Too Drunk To Dream

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Joshua Novak – A Monolith Festival must-see band

“…Singing of betrayal and bitterness with an overflowing beauty, the wave of vocals and guitar weaving and cascading off the stage or speakers…” -Kim Owens, KAFFEINE BUZZ

Joshua Novak, an incredible songwriter from Denver, will be gracing the stage at the MONOLITH Festival on Sept.14th. His song “Tidal Wave” is really and beautifully fucking infectious. Taking cues from The Shins, Mountain Goats, and early Fleetwood Mac, the song just works for me.

The following is an interview that Joshua gave to, the sponsor of the MadeLoud Acoustic Stage , the stage that Josh will be performing on at Monolith, being held at Red Rocks, on Sept 13 and 14th.

This interview can be found at :

Joshua Novak, a songwriter (but not singer/songwriter, he’ll have you know) has been known to take inspiration from car crashes, sex addiction, and counts Tears for Fears and Michael Jackson as early influences over his taste and development as an artist. Alongside musicians John Rasmussen, Kit Peltzel and Nathan Meese, Novak has developed a niche within the Denver music scene, and plans to turn more heads at his Monolith festival appearance.

MadeLoud: How long have you been playing?

JN: I’ve been playing since I was fourteen. Dad bought a guitar then, a right-handed one—I’m left handed—and I didn’t know any better. I taught myself how to play a right-handed guitar upside down.

ML: Who/what inspired your songwriting?

JN: I have to credit my parents to raising me in music, and we had a musical household in terms of listening and appreciating. From as early as four I can remember that was what I wanted to do. I’ve always loved music and wrote my first song when I was eight. Music was never forced on us—my dad was in a band growing up and my parents had big record collections. I felt like in those days I’d spend any allowance I had on buying cassettes, both singles and albums.

ML:Your style is varied, drawing from a lot of different genres and themes. How do you think your penchant for art and visual stuff melds with your spectrum of musical tastes?

JN: I’m a huge Andy Warhol fan Neo Rauch fan. There’s an element of the trashy pop life; nightlife, darkness, and a kind of industrialism I find appealing. I’m kind of a movie head and I love David Lynch. I think that watching a movie and listening to music or looking at art are the same things (sometimes) in terms of the feeling you get from them. That’s why I try to convey more of a feeling about something, and its atmosphere, which sometimes can get overlooked or underappreciated. To me that’s what sticks out the most, and I think it translates commonly through how I appreciate and make art.

ML: Categorizing your work can be difficult, with little nuances of different genres here and there. Can you track the evolution of your work and pinpoint particular shifts?

JN: I started out young as a singer/songwriter, which is funny because we were never raised with a typical singer/songwriters. We listened to lots of music, but there wasn’t a lot of Dylan or Leonard Cohen. We had like Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Tears for Fears. Even when I was young and learning and playing by myself, in my mind my intention was always to have a pop/rock kind of sound, rather than a singer/songwriter one. That’s something I’ve actually fought a lot. It’s a difficult thing, as silly as it seems, to be a musician and fighting off that stereotype, because in a technical sense I suppose you could call me a singer/songwriter, but in terms of how I write things or operate with the band, it’s very much more the rock and pop approach. You kind of have to fight in your corner a little bit to get that in people’s heads constantly. Because my name is on it, people want to put you on a barstool with a piece of wheat hanging out of your mouth. And they want you to be singing about your cats or the Rocky Mountains or something, but it’s completely not true. It’s really frustrating.

ML:How has the city of Denver been an influence on your music?

JN:I think that some people here, and people that don’t live here look at Denver ignorantly as a waiting room for the rest of the country or something. It seems like some people are saying, “I’m going to be in Denver until…”. But especially with the music scene, that’s not the case. I think that Denver’s rich with a lot of really interesting history, especially the dark history. There’s that whole Woven Hand and 16-horse power that have come from here, that I consider more the history of what Colorado sounds like. I’ve known bands that have come here from L.A., you have either the Hollywood Bowl or the Denny’s and there’s nothing in-between to play. In Denver there’s tons of indie rock clubs and there’s a definite sense of community.

ML:Who do you look forward to seeing at Monolith?

JN: I think the world of DeVotchKa—even though they’re local. I was so proud that they were from here. Hootie and the Blowfish would be amazing. The Kills, Neko Case, Vampire Weekend, Cut Copy, Tilly and the Wall, Band of Horses.

– Francesca Camillo

Joshua Novak – 01 Tidal Wave1.mp3
Joshua Novak – 04 My Darling Criminal Lover.mp3
Joshua Novak – 02 Theives.mp3
Joshua Novak -theres been an accident.mp3


Josh Novak – MySpace
Buy his music.
Go and support him by seeing him live….at Monolith and beyond.


August 31, 2008 Posted by | joshua novak, monolith festival, red rocks | Leave a comment