Interview – Animal Reporters

The following fill in the blanks come from NY-based rock outfit, Animal Reporters. This garage blues 5-piece, formed back in 2013, consists of members Dave Gelb (guitar, vocals), Johnny Marx (keyboard, vocals), Chris Van Deusen (guitar), Colin Van Deusen (bass), and Eric Sands (drums). With their smooth blend of modern and classic rock, it’s easy to see how Animal Reporters draws influence from artists such as Alabama Shakes, Neil Young, and The Black Keys. Learn more about the band from their responses and be sure to check out their recent single “Little Mama” below.


Three words we’d use to describe us are….Boisterous. Cheerful. Bold

The story/meaning behind our name Animal Reporters is….Tofe suggested Animal Reporters early on, and each week we came back to practice with a new idea of what that name meant. And animals rock!

The pickiest eater is….None of us are picky eaters, but we are pretty particular about our Cuban sandwiches. There’s this great diner around the corner from our practice space that’s so hard to pass up.

The most OCD member is….We all have our individual obsessive compulsions, but for the most part we’re all laid back, happy-go-lucky dudes.

For fun we like to….Johnny likes playing piano in various New York City parks. As a group,  we can all agree that we like to drink whiskey and see live music, hopefully surrounded by a bunch of beautiful friends and strangers.

We’re currently listening to….We’re on this sort of psychedelic/ gospel trip recently. I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty has some amazing lyrics. Sound & Color by the Alabama Shakes is great. It doesn’t hit as hard or stand out as much as their debut, but there’s so much more going on and it’s got all kinds of mood shifts that keep you engaged.

Our favorite songs of all time include….Classics, classics, classics. The list could go on and on.

  • “Like a Rolling Stone” and “I Shall Be Released” Bob Dylan
  • “Tumblin’ Dice” Rolling Stones
  • “She Came in through the Bathroom Window” The Beatles
  • “The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down” The Band

We find inspiration from….Our music is fun, dance party central, but it also has a unique voice that can get lost in all the boogieing. Specifically I think we draw inspiration from our home, New York City, it’s legendary roots, how we fit in to it as individuals, and the direction the city is moving in with or without us.

One thing we want you to remember while listening to our music is….Have fun! Picture the five of us with the most joyful smiles you’ve ever seen, like 5 drunk Corgis. We’re happy because of you!

The first song we wrote together was….The song is called “Castaway Joe’s,” and it’s actually on our upcoming EP. It’s an observational song about stumbling into the weirdest, seediest bar you can imagine. It’s a bit kooky and dark compared to our newer stuff. We subliminally wanted an outlet for our Black Sabbath influences, so that’s kind of where the riff comes from.

Something odd we want our fans to know about us is….Johnny was just in a music video for Borgeous. It’s great, we hope he doesn’t get too internet famous for the rest of us. Did we mention our Cuban sandwich eating habits?

We’re absolutely terrified of….Showing up for a show and forgetting a guitar strap, breaking strings on stage, and pterodactyls.

Our last meals would be….

  • BBQ. Fried chicken, ribs, collard greens, and corn bread (Dave)
  • NY Strip steak (Johnny)
  • Bacon cheeseburger (Tofe)
  • Porterhouse for two (Eric)
  • Frank Pepe’s pizza (Colin)

In the next six months you should expect….The Lights, Camera, Animals EP is coming out soon, don’t miss it! We’ve got shows coming up at Bowery Electric on 5/22 and 6/10 at Fontana’s with Turbine ft. Neal Evans of Soulive/ Lettuce. Expect us to be playing a lot of shows in New York and elsewhere. We’re making a short trip west to Thompson, PA for the Mosaic Music Festival in June. And hopefully we’ll be back in the studio soon, recording our first full length baby.



– Victoria

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