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Synthetic Flying Machine


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Synthetic Flying Machine is the fetus of Neutral Milk Hotel and The Olivia Tremor Control. Jeff Mangum is obviously younger here, as his voice lacks some of the timbre that he had later. The project is made up of the main members of these bands: Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel), Bill Doss, and Will Cullen Hart (both of The Olivia Tremor Control). The band had only one semi-official release to their name, Heaven Is For Kids, but there are several other tape cassettes of music distributed among friends and collaborators. Many of the songs performed by Synthetic Flying Machine later became songs by Neutral Milk Hotel (“Arms So Real”) or Olivia Tremor Control (“Shaving Spiders”, “Opera House”). Jeff Mangum wrote a song about the band of the same name, which became “Up and Over We Go” and finally “The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 3” on In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

Jeff Mangum stated: “Then we formed a band called the Synthetic Flying Machine. A lot of the songs we did in the Synthetic Flying Machine, the Olivia Tremor Control do now, although when people say today ‘I really loved that band Synthetic Flying Machine . . .’, it doesn’t seem like it was a band as much as it was an extension of myself, and playing with Will was as natural as drinking water, you know? Also, Bill would come by and play guitar with us, he was living in Lousiana at the time.

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