Interview with Evan Dando by Jeff Magill & Gary Gilliland
From The News Letter, Belfast 7th November 2003
DON'T be misled
by the title of Evan Dando's latest record, Baby I'm Bored; as life
seems sweet for the former Lemonheads frontman and grunge pin-up.
About to embark on a tour of the UK and Ireland, the strength and appeal of his jangley, hippish folk-rock has meant the Boston-born star has outstayed many of his peers from the Seattle explosion of the early 90s. He still continues to fill many stereos and venues with his easy-going vibe.
Evan's last gig in the Province a couple of years ago saw an intimate
and feel-good showcase of classics such as Shame About Ray, the vulnerability
of Big Gay Heart and infectious Alison's Starting to Happen. He filled
the room with chilled joy and is looking forward to more of the same
on this new solo tour.
"It's going to be acoustic. I've toured with a band for the last 10 months so it's changed things a bit," he says.
"There'll be a smattering of everything. I've been playing a lot
of guitar lately and I'll be playing some real old stuff as well. I'm
really ready to start work."
Of course, for a while Evan was practically as famous for his fair, long haired all-American cool looks as for his music. Guys wanted to be him and girls wanted to be with him. This, coupled with the Lemonheads' hugely successful rock-out cover version of Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs Robinson, propelled him into the spotlight, adorning magazine covers and the bedroom walls of teenagers along with Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.
The temptations of a rock 'n' roll lifestyle also presented themselves
and Evan, who wrote the emotive My Drug Buddy, experienced the highs
and lows. With that behind him, however, it's a period of life that
the songwriter is philosophical about now.
"It was very crazy. I kind of liken it to video-taping a party. It's not interesting to talk about now but it may have seemed like fun at the time," he says.
Calling the 1992 Lemonheads' album It's A Shame About Ray, the band's "best sonically", he has given the world many dreamy anthems, but now, as a solo artist on this side of the millennium, he is equally as mesmerising on Baby I'm Bored. And, if that isn't a good enough reason to head for the Empire gig on Monday, November 10, his fondness for this part of the world should bring even more warmth and feeling to the show.
"I've been going to Ireland since the '80s; I'm a long-time fan. I was on a James Joyce field trip at high school and we went to the cliffs at Galway and there was a bit of Yeats in there, too," he says.