By Maaike van der Linden
About three weeks ago, Brett Newski released his new album Land, Air, Sea, Garage. Now he’s touring in Europe. On his website, Newski calls himself a nomad, songman and Hi-Fi DIY, which basically means that he travels around not knowing what the next day will bring, but always stays positive. LLUID spoke with him in Utrecht about his album release, love for touring and weird places to play shows.
“Shall we take a walk?” Brett asked, and so we did. While we were walking and looking for some place quiet, he told that he’d blew out is voice in Stuttgart that night before. It made him nervous, but he felt confident about his gig that night. “I just get really bummed out when I lose my voice. It’s like, everything.” As we sat down on a bench, Utrecht was slowly getting darker and the subject changed to the release of Land, Air, Sea Garage. “The album release went super good! I mean, it’s always good when an album comes out and the reviews are pretty good. But for me it doesn’t matter. It’s the most subjective thing in the world. I don’t think people really care anymore, at least they don’t in America. It helps with the filtering because nobody wants to listen to a million bands, so you have to take someone’s opinion.”
Brett started making music when he was thirteen, fourteen years old and does it fulltime since four years. “It was always the end goal to play music fulltime. Now that has been achieved, I’m starting to look for better gigs. I try to live in the moment but it’s hard. I’m very happy with how things are going. The first couple of years were a lot more tough. I mean, it’s always going to be tough but I’ve been touring for four years now, and I finally got that feeling that the snowball has been packed and can start rolling down the hill.” Newski travels around the world without bandmates or large crews. But that doesn’t bother him anymore. “I think it’s way better to be alone instead of in a band. I can go wherever I want. I’ve got a tour manager who tours with me all the time. We go on fun adventures and do documentaries at day and play shows at night. I love touring. But yeah, it gets lonely bigtime. Earlier it was worse. Touring through Germany and not knowing anyone, that’s weird. Now I’ve got a tour manager and met a lot of people on the road. So it’s way better now.”
“I started travelling when I graduated journalism school. I was trying to figure out my sh*t and was backpacking around Asia and I played some gigs there. Travelling and making music are two things that go perfect together. I was having a great time and also made money while doing it. It was a no brainer.” Like more musicians, Brett has seen a lot of the world and loves traveling. The difference is that he’d played gigs at unusual venues. “I played some superweird shows at barns, attics, weird boats and on rooftops. Those are pretty cool, but a lot of work to curate because you’re the promoter. You have to set up the venue, you’re bringing the sound, you have to gather the crowd. So we try to do those in small doses so we don’t lose our minds. The ultimate weird gig? Uhm, in theory it would be cool to play on a fighter jet plane, but I don’t think that’d actually be cool once you actually did it. It’s a cool idea to play in extremes or other worlds like on the moon or at Antarctica but in reality, when you’re actually doing it, it would suck balls.”