Biography

It is hard to define the exact year when the band Fruit Bats was officially established. This project, initiated by Eric D. Johnson, became reality in the mid nineties. The title Fruit Bats was just one out of many others that marked the group on its demo tapes. For the first several years, the lineup went through many changes due to constant conflicts between the musicians who preferred to quarrel instead of gigging or recording. Johnson’s first partners where his fellow musicians from his earlier group called I Rowboat. Early in the new century, the musician forsook this project and joined the forces of Califone, an ensemble featuring Tim Rutilli and Ben Massarella, owners of Perishable Records. They persuaded Eric to restore Fruit Bats and promised to release the band’s debut long player if Fruit Bats regained strength.

Since I Rowboat dissolved, Johnson decided to give Fruit Bats one more chance and found himself new musicians. They helped him record and issue in 2001 the first long player, Echolocation, with the set consisting of Johnson’s old songs re-recorded with new equipment. The sales of this album were far from acceptable, but the main thing was that the group had finally done something. The only problem that slowed down the while process was the lineup chaos. Johnson evidently lacked leadership skills to unite the like-minded people around his figure. Joint tours with Modest Mouse, Iron and Wine, and The Shins helped the young band to build friendship with the older colleagues and find needful contacts in the field of music industry. As a result, Fruit Bats hailed 2002 with a contract with Sub Pop. In 2003, the musicians prepared their sophomore album that received the title Mouthfuls. It was a much better seller than the earlier one and even got selected for the lists of the year’s best events according to a number of periodicals. The next year, the band issued a rare compilation called Tragedy Plus Time Equals Fruit Bats, available only on vinyl. In a year, the third long player, Spelled in Bones, arrived. It debuted fourth in the college radio charts and led the group to their first appearance in TV as they showed up at Last Call with Carson Daly.

After that, Fruit Bats vanished off the stage once again. Johnson devoted himself to side projects putting veil of silence on the group for four years. The band was brought back to life at the end of 2008. Johnson arranged another casting of musicians and took them to a Chicago studio where Fruit Bats recorded the debut album Echolocation. This time, Johnson drew assistance from Christopher Sherman, Ron Lewis, Graeme Gibson, Sam Wagster. According to the statements by the members of Fruit Bats, they were set to cooperate fruitfully and for a long time. The first evidence of their seriousness was the long player The Ruminant Band, released in the summer of 2009. Without any questions, this is the strongest work in the group’s discography to date.

Studio Albums

Fruit Bats, Absolute Loser mp3Absolute Loser
2016
  • Indie Rock
  • Alt-Country
Fruit Bats, Tripper mp3Tripper
2011
  • Indie Pop
  • Folk Rock
Fruit Bats, The Ruminant Band mp3The Ruminant Band
Another comeback from Fruit Bats signals the release of the band's strongest album so far. It gives grounds to believe that The Ruminant Band is the dawn of a new era in the history of the group
2009
  • Indie Pop
Fruit Bats, Spelled in Bones mp3Spelled in Bones
With Spelled in Bones the Fruit Bats continue to move away from the country sounds of their debut Instead, the band looks to '70s pop for inspiration. It may be a remarkably summery album, but it has enough charm and depth for year-round listening
2005
  • Indie Pop
Fruit Bats, Mouthfuls mp3Mouthfuls
2003
  • Indie Pop
  • Folk Pop
Fruit Bats, Echolocation mp3Echolocation
2001
  • Indie Pop
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