Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Interview with former Nylon and multiple Juno winner Billy Newton-Davis!

First a bit of history, what years were you a member/ what albums did you record with the guys?
I was with The Nylons “I believe from 1991-1993.
I recorded “Live To Love” with them. I think it is a very cool and modern collection of songs.

How did you come to join the group?
I was with the same management team that The Nylons were with at the time. Marc Conner’s became very ill and died. I auditioned and the guys asked me to join. I knew the group as well. I did some wardrobe for them, and brought in several stylists so they were familiar with me, and my work. Marc’s shoes were tuff to fill, but the guys really embraced me. Working with them changed me as a performer.

A Capella has it's own set of challenges. What was your experience/growth like in that area?
My Dad was a singer. He use to rehearse with his Bud’s on Sunday afternoon’s. They sang A’capella. So I am very accustomed to the sound and feel of that genre. My growth came when I started to train my voice on a regular basis. I had serious voice issues. I had to learn to just pull back. I was from the New York stage, and you had to belt. I learned less is more!

The Nylons have always maintained a busy touring schedule, were there adjustments for you in handling the physical regime?
Yes I had to learn how to travel. I had to lock myself up in hotel rooms because touring was fun and we went to some very exciting and exotic places. Silence, sleep, hydration and nourishment are the key.

Are there any secrets you can share with us that you have used for maintaining vocal, physical and spiritual health?
Vocalizing faithfully! Doing some kind of physical exercise. Reading books of all kinds re: my spiritual journey. Lemons heal my voice!

Are there any concerts or experiences that stick out as particularly memorable from your Nylon years?
Yes when we performed in my hometown of Cleveland!
What song would you say remains a special Nylons memory for you.
I love the chestnuts...!! Of course and always! I love “Grown Man Cry”, and I love Don’t Look Any Further”......

The Nylons form a special brotherhood or fraternity?
Yes I think it is a very special group of performers that become Nylon’s. You are encouraged to be yourself, but it is a family affair. We all have a sense of each other, and we all get each other. To see us in rehearsal is something special. Claude is a great leader!

  What are you looking forward to the most in these upcoming shows?
To be singing with one of the greatest groups in the world. It is an honour for me to be a part of one Canada’s treasures! And I like all of these guys a lot!!!!

Billy will be joining The Nylons along with Micah Barnes and Mark Cassius for a reunion concert Friday May 30th as part of the SING festival at the Distillery inToronto!

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