An Interview with Alex Novak of Venus Fly Trap

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Recently, I sat down with Alex Novak of Venus Fly Trap to discuss, among other things, what he’s been up to during the lockdown, the groups newest music, his thoughts on the music scene going forward, and what he’s looking forward to the most once COVID-19 breaks.

If you would like to learn more about Venus Flytrap, head over to the group’s Bandcamp here, and dig in. Once you’ve done that, check out this interview with Alex Novak. Cheers.

Andrew:
Alex, how have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?

Alex:
Well more the case of not, I run a record shop called Spiral Archive Records. We have just come out of lockdown recently. After nearly four months, I switched to making online sales, which I’m carrying on. But yet to come back are my other activities such as DJing, promoting gigs, and also playing gigs with Venus Fly Trap, hopefully later this year. I have spent quite a bit of time doing interviews, promoting releases that have been put out in the last year or so.

Andrew:
Before we dive into your professional career, let’s go back a bit. What first got you hooked on music? Who were some of your early influences?

Alex:
Always been interested since a young age, but what got me involved in the first place was the Punk and New wave explosion. it changed my perception of being able to be in a band; it was the get-up and give it a go attitude and see where it leads approach inspired 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 of thought of it before.

Andrew:
Let’s talk about recent events first. Tell us about your current releases?

Alex:
In 2020, we put out Mercurial 1978​-​2018, 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, for people to delve into and explore further if they wish, about eighty minutes of music packed into this release. Head over to my Bandcamp here to check it out.

Then this year we released the download single “Achilles Heel” which appears on the album Time Lapse, it a selection of tracks from the albums Totem, Pandoras Box and Luna Tide, placed together as a possible alternative album in this alternate reality. You can check them out via Bandcamp here and here.

Andrew:
What themes are you exploring with your new music?

Alex:
Our most recent studio album, Icon, drew a lot from the Warhol quote, “Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” Also, we touched on the idea of being famous for being famous, celebrity, idols, the new religion. Did we create God? Gods with our fertile imaginations trying to explain the world around us, sci-fi in the widest sense, Tarantino movies, film noir all went into the melting pot.

Andrew:
How about the production side of things? Do you self–produce, or do you bring in outside voices?

Alex:
Mostly self-produced up to a certain level, then we hand it to Martin Bowes (Attrition) to do final mixes, master and sprinkle the tracks with fairy dust.

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl, cassettes, CDs, or digital? What are a few of your favorite albums, and why?

Alex:
I run a record shop which is mostly vinyl, but as a band we released material on all these formats the only one we have missed is wax cylinders. Difficult question like so many albums for different reasons and have been re-listening to some recently, I cant really pick one as opposed to another.

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Andrew:
What other passions do you have? How do those passions inform your music, if at all?

Alex:
I am a big film fan especially anything sci-fi, film noir. Some favorites are Alien, Star Wars, Bladerummer, Parasite, Pans Labyrinth, Third Man, Metropolis. As for books, Henry Miller, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Tolkein, Asimov. And of course, art; Pop Art, Warhol, Bauhaus, Dada, Surrealism, Man Ray, Bunuel, Op Art…it’s all absorbed into the sponge.

Andrew:
In your opinion, what is the state of the music business these days? Should artists be hopeful? Scared? Both?

Alex:
A lot of independent artists rely on the live gig scene to promote and sell merchandise to finance the band. Without that engine, it’s difficult. Hopefully, there will be more venues re-opening this year; I’m a cautious optimist.

Andrew:
We seem to be nearing a light at the end of the tunnel; what’s next on your docket? What are you looking forward to most?

Alex:
To get out and play/DJ and be able to go and see bands..that’s enough for the time being. Check us out via Facebook.

Rogue PR

Interested in learning more about Venus Fly Trap? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

Published by Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island and works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night.

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