From left to right: Jeff Mangum, Scott Spillane, Julian Koster, Jeremy Barnes

Led by singer Jeff Mangum, Neutral Milk Hotel is a Louisiana based indie rock group. The group originally formed in 1989. The band gained some acclaimed after their release of the album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in 1998 only to then remove themselves from the public eye and disband. The band’s debut album was On Avery Island released in 1996. Robert Schneider oversaw this recording and contributed organ and fuzz bass. He also wrote some arrangements for trombonist Rick Benjamin. Mangum sang and played guitar, drums, and keyboard.



Jeff Mangum

After the release of On Avery Island, Mangum hired Julian Koster (who plays multiple instruments), drummer Jeremy Barnes, and horn player Scott Spillane. The band toured modestly and then released In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in 1998. This included the song Holland, 1945 which praises Anne Frank. The record had slow sales to start but gained momentum and ended up on many yearly top 10 lists. It was after the release and success of this album that the band dropped out of the public eye and Mangum isolated himself refusing interviews and tours. A box set was released by the band in 2011 containing all previously releases material as well as a couple of unreleased songs including Little Birds. While they have not released another album, the band seems to have recently come out of hiding. They toured in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Unfortunately, their official site now says that the 2015 tour was the last in the foreseeable future.