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October/November 2016

by Dee Muir

Fresh Talent: Charlotte Newell

by Dee Muir

Fresh Talent: Charlotte Newell

While filling band member vacancies, hardcore metal vocalist and Subsistence front woman, Charlotte Newell, wasted no time in putting together her own solo EP, ‘Defiled’.

“I never actually intended to do a solo project. It’s just what happened because we couldn’t do the band. I thought I’d do my project to fill in the time. Solo projects aren’t something that people do until later in their career, but I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll just do it first… Let’s just throw out the rule book,’” she giggles.

This adoring cat lady (she lives with five felines) is so softly spoken it’s hard to believe that she could produce such crushing vocal breakdowns.

“The technique I use is ‘false chord’ which is quite a powerful technique mostly used by men. Once I figured out how to make the sound I started looking into methods to do it safely. You need a lot of core strength, because if you only learn to scream with your throat, you’re going to ruin your voice within a year.”

A lengthy personal battle with mental health has seen Charlotte pushing boundaries musically in the hopes of helping others to push past their own demons.

“As long I can remember I’ve had anxiety. I never knew what it was – I thought everyone felt like that. It was when I moved out on my own that I realised there was something bigger. It was affecting my ability to take care of myself.

“I thought that if I put my feelings out there through my lyrics that maybe that will help someone else. At the very least it will help raise awareness because I think it’s a real problem in NZ. I don’t want to assume that my music will help people, I just really hope that it will.”

When it came to the production of her ‘Defiled’ EP, Charlotte put trust in good friend, fellow Subsistence member and self-taught producer, Dillan Manihera.

“Dillan’s taught me so many things that would’ve taken me years otherwise to get around to doing. You don’t always know if you’re going to get on with the producer or if they’re going to give you the sound that you want. That’s why I chose Dillan. He’ll never force me to stick with something that I’m not happy with. One of the other reasons for doing the EP was to get more records for Dillan’s portfolio as well!”

From being mistaken for a roadie, to one of the band’s girlfriends, Charlotte’s quick to share advice for other aspiring females setting their sights on the metal scene.

“Don’t care what anyone thinks about you. Do what you love. Never stop yourself from growing or learning. Build your life around what you love, and just have fun. Find other musicians that share a similar mindset or similar goals and work with them. Find people that you can really rely on to deliver.”