Japanther is a band established by Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek, then students at Pratt Institute. Japanther was featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and the 2011 Venice Biennale, and has collaborated with a diverse pool of artists such as gelitin, Penny Rimbaud, Gee Vaucher, Dan Graham, Eileen Myles, Kevin Bouton-Scott, robbinschilds, Dawn Riddle, Claudia Meza, Todd James, Devin Flynn, Ninjasonik, Anita Sparrow and Spank Rock. Japanther has made its name with unique performance situations, appearing alongside synchronized swimmers, atop the Williamsburg Bridge, with giant puppets, marionettes and shadow puppets, in the back of a moving truck in Soho, and at shows with giant dinosaurs and BMXers flying off the walls.
Installations include The Phone Booth Project at Clocktower Gallery in New York.
’Described as “art-rock installation paratroopers” and “a studied form of New Wave anarchism” by Flash Art, a “Performance Galaxy” by Vanity Fair, “Super hard, incredibly fast and overall inspiring” by Thrasher, “more accessible than other bands of its genre” by the New Yorker, and “the best band ever, straight up” by Tokion. Japanther has always been a band apart, running the gamut from performance art to punk rock and back again. Pushing parties to the limit ("Lincoln Center punk-rock concert turned mini-riot” -New York Post), Japanther returns in 2011 with Beets, Limes and Rice, a celebration of ten years in the underground and an ultra-contemporary meditation on "catharsis and being in love in a time of darkness.".
The band’s album Beets, Limes and Rice, written in the midst of 84-hour performance piece "It Never Seems to End," was released in digital and vinyl format from Recess Records, on CD from Japanther’s own Tapes Records, on cassette from Lauren Records, and by Seayou Records in Europe. The artwork for the album was created by Monica Canilao.