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Japanther

August 15, 2011

You know when a show starts and the audience sort of hangs back waiting to see what’s about to happen. I hate that. Bellying up, as they say, is the best way to get a feel for the energy that you’re about to experience from the band getting ready to play. And Japanther is one of those bands that you should get real close and personal with.

Japanther is made up of Ian Vanek and Matthew Reilly who started playing together back in 2001 as students at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Both of the fellows sing but Vanek hammers on the drums and handles the cassettes while Reilly shreds on the bass and mans the Casio SK-1.

If you’ve ever been to Total Fest, you’ll know that Japanther is a mainstay in the line-up. And if you have been, you’ll remember all the rogue sets they’ve played that turned into the best kind of mayhem. The energy is frenetic, the vibe is friendly, and  they want you to dance your ass off.

Japanther is kicking off the festivities on Friday, the 19th, at Zoo City Apparel for this 10th year of Total Fest and if you aren’t front and center you’re bound to miss out!

1. What is your hometown?

Matthew:
East Northport, NY

Ian:

Yakima, WA — Olympia, WA –Brooklyn, NY

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Matthew:

Johnny Utah

Ian:

Joe Leaphorn

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Matthew:

Keanu Reeves

Ian:

I’d play myself, duh. Matt Damon can be my side kick, but he has to wear an eye patch. 

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Matthew:

Teenage Lobotomy

Ian:

I love the paintings of Turner and Twombly. I love Gelitin from Vienna for their daring performance work and I love Viona from Russia.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Matthew:

“Girl Groups,” a movie on Netflix

Ian:

“Hitman” by Bret Hitman Hart. Super fucking inspiring, we all have a lot to learn from the brilliant Canadian. Just one more reason I’m excited to play up in Edmonton and Calgary after Total Fest X.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Matthew:

“Dreams Come True” by Puppies

Ian:

The new Japanther recording “Beets, Limes and Rice” due OCTOBER 18th. RVIVR, Joyce Manner, Pangea, Vacation, The Underground Railroad to Candyland, Shotwell, Merry Christmas, Karp, Rice, Lifter Puller…

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Matthew:

“Imagine” the John Lennon Documentary

Ian:

“Mighty Ducks” gets me every time… For reals though, The Death Set’s new album has made me cry a few times lately. 

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Matthew:

shrug

Ian:

I like both on a case to case basis. We have a few best friends out there. Shout out to MJ, Princess and Boo –Dogs and Cats in that mix.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Matthew:

Fun

Ian:

Living in a cycle on a big circle, what ever you do comes right back around eventually. Both are important if you expect that same in return. If you wanna be a monster, I’ve seen that too…

10.    How do you define sin?

Matthew:

differently than anyone else.

Ian:

I don’t define the edges of such weighted words. As soon as you become rigid you break something.

11.    How do you define virtue?

Matthew:

To the best of my abilities.

Ian:

Virtue is personal and has no place in written words. Again when it becomes rigid, it breaks. 

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Matthew:

It says, “I’m with stupid,” pointing at the headstone next to me.

Ian:

Burn my body and throw the ashes in the Puget Sound. I am not precious…

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Matthew:

Beavis and Butthead

Ian:

Stu Hart

Connections:

Japanther 
@Japanther

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