Gem is a guitar-driven pop-rock band with explicit connections to Cobra Verde and Guided By Voices. After launching Cobra Verde (out of the ashes of the Cleveland group Death of Samantha) with singer/guitarist John Petkovic and Dave Swanson in the early '90s, guitarist Doug Gillard formed the side project Gem with Prisonshake drummer Scott Pickering and Four Coyotes guitarist Tim Tobias. The group debuted with the album Hexed in 1995. In 1997, Gillard and the rest of Cobra Verde backed up Robert Pollard as a de facto Guided By Voices lineup for the Mag Earwig album. Gillard would remain with Guided By Voices in subsequent years, with Gem member Tim Tobias joining up with Pollard as well (on bass). The two Gem members were important components of the relatively stable GBV lineup that existed from the late '90s and on into the new millenium (and that played on the landmark Isolation Drills album). In 2001, Tobias and Gillard once again turned their attentions to Gem with the album Sunglare Serenades.