Hello Greg, and welcome to Brutal Resonance! It’s awesome to have you on the site. Newboy is a new name to the site, so we’ll start off with a basic question. Who is in Newboy, what kind of music do you make, and what are three of your favorite albums of all time?
Greg: Newboy is just me making some music by myself. My music is particularly influenced by early industrial music, especially the music from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sheffield, Alan Vega, and a whole host of contemporaries who build upon the rich history of this style of music. As far as being directly related to my music, I would choose: Minimal Man's "Safari", Cabaret Voltaire's "Red Mecca", and Phew's "Phew". Lately I have been listening to Broadcast, Country Teasers, group A, Ornette Coleman, HTRK, and a lot of old Andrew Wheatherall mixes via Youtube and NTS.
Grab your copy of Newboy's self-titled release above!
A little history from you, then. Before Newboy (and even High-Functioning Flesh) you were involved in a couple of punk bands. What were they and what brought you to the industrial minefield?
Greg: I grew up playing in punk bands and started experimenting with electronic music in my early 20s. Eventually, I came onto music from Throbbing Gristle and Regis and my whole landscape changed pretty quickly. I could understand this whole other way of communicating through music that had felt unintelligible to me before. It always seemed to me that an attitude and an outlook are more important than genre and I certainly found a lot of what I was looking for in industrial music.
You’ve released on DKA Records in the past under Din and High-Functioning Flesh. What are the differences between the three projects? And what does Newboy allow you to do that Din and High-Functioning Flesh don’t?
Greg: HFF and DIN are both done with other people, so naturally it involves a lot of playing to your strengths and partner's weakness and vice versa. There is a lot of give and take that goes on working so closely with other people. It can be very hard but also incredibly rewarding. HFF was with a great friend of mine, Sue, and I think we worked really well together. What we accomplished together in a handful of years is something I am very proud of. DIN is a long-term and slowly evolving project with my wife Josie and I. Working together in a creative capacity adds an interesting and fun element to our relationship. We actually just finished a new album in January. Newboy is done by myself, so all of it sits solely on me. In a way it feels far more vulnerable than any of the groups I have played in because I can't rely on anyone else to make up for my imperfections or shortcomings. At the same time, it is also very liberating because I find myself very free to try anything I can think of.
Your debut as Newboy was “Funky Bullshit”, which released in 2019 via Night Gaunt Recordings. What did you want to accomplish with the debut? Were you looking to define a sound with Newboy, experiment, or were you pursuing another end?
Greg: "Funky Bullshit" came out of time of personal disillusionment. I wasn't sure about what I was doing any longer and wanted to try something new. I used all my gear differently and gave myself two hours to make each track. So it came together as loose and experimental and pretty open ended. I wanted something that felt free and had room to grow; I wanted to work fast instead of at my usual slow pace. Overall, I am proud of that release and grateful to Night Gaunt for putting it out.
You’re coming at us with your self-titled debut via DKA Records. Why did you decide to self-title this album and not your previous one? Is this the sound we can expect from future Newboy records?
Greg: This release is self-titled because it is more intentional, deliberate, and in a way definitive. I like where this is at right now and I hope to keep evolving it in the future.
The self-titled release has a pretty odd-looking cover. Who made it and how does it correlate to the music on the album?
Greg: The main image of me was made by my coworker. He was experimenting with 3D scanning and I think his original idea was to make a 3d print of my head. We opened the file and it opened up flat and I thought it looked cool. The drawing and text were done by me and everything else was laid out by my wife Josie.
I took an interest in the title of the song ‘Golden Bough’. Was this song inspired by the James George Frazer study, the J.M.W. Turner Painting, or after the tale of Aeneas? Or am I completely off?
Greg: Yes, you are right on. I have always had an interest in mythology and heard about and read the book a few years ago.
What is your favorite track on the album and why?
Greg: I like 'Rain Clouds' and 'Florida' best. They were the most fun to make.
I read that the album was recorded before the pandemic. Once the world is deemed safe enough, do you plan on playing live to promote the album?
Greg: I have only played one show with these songs and it was the last show I played in November of 2019. I can't wait for live music to happen again.
And what else does 2021 have in store for you? Have you any further plans with Newboy, Din, or High-Functioning Flesh?
Greg: Aside from this release, Din just finished a new album. I am very proud of it and excited to eventually share it. Thanks!
This interview was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
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I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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