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
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.
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.
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.
you have any favourite places to play when you
do massive UK tours?
I have had a lot of good gigs at Manchester Apollo.
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.
are well used to playing festivals across the
UK, can we expect to see you playing many this
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
So yeah I just stick to what I’ve always
been doing, I did buy a suit today.
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
your third studio album is out can we expect to
see you embark on another lengthy tour across
Yes, you can expect that for pretty much the rest
of my life, and we are looking at multiple Sheppard’s
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
do you hope to see yourself in a year’s
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.
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?
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.
for your time is there a message for your fans
Interview by Trigger And Charlotte