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Having recently become a father and conscious of the legacy he’ll leave behind, Newton Faulkner returns to “have a positive impact on people’s brains.”
Paul Nolan, 23 Aug 2012
“I’ve seen both sides of it in a way. The first album did amazingly well, and the second album did alright, although it wasn’t quite at the same level. With this one, there were a lot of people working on it who knew they were about to get fired. People knew what was going to happen, so they were like, ‘What does it matter?’ It just pushes everything back a bit, and in this case it pushed it back a year – Write It On Your Skin was ready to go in 2011, but because of all the label stuff, it got delayed.”
Newton became a father since the release of Rebuilt By Humans in 2009, which presumably had a significant effect on him as an artist.
“It changes everything, it’s such a massive event,” he responds. “It’s had a number of effects that I didn’t completely expect, and certain things have been the total opposite of what I expected. I thought one effect it would have on this album would be to make it more commercially minded, because I now have to look after a family, serious stuff. I thought that would make me write more commercial material, but instead this other part of my brain almost completely took over, which was that everything I do, he’s gonna have to live with. I’ve just been much more rigid in my own opinions.
“Even the people who are putting it out don’t actually take it to their grave, but now I’m taking it not only to that point, but also beyond, by years. I don’t want to go to the playground in ten years’ time and have a kid going up to him with headphones, saying, ‘Listen to this – it’s your dad, it’s rubbish!’ I’m going to do everything I can to avoid that.”
As well as hitting the number one spot in the UK where it went double platinum and landing in the Irish top ten, Newton’s ’07 debut enjoyed substantial international success. Presumably that level of achievement changes your life in quite a profound way.
“It was crazy at the time,” he nods. “And for years afterwards. To be honest, I can’t actually take it all in, I don’t really know what happened. It was two years of my life where I know I was very busy, and saw a lot of places and did a lot of stuff, but it was definitely too much to really take in. It’s really weird, a lot of stuff I think I’ve forgotten, until I dig through a box of laminates from festivals and I’m like, ‘That was Belgium – I remember that!’ I did it the other day. I’d been home for quite a long time, I’d had a trip to LA, but I hadn’t been anywhere a bit mental for a while. And then digging through this box, there was Japanese stuff, New Zealand, Australia – just endless bizarre things.”