Fruit Bats is an American jangle pop band from Denver, Colorado. The group currently consists of six members: Andy Juett on guitar and vocals, Chris Clancy on drums and percussion, Thom Festerman on keyboards and synthesizers, Josh Bevan-Davies on bass guitar and lead vocals (formerly Christian Sloan), Bryan Lawson-Bentley as the backing vocalist for all songs except “El Palomo” (on which he sings with Bethany Fair)
Fruit Bats is an American indie rock band from Virginia Beach, VA. Formed in 2005 by brothers Adam and David Bazan, Fruit Bats has released six studio albums to date, the most recent of which was released in 2015. The band’s music is characterized by a lush sound that incorporates elements of folk and psychedelia with pop sensibilities. “Fruit Bats” is the debut album from the band. Read more in detail here: fruit bats songs.
Fruit Bats, an indie folk-rock band from the late 1990s, evolved from songwriter Eric D. Johnson’s four-track recording experiment into a touring band with a constantly changing roster. Johnson’s warm voice and melodic sensibilities, which frequently appear to bridge the gap between Lennon and McCartney, remain constant (stated influences include the Byrds, the Kinks, and Supertramp). Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, Johnson split his time between composing movies, performing with other bands, and working on Fruit Bats albums, the project remained consistent but erratic. Echolocation was released in 2001, and it was followed by a series of albums for Sub Pop, including Spelled in Bones in 2005 and Tripper in 2011, the latter of which reached the Top 15 on Billboard’s Heatseekers list. Johnson released a solo album in 2014 under the initials EDJ before rejoining Fruit Bats in 2016 with Absolute Loser. Fruit Bats made their Merge debut with Gold Past Life, which was released in 2019. In 2021, the eighth album The Pet Parade was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Echolocation.
Eric D. Johnson (not to be confused with Archers of Loaf’s Eric Johnson or the guitar virtuoso of the same name) started composing songs on his four-track in the mid-’90s before founding I Rowboat, a Velvet Underground-inspired indie rock band. He also started experimenting in folk music with two other members of the band, guitarist Dan Strack and drummer Brian Belval, creating the Fruit Bats’ first iteration. Johnson continued to expand his network after I Rowboat split by playing guitar and banjo with Califone. Fruit Bats’ bandmates Tim Rutili and Ben Massarella (who also owned Perishable Records) encouraged the trio to produce an album for the label, which resulted in Echolocation, the group’s first album, released in 2001.
Over the following two years, the band traveled and fine-tuned its lineup, bringing on multi-instrumentalist Gillian Lisee and incorporating more pop and experimental rock elements. Fruit Bats signed with Sub Pop in 2002, and Mouthfuls, their second album, was released the following spring. Spelled in Bones was released two years later, when the band had moved to Seattle and grown to a quartet.
Johnson took a hiatus from Fruit Bats after the release of Spelled in Bones to work as a sideman for a number of other bands, including the Shins and Vetiver. In 2008, he reformed the band, adding Christopher Sherman, Ron Lewis, Graeme Gibson, and Sam Wagster to the lineup. The Ruminant Band was released in 2009 when the band returned to Chicago to record at Clava, the same studio where the sessions for Echolocation took place. Johnson started dedicating more time to scoring indie films after The Ruminant Band (including Our Idiot Brother, Ceremony, and Smashed), and his 2011 album Tripper mirrored his movie work’s more stripped-down style, with Johnson handling most of the instruments alone.
Johnson announced his retirement from Fruit Bats in November 2013, saying in a statement that “it’s been a long run and time for a change.” He re-embraced his more known pseudonym in May 2015, announcing on social media that he planned to release a new Fruit Bats album after fewer than two years of operating under his own name, which includes the eponymous EDJ LP. Following a tour with My Morning Jacket, Johnson’s solo album Absolute Loser was released in the spring of 2016 on Easy Sound Recording Company.
Johnson went on a dual solo tour with longtime friend and Vetiver main man Andy Cabic after completing full-band performances in support of Absolute Loser. The two pals shared the stage for the stripped-down performances, taking turns performing songs from their extensive catalogs as well as a few covers. The response to these performances was so good that the pair ultimately went into a professional studio to record an abridged version of them. The results were recorded and published in early 2019 as the In Real Life EP, a six-song collaboration between Fruit Bats and Vetiver (Live at Spacebomb Studios).
Fruit Bats signed with Merge and released Gold Past Life in June 2019. Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), and Neal Casal were among the guests on Thom Monahan’s (Neko Case, Peter Bjorn & John) show. Josh Kaufman (the Hold Steady, Bonny Light Horseman) produced the project’s ninth full-length, The Pet Parade, which included distant contributions from pianist Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) and fiddler Jim Becker (Iron & Wine). In March 2021, the Pet Parade came on Merge.
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Eric D. Johnson is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Fruit Bats, a band that has been compared to the Beatles. Eric D. Johnson was born in San Francisco on October 10th, 1983. His parents were artists who encouraged him to take up music at an early age. He began playing drums at the age of six and started writing songs when he was ten years old. By his teenage years, he had already formed Fruit Bats with friends Ryan Dobrowski and John “The Chief” Dwyer Jr., both of whom are now members of The Black Keys. Reference: eric d johnson.
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