This time we were a bit sneaky. Instead of starting the actual rapid fire of weird questions right from the start, we fooled UK's AOR hero Steve Newman to think that this would be a sensible interview with some rather normal questions. No need to panic though, towards the end of the interview the sensibility of the questions starts to vanish... Newman has a new album called "The Art Of Balance" out, if you're into classic AOR you might want to check it out.

How has the reaction to the new album been?

The reaction has been fantastic, people have been full of praise and I am truly humbled by all the comments.

Are you looking forward to performing at Firefest?

You bet !! Can't wait to be a part of what I think is going to be a great weekend, so many awesome bands including a few that I have grown up with. It'll probably be a very overwhelming experience for me and the rest of the guys in the band.

What made you use your surname instead of a band name?

When I originally wrote songs for the first album I had asked Mark Thompson Smith (Praying Mantis, The Sweet) to sing but due to his other commitments this wasn't possible so I took the bull by the horns and sung the album myself. When it came to a band name I wanted to release it as a solo album but I was advised that, particularly in the Japanese market, they were not interested in solo artists. So we settled for the next best thing, but it seems to have worked out OK.

Do you prefer to play as many instruments on an album as you do, or is it a money thing?

I am a bit of a control freak !! I spent many years in bands as the primary songwriter and wasn't always happy with the way things came out when interpreted by a band. This way I can only argue with myself. worryingly I've started to do that !! it's probably first sign of madness !!

Who are your influences and heroes?

I have so many !! Here's a few. Jeff Paris, Steve Lukather, Micky Thomas, Martin Page, Strangeways, FM, and most of this years Firefest line-up !

What 3 words describe you?

Tall, dark, and two out of three aint bad !

What has been your most embarrassing tour moment?

Probably my guitar not working on the second night of the John Waite tour, but we got through it, and had some great fun !!

What's your favourite pre 1990 album?

1986 Journey - Raised On radio, 1989 Strangeways - Walk In The Fire... once again, there's so many !

You are in a balloon with Axl Rose, Gene Simmons, Sebastian Bach and Simon Cowell - who would you throw out as ballast and why?

That actually happened last week, but there ended up being enough hot air between the 4 of them to lift us up to the edge of space !!

What is your guilty secret?

I am a huge fan of WW2 aircraft, and each year I try and visit as many airshows as possible. Haven't quite got to the binocular and tripod stage yet though !!

Who do you think is the most overrated band/solo artist ever and why?

That's not an easy question to answer, music is so personal and subjective, are you trying to get me into trouble ? .. Dire Straits

How do you feel about gigs being filmed and put onto the net by fans?

If you're referring to places such as youtube, I think it's healthy, certainly can't do the bands any harm if it's a good performance although the sound quality isn't always the best.

Who is the sexiest person in Rock?


What's the best thing about being a musician?

I guess it's being able to write and play what you feel inside and sometimes touch other people with your music, it's exciting and satisfying all at the same time.

What's the worst thing about being a musician?

I can't think of one single thing.

What song do you identify with the most?

I have a couple of songs which have stayed with me for years. Michael Bolton's version of "Desperate Heart" moves me every time, and Jeff Paris' "My Girl" is another. To me, it'ss the very essence of how a ballad should be written and performed.

What's the worst shithole you've ever played and why?

Haha, I've played many in my time, especially in the various covers bands I've been in. But as Newman, it has to be "The Rig" in Nottingham, the audience were great, the sound was not !!

What song do you want played at your funeral?

Wow, can I answer that in a few years, I still think there's some great bands and music to be written.

What is the best TV theme tune ever?

Has to be "Starsky and Hutch"!

Is the anything else you'd like to say?

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's bought the new album and continues to support Newman, it's truly appreciated. Keep on Rockin' folks and we'll see you very soon !!

interview by Alan Holloway
Photos courtesy of Newman
15 April 2010
(c) 2010 RockUnited.Com