Behind the Beat: Going Further

After picking up his father’s acoustic guitar at the age of 10, Northampton singer and songwriter Seth Newton knew right away that making music was for him.

In fact, after making his professional live debut only two years later at age 12, Newton has never stopped playing, quickly adding bass guitar to his repertoire as well as learning a variety of other instruments, including the xylophone, trumpet, trombone, Theremin and more.

“At some points I felt slightly obsessive about learning new instruments,” he says. “There is something incredible about holding an instrument that is foreign to you and applying the general knowledge of other instruments—the intimate journey of learning a new instrument.”

Now 28, and performing as a solo artist under his real name after past tenures in bands like Magna Mater and Farewell To Arms, Newton also holds down a job in Northampton as one of the managers of Sam’s Pizzeria and Café on Main Street.

He says, “I have musician friends that do not have day jobs and get by playing bar cover song gigs most nights of the week. They have asked me why I don’t do the same. I have told them I would if I didn’t enjoy the job that I currently have as much as I do, and I also don’t think that I would enjoy playing the amount of cover songs the venues often require the performer to play.”

As for performing by himself instead of as part of a group, Newton notes that there are definite differences between each type of project.

“When writing in a group, there are often a number of crossroads that you arrive at where a flexibility or sacrifice has to occur,” he says. “This sometimes can be indescribably beneficial in sculpting something greater than what you could have ever imagined on your own. [But] it can sometimes be discouraging if you end up losing something that you may have strongly envisioned for the song. Being a solo artist, there is only one deliberator.”

Fortunately for fans, as the sole “deliberator” of his own brand of alternative rock, Newton is itching to get back into the studio to record the followup to his debut album, which was released in April.

“I have noticed that my newer songs have simply gone a little further in each direction of the journey I began with my debut album Lost At Sea,” he says. “I hope to get back into the studio by fall at the latest and begin tracking some of the songs I have written for my new album. I feel like the winter in New England is a great time to huddle indoors and work on an album so that when the spring comes, you are ready to flourish along with nature and the seasons. That is what I did this past year. I am also looking to travel further for shows and hopefully spread past New York, hitting more of the Northeast.”


For more information on Seth Newton, please visit and, or follow Seth on Twitter @SethNewtonMusic.


Author: Michael Cimaomo

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