Evermore spent much of 2008 in the studio, creating their third album and working with other musicians. Rebekah Campbell had expanded her artist roster on Scorpio Music Management and Evermore were keen to write with and produce other recording artists. Campbell released EPs by these new signings via Warner Music, sometimes on the Scorpio Music label.
Two of the acts, Matt Corby and Lisa Mitchell, gained profile as teenagers by appearing on Australian Idol in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Both musicians successfully transitioned into credible, post-Idol careers with critically and commercially well-received recordings.
Dann Hume produced early EPs for both: Lisa Mitchell’s Said One To Another (2007) and Welcome to the Afternoon (2008); Matt Corby’s Song For (2009) and My False (2010), co-writing some songs with both artists. Mitchell tried to record her debut album in the UK but was unhappy with the recordings, so Dann Hume took over production on her 2009 debut album, Wonder.
The Concept Album
The recording of the fourth album was a lengthy project, stretching from July 2007 to January 2009. They recorded and mixed in their own studio: Room 301, DragonFly Studios in Melbourne. The album was mastered at Sterling Sound in New York.
When Evermore spoke to writer Scott Kara of the NZ Herald in March 2009, the band revealed that they had considered splitting prior to recording their fourth album. “We had to spend some time away from each other,” said Peter. Dann was doing his “singer-songwriter folk thing”. Responded Jon: “That was something that Pete and I struggled to get our heads around and we didn’t know if Dann wanted to do the album.”
Evermore considered splitting prior to their fourth album, but the idea of RECORDING a concept album became a unifying factor
The idea of doing the concept album became a unifying factor. “I had this story floating around in the back of my head, and Dann was struggling to write to my story,” said Jon. “He just didn’t get it. But then he came up with this idea of having news reports coming in between songs and as soon as he said that we went off on this tangent of TV shows, newspapers, ad breaks, and all this product people were trying to sell. It turned into this crazy, over-the-top idea that took on a life of its own. It made us realise we really do like making music together.”
In February 2009 Evermore had released ‘Hey Boys And Girls (The Truth Of The World Part 2)’, reaching No.4. in Australia and No.5 in New Zealand. The single was nominated for the Highest Selling Single at the 2009 ARIA Awards.
To promote the new album, Evermore hit the road with the “Truth of the World: Welcome to the Show Tour”, which started in Ipswich, Queensland, on 25 May and continued through to July. An unusual gig on the tour was playing before the rugby league State Of Origin Game on 3 June at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium.
P!nk In Europe
In 2009 P!nk undertook an unusually large 60-date Australian tour from May to August, playing large and regional cities to a total of over 660,000 people. At some of the concerts, Evermore were the opening act and P!nk was so impressed she asked them to be the opening act on her upcoming European tour. Evermore rescheduled any other gigs they had booked, arranged a European release via Warner Music and headed for Europe.
P!nk had been in Europe in early 2009, but she returned with Evermore in tow in October-November for the second leg of her “Funhouse” arena tour, taking in Ireland, Scotland and England and heading for continental Europe, finishing up late December in Germany.
The tour including a show at the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena in London on 8 and 10 December, where the Evermore performance was recorded for release as a DVD component of their Australian “best of” collection.
The self-titled CD Evermore was released in October 2009 during the P!nk UK tour, a “best of” collection including radio edits of three songs from their concept album and three new songs: the single ‘Underground’, ‘This Is Love’ and ‘Throwitaway’. The Southern Hemisphere releases followed: February 2010 in Australia and March in New Zealand.
In total, Evermore did 70 shows with P!nk and in Europe they played to a million concertgoers.
The Stables Studio
After the P!nk tour Evermore had a low profile while they completed their Stables Recording Studio on a 10-acre former horse farm, 20 minutes from Melbourne airport. The new facility was more than just a home studio, it was a professionally designed facility suitable for recording their own albums or albums by other musicians.
“It was basically a big steel and concrete shed, that we pretty much pulled everything out of and rebuilt over time,” Jon told the NZ Herald in October 2012. Peter added: “We wanted to make sure everything was hand done and using recycled timbers, old fence posts, handmade bricks. A lot of it looks like it’s been there for 100 years, it’s a real mix of stuff.”
But the do-it-yourself build wasn’t going anywhere fast. “We did a bit of building ourselves and realised it would take 10 years if we did it that way, so we got professionals involved,” Jon told Juice TV.
When the speakers were announced for the 2010 “Face The Music” conference at the Melbourne Arts Centre in November, Evermore manager Rebekah Campbell was a panelist. She had a new business venture in addition to Scorpio Music Management, as founder and CEO of the high-profile internet venture Posse.com.
The web start-up idea grew out of Campbell’s dissatisfaction with traditional ways of selling gig tickets such as street posters and paid advertising. When she needed to sell tickets for a 2008 Evermore show in Perth, Campbell engaged the band’s online fan base and rewarded them for helping to sell concert tickets. Out of that grew the idea of posse.com, which launched in August 2010. Campbell retreated from band management into the world of the web entrepreneur.
Rebekah Campbell’s Departure as Manager coincided with the desire of Evermore to engage in other activities
This coincided with the desire of Evermore to engage in other activities – to focus on their studio – and for Jon and Dann, to work as writers and/or producers with other recording artists. In In November 2010 Jon Hume told Paul Cashmere of undercover.fm that the band had finished their record deal with Warner Music and that they were in no hurry to find another record company. “Because we have our own studio it is very easy for us to focus on that and take it from there once we have some songs we want to play people.”
Dann Hume co-wrote two songs with Bic Runga – ‘Hello Hello’ and ‘Good Love’ – for her album Belle (2011). After the platinum success of Lisa Mitchell’s debut album, he also produced its sequel, Bless This Mess (2012).
Follow The Sun
To write the fourth album Evermore decided to buy round-the-world air tickets via exotic places that might inspire their songwriting. They took acoustic guitars and a portable studio with them and headed for Morocco, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires and Madrid.
“A big reason for the trip was to get out of the house, get out of the studio, shake us up, and also to bring us together as well, just the three of us, and we could really focus on the songwriting,” said Peter.
The band has admitted that most of the songs were written in Melbourne on their return, as their travel experiences ate into their on-the-road writing time. However, the weeks living in an acoustic-only music environment caused them to strip their music down, creating an album of songs that could be sung around a campfire.
Evermore released their fourth album through Universal Music in Australia and New Zealand, by arrangement with Parker And Mr. French. The music management company was known for getting major label representation for its clients, with deals that allow musicians to retain ownership of their recordings.
In September 2012, after a two-year hiatus, the band toured some legendary smaller Australian music venues to preview their upcoming album, Follow The Sun: Amplifier, Perth; The Gov, Adelaide; The Zoo, Brisbane; The Standard, Sydney; and The Toff, Melbourne.
Dann Stays At Home
Dann Hume chose not to tour with Evermore in 2012 and focused on his work as a record producer, songwriter and solo artist. Peter Hume was clearly supportive of his younger brother when he spoke to the NZ Herald in October. “He’s always been a great songwriter – he wrote ‘It’s Too Late’ and ‘Light Surrounding You’. He’s never had the chance to do anything else since he was 16, so now’s the time. It is going to be different without him, but Dann’s still very much part of the band, and it’s sounding good with our new guy. Right now we’re just excited to play the shows.”
To coincide with the Australian release of Follow The Sun, Evermore played some of the new songs on Australia’s big stages, opening for two international tours. First up was Maroon 5 on Evermore’s album release date, 12 October at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne and the following night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Later in the month they returned to the same two venues as openers on the Matchbox 20 and INXS tour, which also took in Canberra, Brisbane, a winery at Pokolbin, Adelaide, and Perth.
While Evermore were on the road, Dann Hume was rehearsing at The Stables Studio as Danco, prior to touring with two acts he had produced: Lisa Mitchell and Alpine. Released in March 2013, Caress Your Soul was the first of three Sticky Fingers albums with Dann as producer.
Evermore did 30 shows between April and June 2013 on their “Hero” tour, which coincided with the release of ‘Hero’, the second single from Follow The Sun. Prior to the tour they did a performance, Q&A and video interview for Australian Institute of Music (AIM) in Sydney. Jon Hume told AIM TV that the tour was “old school – fly up to Cairns then drive all the way down to Melbourne – 3,000 kms – playing just about every town on the way. Then fly over to Adelaide and Perth. We’re playing a couple of songs on the tour that we haven’t recorded yet, so we keep the creativity flowing.”
When asked for advice for young musicians, Jon replied, “The biggest thing is having something to communicate – a message you want to speak out. The more time I spend doing it, the more I realise music is a vehicle for communication. Music has an incredible ability to bring people together, but then once they’re together you want to say something.”
Jon reflected on their in-house approach: “You don’t have to do everything yourself but I think it important to be across as much of the whole equation as you can be. If you’ve got a manager, you know what their responsibilities should be and you can make sure they’re doing their job. We produce our own records and Pete makes most of the videos. Over time we’ve built up the skills to be able to do those jobs as well. It means when we release something it is really us and we’ve worked on the whole picture.”
The Global Citizen Festival took place in Central Park, 29 September 2013 with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon and John Mayer. In Melbourne, Evermore played tie-in concert with New Empire at the Palais Theatre, St Kilda. Music and key speeches were beamed into the Melbourne event from New York. Evermore had previously worked with the event organiser Hugh Evans in 2006 on the Make Poverty History concert.
Evermore were heavily involved in spreading the Global Citizen message and their unique concept in Australia. In August they released a charity single, ‘One Love’, to promote the Melbourne event with the graphic in the video, “Money Can’t Buy Tickets, Only Love Will.”
Music fans could only attend if they had earned points via the Global Citizen website by multiple online actions such as signing petitions, sharing poverty awareness content, sharing the ‘One Love’ video, writing to politicians, buying a T-shirt or contributing to Global Citizen’s Uganda education projects etc. Peter Hume put it succinctly: “You can only get a ticket if you do something good.”
In the 2014 ARIA Awards, Dann was one of the five finalists in the Producer of the Year for the Sticky Fingers album Land of Pleasure, recorded at Rocking Horse Studio in Byron Bay.
The Hume name now appeared regularly near the top of the ARIA album charts as songwriters or producers.
Jon, like Dann, focused on his work as a producer and writer for hire in 2014 and Evermore went on the back burner. The Hume name now appeared regularly near the top of the ARIA album charts as songwriters or producers. Many of Jon’s writing and production projects that year were for pop artists that emerged via success in Australian TV talent shows, The X Factor or The Voice.
Karise Eden was The Voice Australia’s inaugural winner and Jon co-wrote and produced five tracks on her ARIA No.5 album Things I’ve Done (2014). Dami Im won the fifth season of The X Factor and Jon co-wrote and produced four songs on her ARIA No.2 album Heart Beats (2014).
Jon worked with rock group Thirsty Merc, co-writing and produced the single ‘The Good Life’ from their 2015 album Shifting Gears. In another genre, Jon wrote the top line and produced the vocal for Joe Fletcher’s ‘State of Emergency’ on the Ministry of Sound label.
In October 2015, Jon Hume attended the prestigious Black Rock Studios “Songwriting Camp” (courtesy of APRA Australia) on the Greek island of Santorini. The recording facility consists of a luxury villa and a world-class recording studio. Around 15 songwriters from different countries gathered for four days to explore writing collaborations. The following month Jon participated in Specific Music’s “50 Songs In 5 Days” at Studio 301, Sydney, an annual songwriting event with workshops by visiting internationally successful songwriters that is part of the wider APRA-AMCOS “SongHub” programme.
Dann Hume co-wrote and produced ‘The Quiet’ on Troye Sivan’s EP Wild (2015) and the deluxe edition of his album Blue Neighbourhood (2015). After first working with Matt Corby, producing his 2009 and 2010 EPs, Dann also produced Corby’s debut album Telluric (2016), a No.1 ARIA album.
The Big League
During 2015 and 2016 Jon Hume worked with top Australian artists Tina Arena, Delta Goodrem and Guy Sebastian and Northern Hemisphere artists Galantis (Sweden), LeAnn Rimes (Sony UK) and JP Cooper (Island UK).
In 2015 he co-wrote and produced seven songs with Tina Arena, recording at her house in Paris and at the Stables Studio for her album Eleven (2015). Jon produced and co-wrote with Delta Goodrem ‘Just Call’ on her album Wings Of The Wild (2016) and produced and mixed Guy Sebastian’s single ‘Candle”’ (2016). On the LeAnn Rimes album Remnants (2016), Jon produced and co-wrote – with Rimes and Darrell Brown – ‘Give Me Something’, and he co-wrote ‘September Song’ with English singer JP Cooper for the latter's debut album Raised Under Grey Skies.
An APRA songwriters’ SongHub took place at the The Stables Recording studio in July 2016. Jon’s work took him to Los Angeles studios in 2016 and early in the year, Dann produced the Sticky Fingers album Westway (The Glitter & The Slums) in Thailand over four weeks at Karma Sounds, a beachside recording studio in Bang Saray. As well as the big names, Jon has also worked with new talent in 2016 and started work on major collaborations due for completion and release in 2017.
Jon Hume was the mystery vocal on ‘Make Me Feel’ by Swedish duo Galantis in 2016, writing the top line and co-producing the vocal. In another genre, he co-wrote and produced the 2016 single ‘Dopamine’ for Australian hip-hop group Bliss n Eso. 2017 started well for him when JP Cooper sang ‘September Song’ on England’s Top Of The Pops on New Year’s Day, pushing the track into the UK Top 10.
A decade after Evermore’s US release on the Sire label fell through, the reasons are still not clear, although it would be easy to assume that the band members were not in love with the US and the work it would have entailed. However, as 2016 concluded, when offers to write and produce recordings in the States came Jon Hume’s way, he was very ready to pack his bags and put a “for sale” sign on The Stables Recording Studio. “We are sad to be parting with it, but LA is calling.”