Nicholas Tanek came of age in the early ’90s, a skater kid from New Jersey who listened to East Coast punk bands like The Dead Milkmen, The Dead Kennedys and Sonic Youth. Tanek’s musical tastes eventually expanded to include groups such as My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses, The Jesus & Mary Chain and The Smiths, and when he was 16, he went to his first illegal rave in New York City. It would prove to be a pivotal moment in his life.
Tanek, a graduate of Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in English, found himself staying in his parents’ basement in the days after Hurricane Sandy ravaged coastal New Jersey in October of 2012. With a generator powering his laptop, he reflected upon his life, analyzing the relationships that had shaped him. And these experiences, set against the backdrop of the rave scene, were the inspiration behind Tanek’s first book, The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself, a tale of love, hedonism and heartbreak that was published in 2013.