The Story Behind The Album: Ken Newman - What Am I Afraid Of?

Published on 22 April 2022 at 09:00

1: How did you decide on the title, “What Am I Afraid Of"?

Actually, the original title of the album was “Dreaming of Guns.”  That was one of the first songs I wrote and I realized that ‘guns,’ was a recurring theme in many of the songs that came afterwards.  (I mean, it’s not like our society is OBSESSED with them or anything.)   Years later, as the album art was coming together, I found that the title was starting to wear on me, and becoming less appealing.  I realized that “What Am I Afraid Of?” was a better unifying theme for much of the album.  And for that matter, it’s a question I often ask myself when I’m facing the prospect of something that intimidates me.  Like releasing an album for example ….

2: What inspired you to create this album?

Honestly, it wasn’t part of a master plan.   I went to this guy, Scott Mickelson’s studio with a couple of songs.  Songs that admittedly needed some work.  And this collaboration led to enough songs to populate an album.  And like so many things in my life, I look back at it all and (to quote David Byrne) ask, “How did I get here?”

3: Where was this album recorded?

At Mickelson Sound in Mill Valley, CA.  and IMHO, he is one hell of a producer.

4: What were you listening to while making this album?

Listening to a lot of the artists I’ve loved for years; Springsteen, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Tom Waits, John Prine, Wilco, Bob Mould, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, 

5: Who did the cover art for this album?

That was done by Nemo, full name, Jesse “Nemo” Pruet.  His work is truly inspired.  He also did an animation of the cover that took it to a whole other level.  Here’s his website:

6: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I am REALLY glad that I opted to release this on vinyl.  The LP is so much a part of my youth that when I received the shipment of albums and opened one of them, the flood of memories almost knocked me over.

The other thing I’d like to add is that as you can see on the back cover, the album is dedicated to my Mom, Estelle Newman.  Sadly, she never got to see it, but I like to believe she will hear it.

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