John Nolan

LiveNation Presents

John Nolan

Ian Mahan, Andy Thomas' Dust Heart (Solo)

Mon, November 19, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm


Off Sale

This event is 18 and over

John Nolan
John Nolan
For the past couple of years, between touring and recording with Taking Back Sunday I’ve been writing and demoing songs for a second solo record. Throughout this process I’ve worked with some great musicians who I’m lucky enough to call friends. Mike Strandberg, who plays with Kevin Devine’s band has played guitar. Brian Bonz, a great singer songwriter has sang backing vocals. I’ve recorded some songs with Dylan Ebrahimian, who plays violin with Gabriel The Marine. I’ve also been working with Benjamin Homola, drummer for Dashboard Confessional and Bad Books. My wife Camille, who’s worked with me since I released my first solo album has played piano. We’ve been doing all this with producer Mike Sapone. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s worked with Straylight Run, Taking Back Sunday and Brand New and he’s amazing.

As these new songs have come together a new sound has started to take shape. Part of it is the kind of songs I’m writing and part of it is the direction things go with this group of people. It’s not quite like anything else I’ve ever done and it’s really exciting. After recording a few songs, I knew that this whole record had to be done with this group at Sapone’s studio. I approached some record labels hoping that they’d see the value in doing the album this way but I wasn’t able to find one who shared my vision. It’s expensive to do an album at a producer’s studio with live musicians and that was their main concern. I had to make the record I wanted to though so I started looking into alternatives. When I found PledgeMusic it felt like the right fit. They offer a way to cut out the middleman, make an album with and for the people who want to hear it and they give you a support system. Once I decided on PledgeMusic, I started talking to Mike Colleran at Collective Confusion Records. He’s done great work with me in the past pressing vinyl and he helped me put together a group of pre order packages that are unique and offer a lot of options. I am so unbelievably excited about everything we’re working on right now and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Love, John
Ian Mahan
Ian Mahan
Singer-songwriter, blending folk, blues, pop, and old-time entertainment.
Andy Thomas' Dust Heart (Solo)
Andy Thomas' Dust Heart (Solo)
Written by Damien Burford: Life this last year has not been easy for Andy Thomas, the mastermind and namesake behind Denver, Colorado's Andy Thomas' Dust Heart. Thomas watched as his mother battled breast cancer, while dealing with the sudden loss of his former Tin Horn Prayer co-front-man, Mikey Herrera. Thomas took a year off from drinking, focused on songwriting, and learned to focus his energies on creating better art.

That year has turned into the new LP from Andy Thomas' Dust Heart, NO POETS. No Poets is a polished record of a year exploring the challenges of life and learning what makes it important.

“This is my most "honest" record. I opened up and touched on some fears and anxieties that have been bubbling up for awhile.” Thomas also added, “Losing people and having people I care about be sick has just shown me that life is precious and too short. My mom, told me, after her mom died, that "life is too short to be petty." Mike's passing taught me the same thing. Love your people and appreciate the moments when you have them. It took me a while to realize this but I'm glad I did.”

Thomas has been around the block when it comes to playing in bands, having been a member of Denver's Only Thunder, Ghost Buffalo, The Knew and too many others to mention. Tin Horn Prayer will always be the one that got away, "Tin Horn Prayer stopped before we reached our full potential. I've had people all over the world talk to me about that band, and I'm proud that we touched as many people as we did, but I'll always wonder about what might have been.”

Reeling from the loss, Thomas' focus has instead shifted onto his one time side project, Andy Thomas' Dust Heart, “This is the first band I've ever been in that I know won't break up. I won't kick myself out of my own band. [laughter] I mean, probably.”

“I never thought this would be something I spent so much time on. When Tin Horn finally ended it was a weird realization that, yeah, 'you are exclusively writing songs for Dust Heart now.' Last year we played on the Flogging Molly cruise ship, did both Daytrotter and XM Radio sessions. We toured Europe and did a hundred other things that I thought would never happen to this project.”

How does NO POETS differ from Thomas' previous solo record? “No Poets is the first release I wrote with the full band in mind. There are a few solo songs on the record, but, ultimately, I thought about the people I am playing with and how to best use their strengths. Before I would write a solo song and try to "fill in the blanks" in the studio."

ATDH includes Tyler Breuer from The Knew along with Chuck Coffey & Rob Burleson from SPELLS. But most importantly DH includes, “My wife, Jen GaNun, who sings and plays accordion; comes from a dance background where everything is dissected and rehearsed and you are always perfecting. She really taught me to not take such an insouciant, punk-rock, approach to everything and not saying things are "good enough." It's an approach that has spilled over into other parts of my life and is proving to work!”

In the midst of all this change, Thomas challenged himself to stay sober for one whole year. “My decision to do without booze for a year worked for me, but it may not work for everyone. I spent about fifteen years binge drinking and making bad decisions, while drunk. That's enough for me. I just realized that being hungover, and "dull" doesn't work for my life anymore. I had a beer two days ago to celebrate me pulling it off and I'll casually have one every now and again, but I'm going to continue to stay focused and alert as possible.”

“There is a loneliness in sobriety that allows you to truly think about what you're feeling and doesn't offer a way to "mute them. Being sober just gave me more time and focus to be able to play and write music. I'm a better guitar player than I was a year ago, and I essentially wrote and recorded two albums in that time. Sure, I did these things before, and plenty of people write records while "under the influence" but the clarity I had certainly helped.”

During that time it gave Thomas a chance to process his feelings of his lost bandmates. “I think about Mikey a lot. He's still with me in a lot of ways. There are a few songs and lyrics on this album that address him, along with Camden Trendler [who passed in 2014], and their untimely passings.”

“Mike was very important to me in a lot of ways and we didn't always get along. I thought I'd play music with him the rest of my life, so the fact that that won't happen is pretty gutting to think about. I have a comforting thought that Mikey would be proud of me for continuing to write and play music.”

Still there is an upside to Thomas' work. It's not longer gloom and doom, as it once seemed. “Ten years ago, when I wrote Tin Horn Prayer's "Crime Scene Cleanup Team," I was alone in my bedroom. Life was pretty bleak so I had a different view on death. I'm at a place in my life where I care about a lot of people, I'm very content and I'm always excited about what comes next, so the thought of having that cut short is certainly something I'm afraid of.” I'm less fascinated with death these days though and care way more about life!”
Venue Information:
7 S. Broadway
Denver, CO, 80209