Brooklyn-based dance-punk duo Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly, a.k.a Japanther, have a raw energy that is inescapable. Establishing their place at the front lines of the city's DIY movement, their sound teleports the audience to an underground party with the first beat of the bass drum.
NiteSide caught up with drummer/vocalist Ian Vanek after the Rock+Relief Benefit at The Woods about Robin Williams' generosity and a day in the life of Japanther -- assuring us that NYC is still fun.
What did you do last night? At the crack of noon I received a spray date invitation from young Droid 907. Together we hiked a large portion of Newtown creek (the cities newest superfund site) speaking in depth on our shared history and occasionally photographing uncaptured inspiration. As the sunset [approached], we cycled west on the mighty Queensboro. Out of Iraq and into the Upper East near Score's and Dangerfield's. West on 57th and then rapidly plunging down 11th Avenue. Past the horse stables, the Lincoln Tunnel and then 1000 drones emptying Javits Center with gift bags. Eventually finding ourselves at Renwick Gallery for the Genesis P-Orridge/Daniel Albrigo "Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is...A Love Story" Opening. This served as great inspiration as our nefarious plot thickened.
So why did you guys get involved with the benefit tonight? A positive affirmation of the human spirit piloted the plane. Through drumming, singing and dancing our scene can reach new and exciting heights. As a group, Japanther considers gifting our inspiration to worthy causes not only important but a blessed opportunity. Because Matt and I were gifted with a sound and given a vehicle, we give rides to strangers and freebies all day from the stage as way of saying thanks.
* Check out more of the interview tomorrow: "NiteTalk: Japanther's Ian Vanek Says "New York City Is Still Fun" (Part II)