Although composer Joey Newman is part of an extended musical family, he credits his mother and father for first nurturing his love for music. His father, Joe Frank Carollo, was in the 1970s rock band Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds. Mother Jennifer Newman is a classically trained ballerina.
"I always knew the Newman side of the family was musical," Newman explained when reached by telephone. "My mom was a professional ballerina, so she always had music on. Even though she was classical, she was a pop/rock fan. My dad is an R&B, blues/rock bass player, singer and drummer. I was probably more influenced by that specifically. I started playing drums early on."
Newman, who counts noted composers Randy ("Toy Story 3"), Thomas ("The Help"), and David Newman ("Ice Age") as cousins, has been working on the music for a Cuba Gooding, Jr., pilot for Fox Television called "Guilty." The actor plays a defense attorney who still uses his legal skills after he loses his license.
Pilot season in Hollywood always presents a challenge, especially for composers like Newman.
"It's all a matter, in a very short time, of developing a sound and a voice musically for the show. It's always a challenge, but it's always the most exciting part of a doing a pilot, even though it is completely insane for two and a half, three weeks. It's that adrenaline rush that's so exciting about working in television," he enthused.
Newman also thinks the talent pool involved in making TV pilots is quite remarkable, especially when it comes to professionalism and speed.
"They shot ['Guilty'] on location in New York, which was really great. It was all these incredible locations, and they were all real. McG directed the pilot. I am always amazed at how people can get this done in a short amount of time," Newman said.
"Towards the last couple of seasons of 'Little People,' I had a friend with me. We ended up sharing the stage and writing the music for the rest of the seasons together because it is impossible to keep up with the schedule," Newman explained. "On most animated series or fast-paced, large scale musical series, there are a couple of [composers]. This [work] is too demanding, and people have too many things going on."
As a lead composer on a series, Newman compares the job to being Captain of the Enterprise.
"Your job is being the creative head and then taking that hat off to become management. It becomes difficult, especially for most musicians, who are creative types," he explained.
Newman said that he really caught the music bug at age 15. Due to his musical lineage, he thinks he was kind of destined to become a composer.
"I think a lot of composers have become great businessmen because they had to be or they come from that background. A lot of them are rockers or musicians. They just want to write. A guy like Hans Zimmer, who has this career, it's his world. There are guys who can do it like that, and there are other guys who can barely do it."