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The Gerbils

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Ruston LA, United States (1992 – present)

The Gerbils are an indie rock band that formed in Ruston, Louisiana in 1992. Part of the Elephant Six Collective, the band has released two albums and toured nationwide during their tenure.

The band consisted of Scott Spillane, John D’Azzo and Will Westbrook, college roommates in Ruston, LA. Along with sometimes-cellist Penny Burbank, they released a couple singles on a variety of record labels from 1996-1998 before recording an album (which included the four previously-released songs) in 1998 on Hidden Agenda Records.

Spillane’s Neutral Milk Hotel bandmate Jeremy Barnes eventually joined as drummer, which drove the somewhat twee pop sound of the band’s first album towards a more energetic hard rock. The members of the band decided to unofficially call it quits with a farewell show in 1999 in Athens. While D’Azzo pursued interests in California, Spillane and Westbrook (with the help of members of Of Montreal, Elf Power, and Neutral Milk Hotel) finished mixing the album that was completed with Chris Bishop prior to their separation. Once The Battle of Electricity was finished, the Gerbils did a national tour with Elf Power before again separating. Once again, the band has reformed, playing regularly and becoming fully active. A third Gerbils album was in pre-production before December 11th, 2006, when guitarist Will Westbrook passed away. It is currently unclear what will become of the band.

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