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A brief chat with OKO TYGRA


OKO TYGRA (yup, all caps) was started by Denver musician Joshua Novak following a head injury and some serious contemplation. The dream-pop outfit is putting out the “Glass Jaw/Plasticine” 7” on March 3, and playing the Oriental Theater with Candy Claws on March 7, so we had a chat with Novak about it all.O

Yellow Scene: When and why did the band start?

Joshua Novak: This last year, I suffered a head injury – I fell off of a ladder. I was in the ICU, and all of this was after I had been doing my own solo thing in Denver for 16 years. I’ve had a lot of good things come from it, but I seriously felt like I’d reached some sort of a plateau. I was toying around with the idea of starting something new, of putting my energy somewhere else. I know people do that kind of stuff all the time, but it was a big decision for me to come to. The accident was a catalyst for me to be like, “OK, this needs to happen.”

YS: Describe the sound…

JN: I had, after the accident, definitely rekindled my love of the Cocteau Twins and Slow Dive, and happened to also miraculously meet other musicians who had the same love. It was one of the things about all of this – everything started falling into place the way it should. It was a way to break away from what I traditionally did, to write in a different way, and to do something new with like-minded people.

YS: Do you feel like the Denver scene is in good shape? Is this a healthy time?

JN: Absolutely. Of all the changes that Denver has gone through, some of them good and some of them bad, I do feel like the music scene has always continued to get stronger, get better. It’s really hard for me to say anything bad about it, because it’s been so constant to me. It’s one of the min reasons that I’ve never left, and that I’m playing with the people that I’m playing with now. I don’t feel like that happens all the time.

YS: You’re promoting the “Glass Jaw/Plasticine” 7” right now – is that the band’s first?

JN: Yes. We wanted to be very careful about the amount of things that we released. We all wanted to not make the same mistakes that we had maybe made with our previous endeavors. Like, quickly release an album just to release an album. We wanted to start slow and release a couple of songs. See how it goes.

YS: What’s next for you guys? Do you have any shows coming up?

JN: We do. We are playing the Colorado Music Party at South by South West. We’re playing, last minute, on March 7 with Candy Claws at the Oriental Theater – I think those are the only two right now.

OKO TYGRA plays with Candy Claws, Sound of Ceres, and Plume Varia at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 at the Oriental Theater; 4335 W. 44th St., Denver; 720-420-0030; $10.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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