"Are you Sleepy"
You already know about Neutral Milk Hotel, so meet the Gerbils - bassist Scott Spillane, guitarist Will Westbrook and
drummer Jeremy Barnes - essentially the current NMH line-up minus singer Jeff Magnum. The four band members
have known one another for years; Spillane, Westbrook and Magnum's friendship goes all the way back to Ruston,
Louisiana - Elephant 6's birthplace. With NMH topping college radio charts, the Gerbils have released their full-length
debut, "Are You Sleepy?" (Hidden Agenda/Elephant 6), a collection that follows the band from fuzzbox pop of their first
singles through to newer songs that feature wilder instrumentation and orchestration. "The new songs are probably a
lot more thought-out," says Westbrook. "There are more instruments. But we still try to keep [the songs] simple. Scott
writes some amazingly beautiful songs, and a lot of them are really heavy. Then we'll pop them out. I get a hold of them
and put some interesting sounds on top of that."