Fastest Land Animal’s Screamin’ Jack Novak Discusses the DIY Punk Rock Ethic


Fastest Land Animal album cover

Fastest Land Animal – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy album cover

New York City punk band Fastest Land Animal is about fast, high-energy punk rock

If you like fast, spunky punk rock music, then Fastest Land Animal might be your taste. The New York City-based band recently released their sophomore album, “East Coast, West Coast, In Between,” and it’s filled with that high-octane, classic punk flavor.

Lead vocalist Screamin’ Jack Novak tells Audio Ink Radio that Fastest Land Animal is a band name he’s held onto for a while. “My prior band was The Cringe, and it was a different type of music,” he explains. “It was more classic rock or grunge. This project is definitely more punk and pop-punk and new wave. For years, I’ve always loved that name, Fastest Land Animal, for a band. The rule was that all the songs would have to be fast, and I was kind of stuck with the other name, The Cringe, and it took me to start an entire new band to be able to use that name.”

Fastest Land Animal recently released a cover of The Police’s “Next to You.” As Novak explains, he’s done plenty of songs and albums throughout his career but never a cover until this song.

“We’ve played a cover here and there in our set, but never actually cut it for our album,” Novak said. “I thought we needed one more song for our album to have it long enough. I wanted to do a song that wasn’t so noticeable- maybe a song that people didn’t know, even though they may have heard it. Our bass player came up with the idea to do this song, because we love The Police and it’s a fast song and has punk rock energy. So, we were all like, let’s do that!”

Next, Fastest Land Animal is hitting the road in April as direct support for Tesla. “We’ve toured with them a bunch before, both in this project and with The Cringe. They’re our buddies,” Novak said. “Tesla’s fans seem to really enjoy our music and our music resonates with them in the same way that Tesla’s music does. We’re both heavy, but Tesla is a little bit more from the heavy metal area of music, and we’re more of the punk-pop area, but we’re both loud and exciting and energetic. We’ve been touring with them enough at this point that the crowds are recognizing us.”

To Novak, punk music is all about the live shows and DIY ethos. “To me, with punk, the crowd and the band are one in the same. With certain rock bands, you’re never going to be doing what they do,” he said. “Nobody can play guitar like Eddie Van Halen. But, with punk, people can strive to play guitar like those bands. It started out of this community of the same people going to the shows who were onstage. The DIY aesthetic of punk music is really what appeals to me.”

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Music, Rock News