! That's where this whole thing
Jeff Mangum, Robert Schneider, William Cullen Hart, and Bill Doss went to high school together, practiced their musicianship with each other, traded home recordings, and started a pattern of bands with incestuous membership that would follow them all throughout their careers. Influenced not only by the Beatles and the Beach Boys, but by Sonic Youth, Pink Floyd, the Kinks, the Flaming Lips, the Creation, the Velvet Underground, and My Bloody Valentine.
After a lot of relocating, first with Hart, Doss, and Mangum going to Athens, GA, then with Schneider (and a couple of years later Mangum) moving to Denver around 1991, and finally with Mangum making his home in both Denver and New York City, everything really started up in earnest. Around 1994, Hart and Doss had already started up (with John Fernandez) Olivia Tremor Control which evolved from a trio they previously had with Mangum called Neutral Milk Hotel. Mangum took the name with him and used it as his solo billing, recording most of his material during his numerous visits back to Denver at Schneider's home studio, which he named Pet Sounds after the Beach Boys album.
In 1992 started up the Apples (in Stereo) with Hilarie Sidney, Jim Mcintyre, and Chris Parfitt. Parfitt left soon after the first EP was recorded to start up Vince Mole & His Calcium Orchestra. John Hill, who played with Sidney and Mcintyre in Von Hemmling, joined the band in early 1994. A few months later Mcintyre left and after a rotating bass player for live shows and during the recording of Fun Trick Noisemaker, including Mangum, Kurt Heasley from the Lilys, and Kyle Jones (who currently plays host the Pet Sounds studio) and they secured a bass player in Eric Allen. Chris McDuffie joined the band in 1998. And everybody plays in another band...or two...or three.
I guess I should try to chronicle them all here. I'm sure to miss a couple. And there's always another one to be added...I guess I'll start with the main bands and add the related bands/groups/orchestras/artists under them.
- Neutral Milk Hotel: Jeff Mangum solo, backed up by Robert Schneider, Hilarie Sidney, Julian Koster, Lisa Janssen, Rick Benjamin, Laura Carter, Jeremy Barnes and Aaron Reedy both live and on record.
- the Apples (in Stereo): Robert Schneider, Eric Allen, Hilarie Sidney, John Hill, Chris MacDuffie. Past members/associates include Jeff Mangum, Jim McIntyre, Chris Parfitt, Joel Evans, Kurt Heasley, Rob Greene, Merisa Bissinger, and Kyle Jones.
- Secret Square: Duo started by Hilarie Sidney and Lisa Janssen in 1996. Jim McIntyre played bass on debut album.
- Beulah: San Francisco-based band that Robert Schneider has worked with and been a part of. Currently composed of Miles Kurosky, Bill Swan, Steve LaFolette, Pat Noel, Steve St. Cin, Bill Evans, Ana Pitchon, and many more in certain live capacities.
- the Minders: Portland-based band, started by relocated Brit Martyn Leaper, also Robert Schneider contributed-to and produced-by. Hillarie Sidney has also played with them.
- Dressy Bessy: Band started by John Hill's girlfriend Tammy Ealom. Also featuring Hill, Darren Albert, and Rob Greene.
- Von Hemmling: Before the Apples in stereo it was a band, and afterwards it was solo project, started and still kept going by Jim McIntyre, also formerly featuring John Hill and Hilary Sidney.
- Perry Weisman 3: A Denver 5-piece jazz ensemble with nobody named Perry Weisman in the band. However, Eric Allen and Merisa Bissinger are in the band.
- Olivia Tremor Control: William Cullen Hart, Bill Doss, Peter Erchick and John Fernandez. Most of the members of the previously mentioned bands have been contributors at one time or another, as well as Eric Harris and Scott Spillane. Some of their instrumental and ambient work has been released under the moniker the Black Swan Network.
- the Gerbils: Scott Spillane's main project, started with John D'azzo and Will Westbrook. Also featuring at one time Ross Beach and Penny Burbank of Azalia Snail.
- Of Montreal: Athens-based band started by Kevin Barnes, Brian Helium, and Derek Almstead. Current members also include Dottie Alexander and Jamie Huggins. Sonically closer to the Apples, but more often collaborating with the Athens branch of E6.
- Great Lakes: Athens group composed of, at one time or another, Dan Donahue, Ben Crum, Jamie Huggins, Scott Spillane, Kevin Barnes, Derek Almstead, Dottie Alexander, and Joel Evans.
- the Frosted Ambassador: Eric Harris' side project, which even went so far as to have its' own ficticious history.
- the Sunshine Fix: Bil Doss' solo work. The debut EP also includes input from Eric Harris and Scott Spillane.
And that's just the directly connected
bands, there's about 20 other bands that could somehow lay claim
to being under the E6 collective
banner. But I won't bother just yet.