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The Jake Newton Interview - Part II

When we left off in the previous interview, Jake was still finding a way to put together his first full length record – and he has finally managed to pull it all together in the last 9 months - with the help of fans and a Pledge Music campaign! 

It might be far from ironic that the album was named ‘Kill the Past’ because the material does seem to be symbolic of a (re)birthing process! I was able to sample 2-3 tracks and the new material seems to have a flavour of its own.  Let’s get straight to it then.

You’ve finally done it! You made you first record! How does it feel?

It feels wonderful to reach the completion of this record. It was such a labor of love for all involved, and to see it out in the world almost feels surreal. 

Was it any different from making the EPs?

Completely! The First EP I made (I'm a Bird) was made in bedrooms and makeshift home studios. The Second, Soldier of the Heart, was slowly built over a matter of months with Justin Glasco at the Producing helm, bringing in musicians slowly to fill out the parts.

With Kill the Past we locked in a great band and made the majority of it in a week at Boulevard studios, we tracked the vocals within the space of two weeks after the initial recordings.

So much of it was grabbing moments of inspiration and running with them, not second guessing what we hoped was intrinsically the heart and soul of the songs. 

There’s a slightly lighter, 'fuller' sound to the record that I seem to be picking up on – I know you talked about playing around with the sound when we talked last – but do you feel you’re moving out of a dark space in a way?

I did want this record to have more energy, when you have a room full of musicians playing their hearts out you can't help but latch on to that driving force a group has. 
I don't know that I'm moving out of the darker places, but I think with this record I'm allowing myself to have more arrows in my quiver. I'm exploring the wider circles of human emotion when I write. I will always write sad songs, they are in a sense my wheelhouse. 


The songs do sound inspired. You talked about ‘Your Eyes have circles’ in our chat before – and I see the song has made it to the album. Did this song set the theme for the entire album? Do you think you've conveyed what you had to, to your teenage self? 

I think you're right; yes it did set the tone for the record.

It was the most realized song when we started the record and was an unofficial touch stone for the rest of the recordings. That being said, we did allow ourselves to let the rest of the songs take us where they wanted to go.

As far as my teenage self, and what I needed to convey, I'm not sure it's possible to retroactively set things right through some kind of musical reparation. But it does feel good to sing it night after night!

How was the experience of reaching out with Pledge Music and really pulling through your reality on this album?

Phenomenal, I can't say enough good about Pledge Music, the people are genuine and really vie for your success. Just great people who love music and want to see more of it in the world. 

There’s a spring in your step with this new record – was there a conscious effort to sound drastically different from the songs you’ve made before?

I never really wanted to depart from the sounds of the first records. They're closer to what I listen to on a daily basis. But this last batch of songs just came out the way they did, jumping and leaping (relatively) and without the somber introspection of a young twenty something.

Perhaps that's just growing up.

How therapeutic has Kill the Past been in terms of giving you what you wanted this to be (in a spiritual ‘letting go’ sense)? The last time you mentioned you had been in the mire for a while and perhaps this record has allowed you to let it all go?

That I think might never happen from making a record, at least for me.

I have two selves when it comes to my personal life and my art. The art is always effected by my own experiences, but it's pretty autonomous, and doesn't really let the rest of me know where it's going or what it's doing.

I see now that if I were to make it for anyone's spiritual journey, it would be for other people. The music itself only serves as signals for where I'm at, not as a cure. 

Would you say that Kill the Past is a more comfortable place to be in (soundwise) than when you were making the previous EPs?

Yes and no.

Sometimes I catch myself wondering how I have this huge band behind me without panic in my heart to "lead" them. Though it does feel good to be on top of the tank, when it charges!

Was doing the album too much of a change from doing the EPs? The Jamming experience?

I was cautious at first, but once everyone started playing, they moved with such precision, that for the most part it felt like we could do no wrong. 

Artists experiment and evolve – and of course that is part of the process – but what do you expect from yourself in the near future? Are we going to see the old sound at all or has it been ‘killed’ for good?

I've been toying with a few genres and elements to add to what I already do. But they're so diametrically opposed to one another that I may have to put out two different albums. 

Are we to expect more experimentation in the Jake sound with the next offering?

I think so, my ears are constantly wanting to keep myself from boredom. 

Did any songs get left out on this record that you are holding on to, for the next release?

Of course, but then again there are many songs that will never see the light of day... since they're the odd duck I don't know what to do with! 

What’s your favourite song on the album?

That's hard, it changes every night when performing them

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