Helen had a quick catch up with Morgan Evans before he played at The Long Road festival.
Helen– Hi Morgan, welcome to the UK again! You are no stranger here, are you?
Morgan– Thank you. No, I think this is my fourth visit to the UK.
Helen– I was at Buckle & Boots festival two years ago, when you blew the roof off the top of the cow shed! (For those of you who have yet to experience B&B, the festival is on a working cattle farm – the main stage and bar area are located in what are normally two cow sheds!) You were the act of the weekend; the act everyonewas talking about. Were you aware of that?
Morgan– Wow, thank you, I wasn’t aware of that no! I was aware of the fact that I had a really good time, that was my first time in the UK.
Helen– Really? What a way to start!
Morgan– Yeah, it was actually the first time I played Young Againlive too, which I am opening the show with tonight. Yes, I have some good memories from that place.
Helen– The Hancocks, who run it, are really nice people.
Morgan– Yeah, they were great to me. To invite me over at that stage in my career, I had just put out my first song, and for them to want me to be there was just really cool.
Photo credit Colin Jones
Helen– You have got one more date left on your tour over here?
Morgan– Yes, Berlin. We have played Dublin, Glasgow, Liverpool, London & here, then we go to Berlin tomorrow.
Helen– How has your reception been over here, have you been surprised by it?
Morgan– It has been so good, it has been unreal! I was just saying that the fans over here don’t just know the radio songs or the singles, they know everything. We played Dublin first and when we were travelling to Glasgow, the airline that we were on lost all of our stuff! I play with this loop pedal and computers and stuff, and all of it was just gone!
Helen– What a nightmare!
Morgan– Yeah, it was the worst day ever! Anyway we got to the venue and all I had was the one guitar! I just sat on a stool and played the album, from track 1 to track 11, acoustically. The crowd just sang every single word! I was saying to them I am so sorry I can’t put on the show! It actually ended up being a very special night and a perfect example of what the fans are like over here.
Helen– So that wouldn’t happen in America? Well, you wouldn’t lose all your stuff to start with, would you?!
Morgan– No, the airlines over there lose stuff too, don’t worry about that! It is just we have spent the whole year over there opening up for people. We started the year with Old Dominion, then we went on with Dan & Shay, we have also been out with Rascal Flatts, so these are the first headline shows I have played this year, these people just came to see me. I am not introducing myself so much, so there is probably some of that as well! I hope it never happens again but it was a very cool experience in what it was!
Helen– You obviously coped well with it and you have moved on from it.
Morgan– Yes, I didn’t really have a choice (laughs!).
Photo credit Colin Jones
Helen– So, you are Australian.
Morgan– I am yes.
Helen– But obviously you are Nashville based?
Morgan– I live in Nashville now yes.
Helen– So you spend most of your time in Nashville?
Morgan– I spend most of my time on the road honestly. Nashville is kind of where my stuff is and my wife, and I meet up now and then!
Helen– You have been on tour a lot, wasn’t it Taylor Swift you were on tour with?
Morgan– We toured with her a while ago, on her first tour of Australia she took us with her. That was pretty amazing. Country music is a funny thing though, with pop music, people will go out and do a 3 month tour. In Country music though, we just keep on going.
Helen– You are on the road all the time?
Morgan– Yeah, pretty much.
Helen– That must be really tiring!
Morgan– You know what, it has been a pretty tiring year, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It has easily been the best year of my life and I wouldn’t take it back.
Helen– So if you are on the road so much, how are you going to get new music out, how can you write new music?
Morgan– That is the biggest challenge. I will say, the year before we put out Kiss SomebodyI think I wrote 200 or something songs, and then the year after we put it out I think I wrote 10! That gives you an idea of the amount of time I have had. Thankfully this year we have had a tour bus on the road all year. Because I play by myself, I don’t have a band or anything, I bring my producer out on the road and someone else, so I have more time to write.
Helen– Do you prefer writing on your own or co-writing with different people?
Morgan– I grew up writing by myself in Australia, but I think the best thing about Nashville is collaboration, two heads are better than one.
Helen– It happens all the time in Nashville doesn’t it?
Morgan– Yeah, and the best songwriters in the world want to write with the new people in town, because they want to know what is happening next. I have made some of my best friends in the world writing songs with these people, we had so much in common straight away. I will say though that I think some of my best songs for me to sing are the ones I started on my own & then maybe take into a session. I’ll say “Hey guys, I have been working on this chorus, what do you think, this is what I am trying to say” that kind of thing.
Helen– So then you kind of bounce it around.
Morgan– Yeah, it is also helpful for me too, being Australian sometimes writing with Americans, it is almost like having a translator (laughs) because it is a slightly different language!
Helen– I get that, English & American can be completely different languages at times!
Helen– So, we are at the Long Road festival, metaphorically speaking or otherwise, what is the longest road you have been on?
Morgan– Errrm, (thinks) Probably just the musical road, I played my first gig when I was 13 years old!
Helen– 13? Wow, that was your first paid gig, was it?
Morgan– That was my first paid gig, yeah.
Helen – Where was that?
Morgan– It was at … well, my first time playing was at a school music night, but then we also went in this band competition where the prize was a paid gig. We won and we played in this Sports bar called The Albion Hotel, in my home town of Newcastle. There was like, rugby on the TV, and horseracing on the TV behind us! I think we got about 50 bucks to play for four hours, it was great though and a brilliant memory.
Helen–Thank you for your time & enjoy the rest of the festival.
Photo credit Colin Jones