A new documentary detailing the creative process and growth of ’90s bands including Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control is set to premier in November. Directed by C.B. Stockfleth, the documentary will explore music made during a time when DIY was just becoming possible. With 4- and 8-track recording technology made widely available in the consumer market of the mid-1980s, a group of young people (emerging from Ruston, Louisiana, but moving on to college towns such as Denver, Colorado, and Athens, Georgia) began to experiment, coming together creatively to make raw music. This group would become the bands Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, The Apples in Stereo, Elf Power, of Montreal and more, and showed what one could express when not limited by record labels or the financial strains of a studio. The heartbreaking quality of their work and how near to the surface it was continues to influence and inspire many listeners today, and the story of this collective (dubbed the Elephant 6 collective) will have the chance to play out on the big screen with this new project. This subject matter is just as relevant in today’s age of DIY through computer recording technology as it was then. The documentary will tell this collective’s story, and will also feature some never-before-seen footage of the bands, shot by Lance Bangs (who serves as a producer on this project).
The film will see its world premiere at DOC NYC 2022 in November, with the first screening being followed up by a Q&A with various members of the film process, and will follow up with screenings in Denver and Minneapolis. Watch a trailer for the documentary below.