FEATURE > MARK EVANS
Phil and I were very close, but it went beyond our just being drummer and bassist for the band. We’re both from Melbourne and are
both super keen on Australian football, even though we supported
different teams. But yeah, we were pretty close. You can’t spend
the best part of three years together, playing music and staying in
the same room, without knowing if you like someone or don’t like
someone. I’ve got to tell you what an amazing and great rock ’n’ roll
drummer he is—he’s just out of this world.
The book seems to imply that AC/DC was always Malcolm and
Angus’ band. Did you and Phil feel like you were full members
and equal partners?
I can only comment for myself on this but, from very early on, it
was very obviously Malcolm’s band. Malcolm got Angus involved
with the band, as well as their elder brother George, who was our
record producer. I always very much felt that Phil and I were members of the band—there’s no question about that—but you also
came to realize, without it being stated, that Phil and myself didn’t
have any real input on the direction of the band or whatever the
band was going to be doing, business-wise. Bon may have had a
little more input than us, but he pretty much just went along with
the flow. Once we started going overseas, we were pretty much told,
“This is the deal, sign the contract,” y’know? But we were in the
band. We were all in AC/DC, not for our individual sakes, but for
the common good of the band. You did what was best for the band,
and you did it without question.
Bon was a bit older than the rest of the band—is that why he
often kept to himself and didn’t live in the AC/DC house?
The age gap was certainly quite noticeable. When you’re 19 and
working with someone who’s 29, that’s a big gap—especially
given Bon’s music experience and my being so green when I
joined the band. I also think Bon needed other things outside
the band to keep him happy. Being in that band, there was a
fairly rigid format and schedule, and with Bon being a bit of
a rebel, he could feel a bit suffocated. After a gig, if there was
something happening outside the band, he’d just pack a bag and
take off. There would be no “Hey, I’m going to a party. Do you
want to come?” He was always eager to put some space between
himself and the band, and he was the first to set up domestically
outside the band, too.
And the rest of the band actually lived together in a variety of
houses, right? Do you think that helped or hurt band chemistry?
I think it helped in the early days, since we had such a siege mentality—we didn’t let people into our circle very easily. Initially, it
was a great thing, but once we got to England, Bon split pretty
early to live on his own. I’ve always looked back and wondered if I
should have done the same thing. It may have given me a bit more
longevity with the band, y’know?
The book kind of hints that most of the conflicts with the
brothers occurred when you all weren’t playing music.
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