LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
ALEX NOVAK-I had been in a band called ATTRITION who were based in London at the time, I had done an album and toured UK/Holland with them. Decided to move back to my native Northampton famous for BAUHAUS,ALAN MOORE and the film KINKY BOOTS, hooked up with my brother JOHN NOVAK(ISAWS,WHERES LISSE) and TONY BOOKER an x art school student, I had also studied at art school. The line up has changed many times over the years, ANDY DENTON joined via a local band CROWMAN, initially as the drummer and ended up playing guitar and has done for many years.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
ALEX NOVAK-Well from being very active playing live with a lot of interesting gigs coming up to all being cancelled and no idea when the gig scene will be active again.I also run a record shop SPIRAL ARCHIVE RECORDS,put into lockdown,then open with restrictions,which has happened a few times,now were back in lockdown again.Basically a lot of sales have moved to online only,without that and the support of customers I would have closed. https://www.facebook.com/SpiralArchiveRecords
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
ALEX NOVAK-Been busy promoting various releases,mostly doing interviews,getting reviews and airplay, in 2020 VENUS FLY TRAP/ALEX NOVAK-MERCURIAL CD/DL(GLASS RECORDS MODERN) came out,it’s a career spanning retrospective that includes the best of VFT and other bands,projects I have been involved with including ISAWS,RELIGIOUS OVERDOSE,TEMPEST,ATTRITION,NOVA STATE CONSPIRACY,THE DEN and SPORE.
Just recently we put out ACHILLES HEEL as download only single it will appear on the album to be released in March 2021 called VENUS FLY TRAP-TIME LAPSE CD/DL(GLASS RECORDS MODERN) tts a selection of tracks collected from the albums TOTEM,PANDORAS BOX and LUNA TIDE,placed together as a possible alternative album in this alternate reality.https://glassminiature.bandcamp.com/album/achilles-heel
heres the video for ACHILLES HEEL…
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
ALE NOVAK-We have been described as “bladerunner rock n roll with dark acidic shades”,we create dark sonic cinema for the mind,film noir,sci fi soundscapes that absorb post punk,electronica and meld Joy Division,Doors,Chemical Brothers like melted wax crayon colours.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
ALEX NOVAK-When first choosing the name of the band ,I liked the idea of a plant that eats insects rather than the other way round ,the connections with the planets venus and mars,mythology,sci fi,these all fed me plenty of images and lyrical ideas to play around with and further develop as we progressed.
LOMM: Are you happy with your product? What aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
ALEX NOVAK-Everything could be done differently or better with the gift of hindsight,but generally im pretty satisfied with what we have produced,the final judges are the audience.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
ALEX NOVAK-2019 was a really good year for us and 2020 was set to look even better,lots of good shows being lined up,but here we are.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
ALEX NOVAK-We have done many tours mainly in the UK and most of Western and Eastern Europe,doing gigs is the engine that drives everything especially if you want to sell releases and merchandise to fund touring and finance the band.
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
ALEX NOVAK-Hopefully sort some gigs for later in 2021 whenever its possible,we having been working a couple of new tracks FORBIDDEN PLANET and BEBE to be released in 2021.
LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
ALEX NOVAK- As far as writing tracks we would start with a riff,just guitar and vocal,the riff would suggest a lyric usually have lines written down to spark an idea and with a bit of jamming there would be an embryonic version of a song,not all these ideas would come to anything,but are kept for possible use.ANDY DENTON(GUITAR/PROGRAMMING) would take these ideas away and come up with a basic backing track to the add more lyrics to and work out a structure,a lot of of going back and forwards from rehersal to studio,we would end up with a song we were happy with.I write the lyrics for example the recent album ICON drew a lot from the WARHOL quote”in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”,the idea of being famous for being famous.Also celebrity,idols,the new religion,did we create God,gods with our fertile imaginations?,science fiction,TARANTINO movies all provided inspiration.
LOMM: What first got you into music?
ALEX NOVAK-What got me involved in the first place was the punk,new wave explosion it changed my perception on being able to be in a ban,it was the get up and give it a go attitude and see where it leads approach appealed to me.Minimal experience but it didn’t matter it was the ideas that counted,this diy approach got people involved in music who would not thought of it before.
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
Seeing and playing new places but not necessarily getting there,traveling can be time consuming and there is always lots of hanging around at gigs waiting for things to happen.
LOMM: If you weren’t musicians, what would you be doing?
ALEX NOVAK-Well im doing it already I run a record shop also DJ,put on gigs in between playing,but anything creative really as I studied Graphic Design and then later Photography.
LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
ALEX NOVAK-A one stop alternative distribution company like Rough Trade and someone on National radio like the late JOHN PEEL.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
ALEX NOVAK-You have to like what you produce first.
LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?
Done many..looking to the next one..i think the first gig after lockdown will be memorable.
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
ALEX NOVAK-Still being able to carry on.
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
ALEX NOVAK-Marlene Dietrich.
LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?
Anyone who is left from the VELVET UNDERGROUND…JOHN CALE or play alongside a TARANTINO film.
LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.
My own festival called METROPOLIS with bands that have been inspired by the FRITZ LANG film.
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
ALEX NOVAK-Like too many different albums.
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
ALEX NOVAK-As I run a record shop I have all formats apart from Digital,but the band has released on every format going and will continue to.
LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with?
ALEX NOVAK-Sophia Loren,Spike Milligan,Ghandi,H G Wells,Jim Morrison.
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
ALEX NOVAK-Support the music scene in general as its going through a tough time.