Brett Newski is an American born singer, song writer and guitarist who has just released his third Solo album titled AMERICAN FOLK ARMAGEDDON and will be touring South Africa for the second time in just a couple of days. We had the opportunity to give his latest album a listen and share our thoughts on it. The 10 track album will definitely have you tapping your foot whether you can relate to the music or not. Brett addresses multiple social issues that we all face in day to day life and delivers it in a fun, catchy yet hard hitting manner. The best way in which I can describe his sound is “alternative folk” with a touch of “Violent Femmes”. The message in his music is clear but sometimes subtle, almost like a sublime angry rant that is very easy and “fun” to listen to.
We had a quick chat with Brett Newski ahead of his tour through South Africa, this is how it went down –
MA: Hi Brett, Firstly thanks for taking some time to chat with us. You have quite an interesting story to how your career has been shaped, please tell us a little bit more about how you got to where you are today
The secret to playing music for a living is a terrible work/life balance, haha Touring non-stop and constantly working at it has helped. When I was living in Vietnam, it was hard to tour and we were so far away from most of the industry. Sometimes I felt like we were shooting flares in the South China Sea for someone to come save us. Being based in the states has been substantially more difficult, but its also necessary to be more in the mix of the indie music world.
MA: I have been listening to your album “American Folk Armageddon”. Before I carry on please explain to me how you came about this title?
There are way too many albums in the world. I wanted people to know what they were getting even if they’ve never heard of me. One engineer called me “the loudest acoustic act ever”.
MA: OK, so back to the contents of the album, Your sound is very easy to listen to and tends to resemble something like the Violent Femmes, how would you describe your sound?
Power folk. Folk Armageddon. Im really into hard and fast acoustic music. A dabble of punk works great sprinkled on top of any genre. Always loved the Femmes. They are also from Milwaukee, WI. I’ve been in touch with them a little bit and they’ve been supportive.
MA: Where do you find inspiration when writing your music?
I find songs in moments of victory and defeat; the highest of highs, and lowest of lows are catalysts.
MA: We (SA) hosted you back in 2012 and we are very excited to have you back, what can we expect from you on this tour?
This time I will have a full band for a handful of the shows. Naming James (Jozi) will be my backing band. Ive always been a fan of their work.
MA:What would you say has been the most outrageous or memorable moment in your career thus far?
Touring SA for the first time in 2012, our car broke down right away. We then got food poisoning and puked for days. So I was waiting for late buses in the blaring sun just barfing and sleeping on sidewalks. It was soul crushing, but it opened some doors into a country I love. The lows are traditionally followed by pretty sweet highs.
MA: Are you currently working on any projects that you would like to tell us about?
Homeless in Narnia is a blog that documents outrageous moments on the road. Mostly from my days living in Asia. http://brettnewski.com/#/stories/
MA: Where can people follow you?
You can catch Brett Newski at one of the events including one of our favorites Park Acoustics