An interview with Newman Wolf!:
TRISHA KRAISORNKOWIT: So first off what’s your name?
NEWMAN WOLF: My name is Newman Wolf. N-E-W-M-A-N W-O-L-F. That’s my real name.
TRISHA: Not N-E-U- as our posters say?
NEWMAN: Not N-E-U- as the posters say. I’m not upset about it. I think it’s funny, it’s a good keepsake.
NEILL CHUA: So why did you choose to use your own name instead of a pseudonym?
NEWMAN: Okay, that’s a good question. I, um, I thought of a bunch. Will and I, Baths and I, have known each other for a long time and I would always, before I really started making music, I would run and be like ‘aw I really want to go by this, go by this’ and it kind of like… nothing. Not like to be cocky, but just like I have a pretty weird name and it was just like striking enough I guess to people that people were just like ‘oh you should just go by your name’ and Will was just like ‘you got to, you got to go by Newman Wolf’ and it just made sense and I feel like it was appropriate, I wouldn’t want to go by another… I like being myself on stage, so I think that’s why.
TRISHA: So today was your first show, right?
NEWMAN: Today was my first concert, yeah my first. I’ve played in other bands and I’ve DJ’d a lot. I lived in Chicago for the last two years, I’ve DJ’d here and there a lot, but this was my…
TRISHA: Are you originally from Chicago?
NEWMAN: I’m not, I was going to school there for the last two years and I actually just transferred to CalArts [California Institute of the Arts].
NEILL: Are you originally from California?
NEWMAN: I am from Los Angeles, California born and raised. Um, I, uh, what was I going to say? Yes this was my first show as solo Newman Wolf with my music.
NEILL: Have you ever been solo before?
NEWMAN: I have not.
NEILL: How was this experience all alone?
NEWMAN: It was actually not—not to give you guys a big head—but no, it was awesome. I could not have asked for a better performance. People seem to be really into it. Crowd was there, the mist was great…
NEILL: The mist was really good.
NEWMAN: Yeah the mist, the lights… the sound was awesome, everyone was super friendly, David, you guys, were really nice, I really appreciate it. It was really fantastic.
NEILL: I have a couple questions, so what is your biggest influence music-wise?
NEWMAN: Um, I don’t know. I try to pull from a lot of different things. I think it’s really important not to sound like… I never wanted to be the next ‘blank,’ I wanted to be the first Newman Wolf, so I think it’s really important to pull from other people and use certain things from other people, so everything I listen to I’m like ‘yeah I like that, I like that, I should do that.’
TRISHA: What bands are you listening to right now?
NEWMAN: There are a couple bands out there that are awesome. I mean I love Baths a lot, Asura who is also is playing, both of the artists playing are fantastic. There’s a band from Canada called Braids who are…
NEILL: Oh, I listened to them. Actually, they played with Baths a couple months ago at the Troubadour.
NEWMAN: Yes, they’re good friends and they’re amazing. A guy named Houses; this guy Dexter from Chicago who’s also great; another Canadian band—Gobble, Gobble…
NEILL: Oh, I saw them too. They were at the same show.
NEWMAN: With Baths? Yeah. They’re awesome dudes; they’re great. I’m a huge, huge Dan Deacon fan. I really like Ariel Pink, I’ve been listening to the new album a lot recently. I’m really into like pop, but not like…
NEILL: Lady Gaga?
NEWMAN: No, not her. I do not like her. You can put that on the record.
NEILL: So what are your thoughts on her new album? Her new cover? Her music?
TRISHA: It got leaked.
NEWMAN: Oh, did it? Bummer.
NEWMAN: Poor her, I don’t know if she’s going to make any money now. I actually…I found out recently that my dad worked on her last album. Yeah, he’s a recording engineer. He records music for movies and CDs, like albums.
TRISHA: Did he help you with yours?
NEWMAN: Um, no, but he was definitely…I’m going to CalArts for music technology which is that basically, like recording and engineering and production and stuff and I have definitely, from a very young age was surrounded by music, and he was a huge, not an influence, we’ve never worked side by side—I plan to—but seeing what he did definitely really got me going. Back to Lady Gaga, he worked on her album and I was really pissed off because I hate her and I was upset that my family gained—had financial gain—from someone I hate so much. Yeah, um, pop music in general I really like: song structure, I think that’s a big deal, and that’s something I like about Will a lot.
NEILL: What kind of equipment do you usually use?
NEWMAN: To perform or to record? Because they’re two different things.
NEILL: Is there a…?
NEWMAN: There is a difference. I’ll tell you all about it. Hey TASCAM [DR-1]! To record I use my computer, it’s all done in my house. I use a program called Ableton Live and it’s a lot of computer synthesizer and I think it’s really cool that the stuff that’s available on computers today—music-wise—is awesome so I try, I incorporate that stuff but I also like the sound of audio and I try not to get too caught up in one world like all digital or all analog, or computer, not audio.
NEILL: Do you ever record with live instruments?
NEWMAN: I do. One of the last songs I played… the last song I played tonight that was mine, “All This Evil,” you can check it out at HYPERLINK “http://soundcloud.com/newmanwolf” soundcloud.com/newmanwolf. That song is all audio; that one is my voice; guitar; and then two different synthesizers and a bunch of different sounds; and then drum samples, but that was all recorded; but then the other one, one of the other ones I played right before that, “Oh, Rapture,” that was actually all computer, like there’s no audio in that.
NEILL: Then what is the difference between playing live and like recording?
TRISHA: Because there’s so much prerecording, so how do you incorporate the live aspect into playing live?
NEWMAN: Tonight, what I did was I essentially DJ’d my tracks mixed with other songs that I like and that I think people should hear, music that I like, bands that I think are awesome, stuff like that; and I did a bunch of effects and I think one of the things about DJing that’s really important is the transition, making the sure the songs fit, because I think it’s weird if you don’t. So tonight was just me DJing, essentially, with a lot of effects and stuff like that. What I would like to do is like—there’s a couple things—I don’t know if Will has told you, Baths, but what he does is he, he has a whole…oh look at that cat! There’s lots of cats in UC Riverside.
TRISHA: There’s cats everywhere.
NEILL: There’s lots of cats around here.
NEWMAN: I’m a big cat fan, you can put that in the interview. Where’s this going by the way?
NEILL: On the blog.
NEWMAN: Awesome, man. I cannot wait, this is like the best day of my life! So what I would like to do is… imagine a song has like four building blocks—like drums, bass, melody, vocals, just imagine that—what I would like to do is…what Will does is he has each component of each of his songs lined up like that in like a waterfall-type thing where he keeps going down and he’s cueing them and switching between them so he’s actually live mixing his songs, not just DJing like a whole live performance. That’s like something I want to do soon, but like ultimately what I want is to do a full length right now—a full length album—and what I’d like to do for that is I’d like to have like a live band—I don’t know about a live drummer—but me doing electronics and then playing a synthesizer and other synthesizers playing a guitar, bass, stuff like that, so yeah. Tonight was just DJing, it is very different from what Will does just in terms of his actual contact with the material. It’s much more hands on what Will does, but I mean, yeah that’s all I got on that.
NEILL: Okay, some really quick questions.
TRISHA: We have rapid fire fun questions for you.
NEILL: What’s your favorite food?
TRISHA: Rapid fire!
NEWMAN: No, I don’t know…cheeseburger.
NEILL: Oh, okay.
NEWMAN: No, no. Fruit. Fruit, definitely fruit.
NEILL: Which fruit?
NEWMAN: All fruit. There’s no fruit that I don’t like. I like a lot of fruit.
NEILL: Paula Deen or Rachel Ray?
NEWMAN: Aw, man… is Paula Deen the really fat one?
NEILL: The one with butter. The one that loves butter.
NEWMAN: Rachel Ray is really annoying, but Paula Deen kind of is a really big like promoter of obesity so…
TRISHA: Or Giada De Laurentiis?
NEWMAN: I’d go with Giada.
NEILL: Giada’s my favorite…
NEWMAN: If I had to go.
TRISHA: I hate Giada.
NEILL: Everyday Italian.
NEWMAN: Wait, is Giada…? Who’s the Barefoot Contessa?
TRISHA: That’s Ina Garten.
NEWMAN: See I like that…
NEILL: I hate her.
TRISHA: I hate her too.
NEWMAN: See I don’t watch the cooking channel at all but I like that her name is the Barefoot Contessa.
NEILL: Do you like Oprah?
NEWMAN: I feel weird about Oprah just because like…she’s kind of like Lady Gaga in the sense that like she can say whatever and her fans will just but like ‘Yes. More. I want more of it. Give me more of it.’ Oprah’s cool, she’s done some cool stuff.
NEILL: Coke or Pepsi?
NEWMAN: Aw, man Coke is so classic but I was a big Pepsi fan for a long time. I’m going to say there’s nothing better than a bottle of Coca-Cola. I’m going to go with Coca-Cola.
NEILL: And the last one, if you could live in any time period, which time period would you pick?
TRISHA: And why?
NEWMAN: The future. Without a question the future, but see this is a weird question because people are like ‘What if the future sucks? What if it’s like barren wasteland like The Road?’ What if it is? I don’t think it’s going to be like that. In my mind—glass—everything is glass and like blue lights and like floating and space cars…
NEILL: Like “The Jetsons”?
NEWMAN: Yeah, like have you ever seen any of the Star Wars, like Coruscant—the planet Coruscant—the city, the republic city? Like that.