Stripping his songs back to their purest form. Newton will be out there solo, just him, his acoustic guitars, and his voice. We chat to Newton ahead of his Komedia show to talk about the new album, tour and what we can expect from the show...
Hi Newton, thanks for taking the time to chat to me. We are all looking forward to seeing you come to Komedia with your new ‘Feels Like Home’ tour. I understand you’ve stripped everything back for this show?
My pleasure! Yes, the last tour was an all guns blazing, electric, sample triggering, multi-instrumental affair. So, for this tour I wanted to go back to my roots, acoustic instruments, all real physically produced sounds, that way I focus on the songs and not get sucked into tap dancing on a bunch of pedals, fun as it was.
As the name suggests, does playing gigs where it is just you, a guitar and your music feel like home?
100%. It's where it all started for me and it's still where I feel the most comfortable, even after a solid 2 years in the studio. It's the spontaneous stuff at gigs that makes it so fun. Especially when you chuck crowd participation in, which has always been a big part of what I do.
Did the pandemic play a part in wanting to create a show that was all about the music, rather than having complicated staging etc?
In a way, yes, but not directly. The reason the last got so trigger-happy technology-wise was because I spent so long not gigging and being in the studio that it felt like the only way to do my last album justice, was to take the studio on the road. Now I've done a bunch of festivals, it's all about connection. I'm not saying I don't have a couple of tricks up my sleeve, it may all be real instruments, but that doesn't mean it has to be polite.
I understand your latest album Interference (Of Light) was recorded at home during Covid. Did these circumstances change the style or process of recording the album?
Massively, no-one else was allowed in the room. No players, no engineers. So instead, I had to read a bunch of equipment manuals, watch endless tutorials online and get much better at playing a handful of instruments other than guitars.
…there is an underlying positivity about the whole album which must have felt a bit weird during a global pandemic. Was this a conscious decision?
I was very conscious of not writing an album that was focused on something that wouldn't last forever. I also figured anyone who lived through it wouldn't be in a rush to revisit it.
I understand you wanted to hone your skills on various different instruments for the new album, are there any instruments that you haven’t picked up yet that may appeal for future records?
All kinds of things, I just love learning. Also, even if it's something I can't see myself using directly, I've taken so many techniques from other instruments and found a way of adapting them for the acoustic guitar, that pretty much anything is useful at some point or another.
Working with Troy Miller (Rag n’Bone Man, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson) must have been an amazing experience. Have you now added drums to your repertoire of instruments?
I love that guy! Yea, he's a total legend. Four Leaf Clover would not have been the same without him. Drums were actually my first instrument, I played on a few tracks on my fist album. Teardrop was probably my favourite to play on, mainly for that big old meaty drum fill when they come in and no, I didn't wear a gorilla suit. (Phil Collins reference)
Are there any songs on the album you are particularly proud of?
I am super proud of the whole album. Every single track presented its own set of challenges. Whether it was learning to play a part on an instrument I'm not particularly familiar with or the production was a real balancing act, or the vocals really pushed me. Thinking back through it, it was unbelievably maddening but I did have a very good time.
You are incredibly diverse. Are there any other areas of music that you would like to branch out into?
I'd love to do some more film and TV work. The little bits I've done I've really enjoyed. I'm also doing more writing for other people, some production for other people, and starting an online guitar academy. So, I'm keeping out of trouble.
Finally, how can readers keep up to date with all things Newton Faulkner?
I'm on everything, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, but for everything in one place, visit my official website, www.newtonfaulkner.com
a copy of Interference (of light)
by Newton Faulkner