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NewLaw On Working with Jimmy Needham, Refining their Own Sound & Their New EP

NewLaw

NewLaw has just released their new EP "You + Me." NewLaw comprises of three brothers Cayd, Tylan, & Dayne Greiner. The brothers recorded the EP at OCL and Legion Lounge with our producer Mike Little, along with incredible studio musicians: Matty McKay, Justin Kudding, Ben Bradley and Adam Dowling, Russ Broom.  They have also been working at Evergreen Studios with Mark Troyer. 

We are honored to be able to chat with NewLaw for this exclusive interview.

Q:  Thanks for doing this interview with us.  I must say I love your new EP.  Let's start with yourselves, who is NewLaw?

Thank you very much! We are super excited about our new EP as well! We are three brothers born and raised in Calgary, Cayd (20), Ty (18), and Dayne (14).  We grew up playing music, started with piano lessons and gradually began playing together about 5 years ago. We released our first EP "Show You There's Hope" in May 2015.  This EP was a response to our experience with losing our home in the Calgary Flood '13.

Q:  Why do you call yourselves NewLaw?

So NewLaw was originally an amalgomation of parts of our middle names, but when we came up with the name "NewLaw" we settled on it because of what it can mean to us.  We are living under the new law, the law of Jesus, coming from his fulfillment of the Old Testament law.  Jesus is the new law and the way to salvation, and this is what we are chasing.  Not the laws of this world, and not the laws of the Old Testament.  The new law of Jesus is what we are following, what we are striving for, what we are a part of, and what we believe in.

Q:  How would you describe your sound and music? Who would you say helped you in shaping your sound?

Both Cayd and Ty have unique songwriting styles and write for the band, so our sound varies.  We describe ourselves as Christian alternative with undertones of country.  We grew up listening to country music as well as Christian artists like NEEDTOBREATHE, Jimmy Needham, and old school rock like the Beatles, or the Eagles...which is where our sound, specifically our emphasis on harmonies, comes from.  In the new album, You and Me, our producer Mike Little, our vocal producer, Candace Lacina helped shape our sound along with the amazingly talented studio musicians who helped with the project.  There is definite country vibe due to their influence and we love it. 

Q:  Christian artist Jimmy Needham is involved on your new EP.   How did you get to know Jimmy and what was his involved with this new set?

We discovered Jimmy Needham in 2010.  For anyone who doesn't know him, Jimmy is an incredible musician and talented Christian song writer.  During his "Clear The Stage" album, he ran a Kickstarter fundraiser and with our donation we got the chance to meet him.  It was an amazing experience and he has since been to Canada again and we hosted a house concert, hung out and jammed with him. A friendship between our families has developed. Jimmy wrote the song "Promises" on our new album and "Loved for Being You" was co-written by Cayd and Jimmy. This was one of our first experiences with co-writing a song and to hear the end result and to notice Jimmy's distinct style in it, as well as Cayd's, was awesome. 

Q:  I love your new single "Promises."  Tell us more about what this song means to you.

"Promises" is written around the word faithfulness. The song is about how God always, always, comes through for us, and we are able to trust and rely on him with all of our heart, soul and mind, because His promises always come true.  One thing we like to be careful of is making sure we don't convey the idea that God promises an easy life, or a life without trials.  What He does promise, is that in all trials, with Him we can make it through and that we can come out on the other side, most times stronger.  I think one line in the song says it best: "The sun's gonna still come up, with or without the view." He never promises a good view, but he does promise that we can make it to another sunrise.  It really ties together the whole album. 

Q:  You also covered Chris Tomlin's "How Great is Our God" on the new EP.  Why did you choose to record this worship staple?

There were so many factors to choosing this song. We wanted to learn the process of recording a cover and we began thinking of covers that fit with our theme.  For the last track on the album we wanted to cover a worship song, for so many reasons: leading worship is part of our musical roots, we love worship songs, and we wanted a song that people would know and could sing along to, but with our own spin on it. 

"How Great is Our God" is a staple in worship and we wanted to cover a song where we could strip back the instruments and really just sing.  Since there are only three of us, when we perform live we often play our songs acoustically, so we wanted to give a taste of that style of us on the album.  Another reason we chose this particular worship song is that the message lined up with the overarching theme (relationship with God and others). "How Great is Our God" also reminds us of some amazing memories we've had in music/worship.  

One of the first major experiences and connections we ever made in music was with country artist, George Canyon.  Mike Little (producer/mentor) plays keys with George and through incredible circumstances we got the chance to open for him in a small venue, and perform songs with him on two occasions. One of the songs we performed was "How Great is Our God."

Q:  You are also known for your live shows where you don't do just your originals but also covers.  What are some of the covers you would do?  Whereabouts do you normally sing at?  

The covers we play depends on the venue and the event. We just love music, which spans all genres.  We play covers by NEEDTOBREATHE, Jimmy Needham and Casting Crowns.  As well as old classics by the Beatles, CCR and The Eagles.  Our love for country music has us playing Johnny Reid, Rascal Flatts and Zac Brown. Lastly, mainstream pop also plays a big part of our cover repertoire, and some of our favourites songs to play are our versions of what we hear on mainstream radio by artists like John Mayer, Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes.  One place we frequently play at on weekends is the Calgary Farmers' Market, where we sell our EP's.  There we play mostly pop music and classic rock, which are crowd pleasers, but there's a science to what people want to hear and when, we are still figuring that out!

Q:  How do you wish this new EP would impact the lives of your listeners?

We are blessed to play music and write music and we hope the listeners (regardless of religion, musical taste and background) find encouragement, hope and are able to relate to the songs.  We write about life, and Jesus is the foundation of our lives so His influence plays a huge role in the album. There are a couple of songs, though, that were written about things we were going through, or experiences a friend of ours was struggling with. For instance, Me Without a You, was written about a time when a chapter of life is closing and about a person being caught between staying with people they love and the place they are, but knowing it is time to move on. Regardless, almost all of our songs were written in such a way they can speak to a wide range of experiences and ages.  We like to think that there is something for everyone on this album, from genres of music, to the topics of the songs. 

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