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Please explain what just happened.

Large black fill-ins with the old Krylon farmer, fluorescent orange as an outline, on a rooftop right near the Manhattan Bridge.

What is your earliest memory?

Receiving a drum kit from my Dad for my fifth birthday. He got it at the Goodwill.

If you weren’t a musician what other profession would you choose?

Matt and I have been lucky enough to play and joke together for going on 9 years. I might have been good at racing cars or some type of I.T. job though.

 

Please describe the current contents of your refrigerator.

I baked a cake for my brother’s birthday, so a half-eaten cake, some beer, apple sauce, spinach, yogurt… Nice things, pretty things. We eat healthy.

What verb(s) best describes you?

Fukk…       Opened–pitted–sanded–witched.

What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

Like in Bill and Ted’s? YESSS. 69 dude! No really, I do time travel and talk to kids and adults all the time so I’m content as all hell.

What are the steps you take to regain your composure?

Fresh juice, pull-ups and running.

Define “success.”

Success is a long breath out… Perhaps dinner by candlelight with a bunch of close friends. The guy at the bank yesterday told us, “I hope you make it.” I told him we had.

From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

My mother and father, my brothers, the sun, the earth, the moon and the stars.

What change do you want to be in the world?

Don’t let Obama sell you nothing. Change is a constant and the trick is staying fluid. I want all the change and eventually an epic death.

Are you pro- or anti-emoticon? Please explain.

As a type hobbyist I am pro all the way. Let the kids dance.

How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

“Mmmm… baaacon.”  -Homer J. Simpson

 

 

What makes you feel most guilty?

The judge and his hundreds of police.

Please list three things you never leave home without.

Testicles, spectacle, wallet and watch… Travel light and travel far. I don’t need much.

What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

I don’t recall.

What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

Follow your impulses, start a band.

What do you consider the harshest kind of betrayal?

Rather not dwell on it. I’m just focusing on stepping my game up one level at a time.

Of all the game shows that have graced our TV screens throughout history, which one would you want to be a contestant on and why?

Price Is Right, duh.

What do you want to know?

Everything, duh again.

What would you like your last words to be?

No comment.  That is private.

Please explain what will happen.

More fill-ins with the crew, a summer chock-full of adventure… BYE.

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Ian Vanek IAN VANEK is one half of the punk rock duo that is Japanther. The band was formed in 2001 by Vanek and partner Matt Reilly, while they were students at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute. Vanek plays drums, cassettes, and sings. Reilly plays bass, a Casio SK-1, and also sings.

Described as a “performance galaxy” by Vanity Fair magazine and “super hard, incredibly fast, and overall inspiring” by Thrasher magazine, Japanther has always been a band apart, running the gamut from performance art to punk rock and back again.

Recent projects include Japanther in 3-D, a New York State Council on the Arts-funded book and film companion to the band’s interactive rock opera (commissioned for the PERFORMA 07 biennial and premiered with a sold-out run at P.S. 122), as well as a collaboration with contemporary artist Dan Graham for his first American retrospective, titled Beyond.

Japanther’s latest release, Rock ‘n’ Roll Ice Cream (Menlo Park Recordings) is an adventure tale of exploring harmonies, collaborative writing, and a little bit of that West Coast surf vibe, while also employing techniques from Japanther’s salad days in Brooklyn. The album draws heavily on pop hooks and simple drum beats that seem to make skating feel easier and bikes move faster.

Japanther has performed at Automotive High School in Brooklyn (a community benefit to save students’ imperiled production of Guys and Dolls), on street corners, in people's bedrooms, in historic concert halls, on boats, and the Williamsburg Bridge. Japanther is a band that brings more to its audience than the typical party band.

7 Responses to “21 Questions with 
Japanther’s Ian Vanek”

  1. I love Japanther. It’s so great to have you here.

  2. [...] stars RHETT MILLER of the Old 97′s, KEVIN MARTIN of Candlebox and The Gracious Few, and IAN VANEK of [...]

  3. Century Training…

    [...] managed to stop in time however I have heard stories about [...]…

  4. [...] 6. Some people go to school to learn others go to form a punk rock band and thats just what Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly did. They each play a slew of instruments,within the first two years of being [...]

  5. [...] Japanther “Japanther have since made a name for themselves in unique performance situations. i.e. along side synchronized swimmers, a top the Williamsburg Bridge, with giant puppets, marionettes and shadow puppets. Out of the back of a moving truck in SOHO, with giant dinosaurs and BMXers flying off the walls.” [website] You can read an interview with Ian at The Nervous Breakdown. [...]

  6. [...] Japanther “Japanther have since made a name for themselves in unique performance situations. i.e. along side synchronized swimmers, a top the Williamsburg Bridge, with giant puppets, marionettes and shadow puppets. Out of the back of a moving truck in SOHO, with giant dinosaurs and BMXers flying off the walls.” [website] You can read an interview with Ian at The Nervous Breakdown. [...]

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