Evermore: creative concepts

Dann, Jon and Peter Hume of Evermore.
Dann, Jon and Peter Hume of Evermore.
In the age of the downloadable single, Evermore is about to release a concept album. Shane Gilchrist discusses creative deliverance and the dangers of taking yourself too seriously with frontman Jon Hume.

As far as sobriquets go, "The Ringleader" fits Jon Hume quite well.

The singer, song-writer and guitarist for Melbourne-based band of brothers Evermore, Hume is also the producer of the group's new release, Truth Of The World: Welcome To The Show, a 13-song concept album that, in the age of the downloadable single, is both commercially and creatively brave.

Having built a career on radio-friendly pop singles such as Light Surrounding You, It's Too Late, Running and Come To Nothing, Hume and his brothers, drummer Dann and bass player/keyboardist Peter, have taken a detour from the mainstream.

Instead they have pored over some of their favourite albums of the past and mixed classic rock histrionics (perhaps minus the guitar solos) with the pulsating textures of modern electronica. And it comes complete with a future-world narrative in which a single media giant dominates civilisation by spoon-feeding propaganda and inane entertainment in equal measure.

"It's nearly three years since [previous album] Real Life came out and over that time we've gradually developed this new album, which has quite a different sound," Hume explained via telephone during a brief visit to Auckland last week. "For us it seemed a fairly smooth evolution, but I guess from an outsider's point of view it is quite sudden.

"I think we just wanted to challenge ourselves and explore something new as a band. A concept album is something we've wanted to do for a really long time. We grew up listening to some really cool albums," Hume says, running through a quick inventory that includes The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall and The Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia.

Hume says Truth Of The World has also been influenced by Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451 as well as visits to the United States and United Kingdom.

"It was a lot of fun to imagine. We spent a lot of time reading trashy tabloid stories from the UK and US mainly and incorporating those ideas into our lyrics and songs. I remember when we were in America working on our last record; there were these non-stop ads for pharmaceuticals for every ailment you could imagine. That managed to make its way on there as well."

Like many concept albums, Truth Of The World uses a third-person narrative to explore its various themes. The approach allowed the group plenty of room to roam, whether it is from the perspective of The Ringleader (Jon), right-wing newsreader Donovan Earl (as played by Dann) or the Soldier (Peter).