Brian Cook and Rebecca Scott formed Panda Riot while creating a soundtrack for a documentary about marine biology, they decided to form a band based on the sound inspired by the underwater and airplane shots in the documentary. They describe themselves as having a "blissful, swirl-pop, sing-along sonar aesthetic."
In the early 2000s, a different band named Panda Riot was active in Toronto, whose members went on to form Germans, Ostrich Tuning and other groups, and included drummer Sebastien Grainger who went on to form Death From Above 1979.
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