The Newks

Kelowna, BC  

Kelowna band The Newks creates music that is serious chill, upbeat, and fun. Their debut EP Grandfathers is out now, read our review here.




G: Lets start off with the easy question, where are you boys from?                       

N: We are all Kelowna boys except for Charlie who came to Kelowna from England when he was young.

G: How did you all get started musically? 

N: Doug, Charlie, and Austin all began musically at a young age. Austin starting by singing in plays, and Charlie and Doug took up guitar lessons a long time ago. I (Jordan) started playing the drums when I was 14. Charlie and I became friends around then so we'd jam together.

G: And did you and Charlie slowly recruit the band?                                                                               

N: In a way. None of us really played music together in school except for Charlie and I, but in our last half of senior year we decided to do a talent show together for the hell of it. I think we'd made it about half way through our cover of Your Love by Outfield before Doug stepped on, and broke, Charlie's patch-cord, essentially ruining our debut together. We were called Studio 43 back then. I think the most important part of that performance was us realizing we enjoy playing music together. Austin presented some ideas for original songs, and the next thing you know we have a full set-list and are playing around Kelowna.             

G: So once the band started, what musical influences did you draw from to create your own sound?

N: We draw from a wide variety of influences, trying to balance modern music with music from the past. Each band member brings different influences which is apparent when we present original ideas or add input to a song. Charlie tends to be influenced by Guns N' Roses, Metallica, and generally heavier bands that suit the lead riffs he comes up with. Doug is influences by almost anything, from a wide range of genres and eras. His favourite Canadian musician is Mac DeMarco. Austin and I (Jordan) consider the Beatles to be a major influence. Local bands too, like Fields of Green, Paperboy, and Wild Son always blow us away when we see them live. These bands hugely influenced our cover and performance ideas.

G: What would you say has been your best experience playing as a band together so far?                            

N: The best experience so far was opening for Wool on Wolves during the opening week for UBCO (University of British Columbia Okanagan). We started the set with just a few friends sitting down on a hot sunny day on campus, but eventually had a great crowd of intoxicated students dancing and going crazy.

G: Any plans on releasing an album soon?                

N: We have plans to release an album just before, or at the beginning of, summer. It's been a scheduling conflict so far due to school and work, but there will definitely be an album in either late May or early June.

G: As a group who is pretty new, what do you find you struggle with the most as a start-up band?                                                                                                                            

N: What we struggle most with is similar to most bands at our level: Scalability. Getting our name out there in such a competitive and talented market and getting people to hear our music is very difficult. All we can do is keep putting on the best shows we possible can, work hard to promote ourselves, and, of course, wish for a little luck!

G: Do you think there are things you need to improve on as a band to get where you want to go?   

N: There are many, many things as a band we want to improve. The main two would have to be song-writing and live performance. Song-writing would mean working on bigger songs. There's also always room for being tighter as a unit.

G: Do you have a level of success in mind that you would like to achieve?                                          

N: We each have different dreams. I (Jordan) would say that, unrealistically, we dream of having Beatles success. Doug would say he wants to be able to tour around foreign countries and have a sizable crowd show up, that would be a huge success for him. Of course, being a top up-and-coming band like Foxygen would be incredible. Austin thinks being able to perform across the world would be incredible, whereas Charlie thinks bringing back the four-piece act as a main musical scene and inspiring kids to play guitar would be enough.

G: That's awesome. You all have pretty different goals, but they definitely compliment each other. So now we have a few random questions, first up- What's your favourite place to hang out together in your hometown?                                   

N: We've had a couple writing sessions around Knox and Dilworth Mountain. Both of those are cool spots that look over Kelowna.

G: Both gorgeous spots. Do you boys have any musical guilty pleasures you'd be willing to admit to?                                                                     

N: Our musical guilty pleasures... Well, Austin is personally offended whenever Justin Bieber gets in trouble, so that would definitely be his. Charlie likes some Taylor Swift and Adele through the rough times. Doug admits to rolling his car windows up and playing Kraeayshawn loudly sometimes. Me (Jordan), I like Pitbull. Oh, and we all love Bruno Mars.

G: Alright, so it's about time to wrap things up, but before you go would you like to say any closing remarks about why you think it's important to support the local music scene?                                   

N: (Jordan) The local music scene has an abundance of talent that we're glad to be a part of. It's so important to support it so that these bands have as much opportunity as possible to get their name out there and to continue making music because the local music scene will just get better and better with continued support.

(Doug) Having local support is what makes a band successful. The initial shows that you play in front of your local crowd gives you the motivation and reassurance that a band needs to persevere and grow. That and there's nothing better than live music and a beer with some friends!                                                    

G: Can't argue that.                                                                                                                                     

N: (Austin) The local music scene is a community on its own. The people in this community are some of the most interesting and unique people I have ever met. All artists are just trying to communicate something they are feeling and that's an opportunity for listeners to experience. By supporting local music you are helping this certain community with their journey in making art. Plus, you might have a good time.

G: We couldn't agree more. Thank you for taking the time to be one of our first interviews, we hope to be working with you again in the future!