Jonathon Newby

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Jonathon Newby
Jonathon Newby.jpg
Jonathon Newby
Background information
Birth name Jonathon Christopher Newby
Genres Progressive rock, Experimental rock, Garage rock, Psychedelic rock, Ambient, Dream pop, Soundtracks
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter, Singer, Designer
Instruments Vocals, Drums, Piano, Bass
Years active 2000–present

Young Tobacco,

Previously: Immortal, Fearless Records,
Associated acts Brazil, JC Autobody, City Water, Poorly Built Men, JC XMAS
Notable instruments

Jonathon Newby was the lead singer of the post-hardcore/progressive rock band Brazil from its inception in 2000 until August 2007. Jonathon and his brother Nic newly were two of the founding members. On earlier Brazil recordings, Jonathon played drums but eventually became the lead singer. Newly left the band in 2007,[1] resulting in its break-up.

In 2010 Newby formed JC Autobody, for which he continues to perform, write and produce. In 2014 he formed the studio projects City Water and Poorly Built Men with his brother Nic. He currently works as a designer while retaining full ownership of and running the labels Young Tobacco and Oleta Publishing Company.


Newby has been formally trained on the piano, on which he wrote most of Brazil's songs, as well as on drums. His stringed instrument playing ability is self-taught.

Vocal range[edit]

Newby's vocal range has been compared[2][3] to that of Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive-In/Mars Volta.

Lyrical influence[edit]

Newby is known for his complex, layered and often deliberately cryptic lyrics, drawing in from disparate sources, such as literature, pop culture and film [4]

“After more or less nine years of living out of a suitcase I started to become enamored with the concept of absurdity because I had seen and experienced so much of it in my life already. Absurdity became the order of the day in writing and recording the new record. Absurd subject matter, absurd lyrics, absurd volume.”

— Jonathon Newby August 2006 Interview


Before founding Brazil, Newby lived in the Arab quarter of Kortrijk, Belgium, from 1999-2000, where he worked for punk record label Goodlife Recordings.

When returning to the U.S., Newby moved into the chapel of an abandoned church. While living there, Newby and his brother Nic created the concept of Brazil. Brazil's first demos were recorded in the church's basement.[3] The original band lineup consisted of Benjamin Hunt, Aaron Smith and Johnny Richardson, current member of Brooklyn-based band Aquadora.

Post Brazil[edit]

In December 2012, Newby was asked to curate a playlist for UK radio program Garden of Earthly Delights, joining the ranks of other guest mix curators such as Grimes, Richard Ashcroft, Daddy G (Massive Attack), The Streets, M83, Fever Ray, Grinderman and Four Tet.

Newby is currently writing, producing and performing under the names JC Autobody, City Water, JXMAS and Poorly Built Men. In addition to providing the vocals and serving as producer, Newby has played nearly every instrument on the studio recordings for his current projects. Most of the records were originally released as demos and not widely available until released simultaneously on iTunes. He produces a variety of projects in a wide range of styles in a studio in downtown Indianapolis, IN.

Newby owns and operates a record label and publishing company called Young Tobacco, a micro-label devoted solely to his production work. He also owns and operates Oleta Publishing Company, a legacy country and Americana catalog Newby inherited from his grandfather, the late rockabilly recording artist Jimmie Zack. The catalog features songs covered by Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Willie Nelson.

He is represented by Songs Music Publishing as a songwriter and composer, and has worked with Grammy-winning producers Bret “Epic” Mazur and Dave Fridmann, as well as Empire’s Sean Van Vleet and Ghost Beach’s Eric Mendelsohn.

Newby currently lives in Indianapolis, IN.

Writing (non-musical)[edit]

Newby maintained a blog titled 500 Days of Night [4] chronicling every concert Brazil performed from 2000-2008. Although Newby no longer maintains the blog, he plans to publish it in book form in 2017 under the Young Tobacco label.

Web (non-musical)[edit]

Jonathon also has created numerous now-famous avatars for message board patrons.



Album Label Release Date Format
Brazil (Demo) Sel-released 2000 CD
Dasein Fearless Records September 17, 2002 CD
The Lost EP Never
A Hostage and the Meaning of Life Fearless Records April 20, 2004 CD
The Philosophy of Velocity Immortal Records October 3, 2006 CD

As JC Autobody[edit]

Album Label Release Date Format
Trash (EP) Young Tobacco 17-Mar-2015 Digital
Lifetaker (EP) Young Tobacco 17-Mar-2015 Digital
Indiana (EP) Young Tobacco 17-Mar-2015 Digital
Young Tobacco (LP) Young Tobacco 17-Mar-2015 Digital
Witches (LP) Young Tobacco 17-Mar-2015 Digital
War Paint (LP) Young Tobacco 2017 (TBD; in production) TBD; unreleased

As City Water[edit]

Album Label Release Date Format
1 (EP) Young Tobacco 17-Mar-2015 Digital
2 (EP) Young Tobacco 11-Sep-2015 Digital
3 (EP) Young Tobacco TBD; unreleased TBD; unreleased

As JXMAS[edit]

Album Label Release Date Format
Dirigibles (LP) Young Tobacco TBD TBD; unreleased

As Poorly Built Men[edit]

Album Label Release Date Format
Husherville (LP) Young Tobacco TBD; unreleased TBD; unreleased


  1. ^ "Singer Jonathon Newby quits Brazil". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^