Japanther is a punk rock band from New York City formed in 2001 by two students at Pratt Institute. The members met in Brooklyn. The band consists of Ian Vanek — who plays drums, cassettes, and sings — and Matt Reilly — who plays bass, a Casio SK-1, and also sings. They have recorded with Plan It X Records, Tapes Records, Wäntage USA and the Menlo Park label. We Are Busy Bodies releases Japanther's albums in Canada. Japanther has been featured in Vice, The New York Times, Gothamist, Dallas Observer, Razorcake, and New York magazine among others. In the first two years of the band, they toured nine times.
In April 2006, Japanther teamed up with Aquadoom, a synchronized swimming group at New York University to play the Dangerous When Wet event at the school's Palladium Pool. On July 2, 2006, Japanther played under a plastic tarp in the rain at CitySol, an annual summer music and market series in Stuyvesant Cove Park to raise awareness for environmental issues.
Japanther worked with Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Laurent P. Berger, and Tony Oursler to create an abstract video installation for the 2006 Whitney Biennial.
Japanther frequently collaborate with Portland, Oregon, based shadow puppet collective, Night Shades. They have worked with them on live performances of Dump the Body In Rikki Lake, and Don't Trust Anyone Over 30. There are plans for further collaborative performances this year at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art.