some interesting questions about how we both have been in well-known bands for years and then have put out solo albums and what that was like. Were the other guys okay with it, why did we put away distortion pedals and drums for acoustic ballads, and how do you stop the harmonica from biting you if you have a beard? (That always bloody happens to me when I play acoustic and harp).

Frankly, though, they all looked a bit generic and crap on paper so instead I’ve decided to give you...THE KRAM QUESTIONNAIRE!”

Best 20 songs of all time?

Imagine – John Lennon

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Blowin’ In The Wind – Bob Dylan

Can’t Stop Till You Get Enough – Michael Jackson

Lets Stick Together – Al Green

It’s Too Late – Carol King

Protection – Massive Attack

Walk The Line – Johnny Cash

Time Of The Season – The Zombies

KKK Took My Baby Away – Ramones

Two Of Us – The Beatles

Wrong – Archers Of Loaf

I Wanna Be Adored – Stone Roses

Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

Paper Planes – MIA

God Only Knows – Beach Boys

From St Kilda To Kings Cross – Paul Kelly

For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder

Hourly Daily – You Am I

Guess I’m Doing Fine – Beck

Favourite Star Wars character?

Well when I was a kid my favourite was Luke Skywalker. I think, much like being a Beatles or a Stones fan, you were either a Luke or a Han Solo fan, Luke being the Beatles and Han being the Stones. Nowadays my favourite is Chewbacca ‘cos he reminds me of a dog, which I’m sure he was modelled on as a character. He was Han Solo’s best friend. Loyal, protective, prone to aggressive outbursts. Very doggie qualities. And his name’s Chewie, for Christ’s sake! He’s a space dog!

West Coast Eagles or Fremantle?

West Coast. I started barracking for them when they entered the competition in ‘87 and of course watched them win flags in ‘92 and ‘94 before the Dockers joined the comp. I grew up in the Fremantle district and followed East Fremantle as a kid watching the local league, so by all rights I really should have been a Dockers supporter. But when you’ve become loyal to a club and watched them win flags, I found I just didn’t have it in my heart to change teams. At first the Dockers were kind of my second team, but I must admit now to having developed a real disdain for them and their supporters.

Hank Williams or Bob Dylan?

Bob Dylan. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve sorta missed Hank Williams. No one’s really turned me on to him yet and I haven’t really found him myself. With Bob Dylan on the other hand, I’ve bought the records, read the biographies, all that stuff. I guess Bob Dylan is a little harder to miss really. He’s a cultural force. Hank Williams, particularly growing up in Australia, is a little more peripheral. You’re going to have to educate me on Hank Williams, Kram. Let’s smoke some pot at Splendour and have a Hank Williams party!

Greatest Australian band ever?

Apart from Spiderbait and Jebediah? Geez, that’s a tough one, –  “cos after those two they all sort of fade away in to mediocrity. You Am I are the greatest of all time. They were one of the first bands I ever saw play. It was an all-ages gig at the Grosvenor Hotel in Perth in about ‘94. They blew my very young and impressionable mind and I was never the same again. I’ve loved them ever since. I am prone to getting quite emotional over them actually. They stir something up inside of me that I can’t quite explain, but I know they have the same effect on many others so I’m not worried about sounding weird.

Your views on the imminent death of analogue TV?

I can’t afford cable, so if digital TV gives me more stations to choose from then I am very happy, as I am a shocking television addict.

Any songs you forgot to include when you programmed rage?

I programmed a lot of stupid songs and songs that I was kinda into at the time, but only –  “cos I was going through a certain phase. I haven’t actually done it in about seven years so it’s hard to remember. I programmed a Nikki Webster song called Strawberry Kisses –  “cos I thought it would freak out the stoners late at night. When I actually watched it back, it wasn’t funny at all. It just made me feel kind of sick in the stomach. So I probably should have programmed Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock or something.

Greatest Jebediah/Spiderbait moment.

There are two that spring to mind. The first was quite some time ago, I think maybe around the late –  “90s or early noughties and Jebs were supporting Spiderbait on a run of University O Day shows in New Zealand. I think you broke your leg or ankle or something. I seem to remember you playing the first gig in great pain, then after that you couldn’t play. Instead you introduced us on to the stage wherever we were and then Jebs became the headline act which was rather exciting. There’s a lesson in rock –  “n roll there. Let your guard down for a second and some little shit will steal your gig.

A rumour actually made it back to Australia that I in fact inflicted the damage on you myself to take you out! Can you believe that? A journalist actually asked me about it some time after the event and I was flabbergasted! The other time was at a gig down South of WA and Chris from Jebs got wasted and joined you on stage for a few songs and tried singing along, but didn’t know the words. I was mortified. Thanks for being so cool about it!

Bob Evans and Kram will both be making the trip to Splendour In The Grass this July, to play, smoke pot and listen to Hank Williams. If you missed it, check the second Splendour line-up.