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Fruit Bats

Fruit Bats is an American indie-rock band formed in 1997 in Chicago, Illinois. The group has had many personnel changes but revolves around songwriter Eric D. Johnson. Their albums include Echolocation (2001), Mouthfuls (2003), Spelled in Bones (2005), The Ruminant Band (2009), Tripper (2011), and Absolute Loser (2016). In 2009 Johnson also joined The Shins.

Originally part of short-lived Chicago group I Rowboat, Johnson and two of his fellow Rowboat members, guitarist Dan Strack and drummer Brian Belval, created Fruit Bats as a side-project. When I Rowboat split up, Fruit Bats became Johnson's main focus. Spurred on by Califone/Perishable Records honchos Tim Rutili and Ben Massarella, the group recorded their first album, Echolocation, released in 2001.

After tours with Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Modest Mouse and The Shins, Fruit Bats signed with Sub Pop in late summer 2002, recording their second album, 2003's Mouthfuls, which included new bandmate Gillian Lisee.

After relocating to Seattle, the group released their third album, Spelled in Bones, in 2005. Afterward, Eric D. Johnson played with The Shins and Vetiver. In 2008, the Fruit Bats began working together again, with revised membership of Johnson, Christopher Sherman, Ron Lewis, Graeme Gibson, and Sam Wagster. In 2009, they released The Ruminant Band and in 2011 came Tripper.

In November 2013, Eric D. Johnson announced he would be dissolving Fruit Bats. That month they played what was to be their farewell show at a sold out Aladdin Theatre in Portland, OR. The following year Johnson released an album under the name EDJ.

Reforming in 2015, Fruit Bats released their sixth official full-length LP, Absolute Loser, in 2016 via newly formed Los Angeles-based label Easy Sound.

Fruit Bats signed to North Carolina-based independent label Merge Records in 2018. Also in 2018, Johnson formed the folk group Bonny Light Horseman with Josh Kaufman and Anais Mitchell.

In 2019 Fruit Bats’ Merge debut "Gold Past Life" was released.

Fruit Bats’ 2020 album The Pet Parade was produced by Johnson's Bonny Light Horseman bandmate Josh Kaufman.

In 2021, Fruit Bats released a full-album cover of Smashing Pumpkins' 1993 record Siamese Dream.

The Fruit Bats’ double-disc, 20-year career retrospective "Sometimes A Cloud Is Just a Cloud: Slow Growers, Sleeper Hits and Lost Songs" was released in 2022. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.