New You - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Blake Turner of New You. We discussed how he formed the project, how Weezer, Rozwell Kid, Descendents and Angel Du$t influenced him, the writing and recording process for his upcoming EP, the song he’s most excited for listeners to hear, his plans for 2021, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Thanks for having me! Happy to be doing this.

Can you tell me how you formed the project for those who may be unfamiliar? How did you initially become interested in music?

All I've ever wanted to do since 6th grade is play in bands. I've played hardcore, indie/folk, and alt rock. When covid hit, my band at the time obviously stopped being able to practice or play shows, and I needed a new creative outlet. I started a solo project called Mourning Collective that was meant to be a quick one-off, but eventually evolved into a full-time alt/shoegaze project. After spending close to a year on the heavier subject matter that a genre like that calls for, I was really itching for something fun. I've always loved punk rock and power pop, so I thought I'd try my hand at a hybrid of those genres. Just big catchy guitar riffs and introspective yet tongue-in-cheek lyrics. So that's how New You was born.

I really like your sound. How did you find it and who are some of your biggest influences?

So like I mentioned earlier, I love that sort of aggressive power pop sound, where the guitars are huge and the hooks are memorable. I had never written music like that before, so it was super fun trying to craft that sort of sound. For this project I'd say my biggest influences are early Weezer and Rozwell Kid, and then I add some elements of bands like Descendents and even a hint of Angel Du$t at times. It's a really fun cocktail and I love how it came out.

Your ‘Self-Titled’ EP comes out April 2nd. What was the writing and recording process like for the EP? How long did you work on it?

So I do everything from my one bedroom apartment. I don't even actually own a guitar amp currently. I use a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, a Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, and a super cheap bass I bought online. The drums are MIDI. Everything is recorded via direct input and then manipulated with plug-ins. It actually blows my mind how easy it is to get a good sound with this sort of setup. For writing, I don't know, these three songs came extremely naturally. This is probably the first project where I really sat down with a clear vision and then just knocked it out fairly painlessly. I don't want to say that it was super easy, but it was very smooth. All told it took about two weeks for writing, recording, mixing, mastering, and then creating the artwork. I do it all myself, which is a really cool feeling. It's nice for a project to just fully be your vision from top to bottom.

What can listeners expect from the EP? 

Big riffs and big hooks. I'm not the greatest guitar player in the world, but for this release I really wanted to have fun with lead guitar parts and guitar harmonies. The vocals I keep simple and catchy, with some lyrics that put a fun spin on my current pandemic-weary mental state. Ultimately I just hope it's memorable, or that someone gets something out of it.

Do you have a song that you’re most excited for people to check out? Why? 

Definitely the closer, Total Mess. It has this sort of droning verse part that breaks into my favorite chorus on the EP, and I love the way I mix up the chorus for the finale with a dueling vocal part. Those are always fun. Despite the EP being only 3 songs it definitely has that closing song feel that I think is crucial for any release.

After the release of the EP, what else do you have planned for 2021?

I'm planning a cover song for May's Bandcamp day, I'd like to do a tape release of the EP, and then definitely keep writing for the next release. I have so many ideas I left on the table, I'd love to do an LP and incorporate some keys into the sound. We'll see what happens.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Protect trans lives. Wear your mask. Get vaccinated. Anyone can make music, stop holding yourself back and just have fun. Art can be whatever you want it to be, there are no rules. Thanks for the interview.

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