Meet the Artist: Newworldson Print
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 05 March 2012 12:06 PM America/New_York

Award-winning Canadian band Newworldson was the first group signed to Inpop Records’ founder Dale Bray’s new label, Platinum Pop. Lead vocalist Joel Parisien discusses the new album, Rebel Transmission, releasing April 17 and distributed by New Day Christian Distribution.

How would you describe the music on Rebel Transmission?

Uplifting pop music with an obvious nod to ’60s soul and old school rock ’n’ roll.

Yours was the first band signed to new label Platinum Pop. Label founder Dale Bray clearly has confidence in you. How do you feel about that?

Dale Bray has nurtured this band from our humble start in Niagara Falls, Canada, to the international artists we are today, and for that we’re very grateful. We met back when he was president of Inpop Records, and it just felt natural to continue our working relationship; we’re very proud to be the first release from his new venture. Dale has always given us the artistic license to be the eclectic band that we truly are. 

How is this album different from your two previous releases? 

This new album is definitely more commercial than anything we’ve ever recorded. Everything, from the songwriting to the production, is focused on reaching a wider audience. There are more guest musicians than ever before, including the Chops Horns who have supported everyone from Alicia Keys to Bob Dylan.

As a band, you produced this album along with Justin Koop. What was it like working with him?

Justin is our perennial accomplice; he’s been there from the very beginning playing the role of engineer and co-producer. His experience is certainly more in the rock world, but we like that. He brings a level of intensity to the recording process that helps us capture the personality we have as performers when we’re in the studio.

How many of the songs on the new album did you write?

All of the songs are our own, though there are some collaborations with other songwriters. We teamed up with Tawgs Salter again; he helped us write “There Is a Way” from the previous album. He co-wrote two tracks [on the new one], including the first single, “Learning to Be the Light.”

“Learning to Be the Light” has done well on the charts. Why did you choose it as the first single?

We just believe the lyrics of that song are the strongest of any on the album. A guiding scripture for Newworldson is Matt. 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” We borrowed a lot from that chapter when writing “Learning to Be the Light.” It was important to introduce this new season of the band with that message.

Could you reflect on a few of your favorite songs on the album and why they’re special to you?

The second track on the album is called “Homeless Child,” and it was the last to be recorded. It’s really one of our strongest new songs. That was a nice surprise because, up to that point in production, we were already pretty proud of the repertoire. 

“Southern Cross” is also special to us. It’s a bit of a love letter to our fans and friends in Australia and New Zealand who have been so supportive. The Southern Cross is a constellation in the night sky that’s only visible in the southern hemisphere. 

Any thoughts for Christian retailers who place your music in the hands of their customers?

We’re united, and we share a common ministry. Together we understand the value of music as a unique and powerful communicator of Truth. We are very grateful that retailers have made room for us in their offering of contemporary Christian music to the public. It’s humbling, in fact.