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Novastar is the band of singer/guitarplayer Joost Zweegers, and makes an emotionally tense and melodic kind of rock somewhere in between Crowded House and Counting Crows.


"Ten-Eleven (live at RR)"
1 min 30 sec. - 177 Kb.
song : Joost Zweegers
Year : 1996
Record co. : Double T

57,1 sec. - 112 Kb.
song : Joost Zweegers
Year : 1999
Record co. : WEA

"The Best is Yet to Come"
1 min 11 sec. - 141 Kb.
song : Joost Zweegers
Year : 2000
Record co. : WEA


Joost Zweegers (born in Holland, lived in Neerpelt from age 3-17, then a few years in Eindhoven, now in Antwerp) got noticed a first time when he was playing in the band The Sideburns. This garage rock band made it into the finals of Humo's Rock Rally (main Belgian talent contest) in 1992 (together with acts such as Jef Mercelis, Nemo, dEUS and behind the top three which that year were Charlie 45, The Beautiful Babies and Orgasmaddix). Apart from one single, a cover of "I can't let Maggie go" (a small hit of Honeybus in 1968) and the song "Julia" on the Rock-Rally cd, very little little was heard of the The Sideburns thereafter.

The next thing for him was a passage with Milk The Bishop, the fine pop band of Armand Bourgoignie and Wouter Van Belle, with whom he toured for a while in the summer of 1994.

In 1996 he participated once again in the Rock Rally, and this time with more success, since the trio Novastar won that edition (in front of acts such as An Pierlé, Stonedigger, Arid, Tom Helsen and Hoodoo Club). The jury noted especially the self-confident melodies and amazing voice of the singer as the main assets. But once again, apart from a number of gigs, things rapidly grew quiet in and about the band.
With the money of the Rock-Rally victory, Joost had equipped a music-studio in Antwerp (Vita Nova, with Jo Francken), featuring the mixing table on which Bohemian Rhapsody of Queen was once mixed. This studio immediately had quite a lot of customers (Zita Swoon, Nemo, Soul Sucker, Noordkaap ...), meaning there was little or no time left for Novastar. Joost Zweegers did play however on a number of occasions with a Beatles-coverband "The Beatles Revival Band".


In 1998 he quietly went on recording new songs at home or in his studio, and finally signed a record deal with company Warner Music Benelux (just as his housemate An Pierlé btw). This meant that things got finally going again in 1999 : he finished an album (in a production of Wouter Van Belle, best known for his work with Axelle Red, Gorki ...), but when all the recordings had been done, he wasn't satisfied with the results : "it all sounded really well, but I felt we hadn't touched the essence. It was in there somewhere - if you listened to it five or six times it came to the front - but it had to be emphasized more. That was an enormous problem for me : music for me is something live day and night, a matter of life and death. I wanted to make an album that a liked one hundred percent. And I had lost that somerwhere on the way", he said in Humo.
Via the record firm, John Luongo (American topproducer & mixer who has worked with Brian Adams, Fine Young Cannibals, Midnight Oil etc. etc. etc.) was asked to remix the album : "It now all sounds les sweet. He has made more room for my voice : a number of drums have been removed, some strings and a number of superfluous noises. I've learned that I should look at the essence of my music : if it happens to be smooth and poppy, than you have to accept that. I've tried to run from that for some time, to make something else of it."
The release-date of the album was set for February 2000, but there was already an advanced single-released with the brilliant song "Wrong". This crept up all kind of charts and list, through a format-breaking radio-friendliness. Apart from that, the band also made the popheadlines because Lars van Bambost (guitarist of the best Dutch-language rock band Noordkaap) left his group to join Novastar.


When the title-less debut album was finally release in february 2000, the reception can be called "glorious" : through a well-planned promotion campaign, there were over 20,000 copies sold in the first two weeks alone, good for a number 1 spot in the album-charts. Also in Holland the expectations for Novastar are gathering momentum, as the group already earned a place at the Pinkpop-festival. In Belgium, he played at only two of the summer festivals: as a headliner at the windy Beachfestival, and a triumphant one at Marktrock.

The CD "Novastar" got a TMF-award as the best Belgian Cd of 2000. There are also some attempts to do something usefull abroad : Joost played a number of solo-showcases from Germany to the States, where the album will be released in January 2001 on the Atlantic label, and with a serious promotional budget. In the fall of 2000, he went on a European tour in the slipstream of K's Choice. In the meantime, Joost also helped another local singer-songwriter Tom Helsen to some great songs on his "Tom is Doing Great" cd.

Band members :
- Joost Zweegers (guitar, vocals)
- Lars van Bambost (gitaar)
- Cathy-Ann van Volsem / Karel De Backer (drums)
- Jang Coenen (bass)

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- Novastar (WEA, 2000)
Tracks / CDS :
- Julia (with the Sideburns, Live at Humo's Rock Rally, EMI, 1992)
- "I Can't Let Maggie Go / Beauty Queen" (with the Sideburns, Play That Beat!, 1993)
- "Ten-Eleven" (live at Humo's Rock Rally, Double T Music, 1996)
- Wrong (Warner, 1999)
- The Best is Yet To Come (WEA, 2000)
- Cara Mia (WEA, 2000)

Websites :
-, the official & flashy site.
- the Un-official website came 2nd in the "design the official novastar site"-contest
- my review of the debut CD
- Novastar-fansite in Holland
- fansite of Griezelsteentje
- Live video from Axion Beach Rock 2000 : song 1, 2, 3
- "It has been one big trip", Joost Zweegers about 2000 in De Standaard (dutch)
- Tabs for some Novastar-songs at
- Interview with Veto from May 2000 on the site of Goddeau

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about Novastar
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Novastar



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Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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