Interview With Newton Faulkner - 5th May 2012
Photo Of WNewton FaulknerWe caught up with Newton Faulkner in his dressing room at Bristol Academy to talk about his forthcoming EP and album, summer festivals and much more before he headlined the venue as part of the Bristol Folk Festival.

You are currently on a massive tour across the UK how have you found the shows so far?
It’s been wicked and I have been very surprised about a lot of things as it is much less trick based than previous tours as other tours we have really gone to town on production but on this one we haven’t.

So its more of a back to basics tour?
Yeah and it has been going down really well so far and we have been doing a lot of new stuff, much more than I thought we would be able to and that is because the new album was wrote to be played live whilst the other weren’t , the first album was just written in my bedroom just for me and it became quite bussinessy towards the end but to begin with it was quite casual, and the second album was wrote to be recorded because of the success of the first album but since then the live thing has become massive so I wrote this one to be played live.

Tonight you are playing at the Academy in Bristol which is part of the Bristol Folk festival, how does it feel to be involved in this?
It feels good, I had a look through the line up and I know a lot of people playing, I haven’t been around long enough to fully take it in though as I am travelling around constantly at the moment.

Do you have any favourite places to play when you do massive UK tours?
I have had a lot of good gigs at Manchester Apollo.
What makes that one stand out more than the rest?
It’s just one that stands out in my head as its been constantly good the whole time and it seems to always have the write balance of mentalness and listening, because if there to listening you don’t get enough vibe and if they are to mental it slightly messes up the vibe so there is a sweet spot.

You are well used to playing festivals across the UK, can we expect to see you playing many this year?
Yeah we have quite a few this year but we are looking at doing loads next year, we did a lot last year and even headlined a few small festivals which was intense as I was doing it as a solo act on my own and was on after acts like The Blockheads which have 9 members, so I walked out on stage and was like yeah it’s just me but I’ve got a lot of toys and make a lot of noise.

You are also well known for your amazing cover versions of songs like ‘Teardrop’, ‘It Must Be Love’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, if you could cover any other song that you haven’t yet what would it be and why?
I did Bohemian Rhapsody that would defiantly be in my list if I hadn’t already done it, I would really like to do something from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, I messed around with ‘Pure Imagination’ a while ago so I might record that as an extra track at some point, it is on the internet somewhere as I did it for BBC Three about British song writers and I found out that the guy who wrote the old lyrics was Anthony Newly so I figured that was a good excuse.

You forthcoming EP ‘Sketches’ was originally down to be released on the 19th April but has since been delayed until the 20th May, what was the reason behind this?
It was basically put up wrong and I thought we could change the stuff on there but we had to take it down and resubmit it as you can’t change stuff which seems like a major flaw as we are adding more songs for the same money, I could understand if we were taking things away and still charging the same money.

Your latest song ‘Write It On Your Skin’ is a nice up beat track with a real fun video, how did you find writing the track and creating the video?
The video has been calmed down a hell of a lot and I am a little upset about it as it got censored for being too stupid there was some really mad stuff on there so I may release the x rated version, but it’s not that x rated as there was no nudity or anything.

Writing the song was strange as I wrote the verses over two years ago and from the second it came into my head I really liked it and then I went on and wrote 15 different choruses for it but none ticked all the right boxes for me personally, so I was writing with my brother and his old band mates which was quite weird as it was me and my brother and him and his band so there was two sets of brothers so it was a Faulkner, Faulkner Thin lassen tune and they actually had the “I can’t, I can’t” bit but they had it in different verses and with a different song but they weren’t going to do anything with it so we asked if we could use it so all in all it was quite a strange birth.
But a good birth?
Yeah defiantly it was frustrating in the middle but it came out good in the end and it happens to be the first track I have ever produced and at the time I was just making a demo and never in a million years thought id produce a song.

You have been busy working on your third studio album and it is due for release in July, what can you tell us about it?
It’s got a different vibe from the last two albums and that’s mainly due to the time separation between the albums and slightly because of a different writing approach as I realised that playing live was kind of like my home so I wrote it to be played live, generally mathematically all the tempos have gone up its actually faster than the first two but at the same time it’s much easier going, it’s weird because when I first put everything together I was like this is a driving album how did I do that but it’s also weird because the first album was considered as a surfing album and I can’t surf and now I’ve done a driving album and I can’t drive either, maybe the next one will something I can do like the falling over album.

How have you found working on your third album compared to your previous albums?
I have learnt more about what I want to do and how everything works but writing has always been the same for me but one of the amazing revelations is that you should never keep up with the music industry and change what you do to keep with the times because it’s really weird that what I did became relevant at one point and then suddenly it wasn’t relevant and now it is relevant again, so it’s strange doing the same thing all the time and through the years being told its cool or its not cool any more.
Yeah that really is how the music industry is at the moment with trends changing far to quick.
Your jeans are too baggy and there too tight now.
So yeah I just stick to what I’ve always been doing, I did buy a suit today.
For any occasion?
Not really I just didn’t have a suit so got one and I walked around Bristol in it and people were looking like why is that guy wearing a suit he’s not a suit guy so I was trying to judge how people were reacting, it was quite funny.

Once your third studio album is out can we expect to see you embark on another lengthy tour across the UK?
Yes, you can expect that for pretty much the rest of my life, and we are looking at multiple Sheppard’s Bushes.

Do you enjoy touring or do you get a bit home sick?
I love it, obviously I miss home and I miss playing with my son and stuff but touring is an important part of what I do and I totally love it and wouldn’t do it if I didn’t, and when I’m in the studio I will be talking to someone and be like you know what I need a nice relaxing tour.
Yeah some people like touring but they are also happy to be home.
Yeah I am happy when I get back but im always like I want to get going again, I always find it hard finishing tours because you get home and everything you have been doing for the past few weeks is not there and you have to find things to do and I always tend to get ill after tours because I seem to fend off getting ill on tour as I think adrenaline kills illnesses and stops things taking hold.

What would you say your main highs and lows as a musician have been so far?
I haven’t had really many musical low points, there’s the art crossovers which are obviously going to be uncomfortable especially if you care about what you are doing which unfortunately I do. Highs is all gig stuff like playing Isle Of White and all the Glastonbury’s I have done which have all been positive experiences, but gigs in general are just amazing as at the moment I’m doing 10 or 11 new songs and people are really into it and having a good time and I was prepared to change the set list but realised that I didn’t have to as people have been really into it and its been weird seeing people singing words to songs that haven’t been released yet.

You have just released a crowd reward app on Facebook, how does this work and what has the response been like so far?
It has been good so far, it’s just a big social network tool where you reach out to people with tweets etc and the more people that use it and encourage their friends to use it get something when it reaches certain goals like 25,000 – 30,000 people etc. And at the moment I have been doing panoramic sweep crowd shots and people have been logging on to find themselves at the gigs.

What would your advice be to fans who want to get into playing live music?
Just go out and play live, I know the manager from Radiohead was asked the same question recently and he just said give you music away which is quite interesting, in my eyes it’s all about profile if you get a good profile you can do the gigs, sell the merch, release music etc so it’s all about getting that original name but I’m not sure I entirely agree with giving your music away, but I suppose its only pocket money you get it won’t be your main source of income.
Yeah when you think about these massive bands they don’t get much money from the music it’s all from the tours and merch.
Touring is defiantly the main thing for income, but it’s weird as it is the opposite of what it used to be, people used to tour to promote the album as the album would generate the money whilst the tour would lose money but now it is the other way round.

Where do you hope to see yourself in a year’s time?
I will defiantly be touring and I just hope to get better at what I do and take each day as it comes. People often ask me what my definition of making it in the music industry is and it’s not having to do anything else and if you can do that have a house and sustain a whole way of life then that is pretty well going.

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
Giraffe because necks are fun and they have less predators, was that a good answer?
Yeah the Giraffe is a popular one.
You see a Giraffe and they are casually eating and you look at a Zebra and there is always something behind it ready to eat it, but Zebras do have a good relationship with Bisons.

Thanks for your time is there a message for your fans reading this?

Interview by Trigger
 Band Members

Newton Faulkner
 Latest Releases
Newton Faulkner - Sketches EP
Release Date - 20th May 2012

1. Write In On Your Skin
2. From The Bars
3. Bricks
 Band Related Links
Newton Faulkner Facebook