Originally thought of as a side project to indulge in during time off from his main band, Looper was formed by then Belle and Sebastian bassist Stuart David for a show at the Glasgow School of Art in 1997. The samples-based indie electronic project soon took on a life of its own once non-musical members Karn David (Stuart's wife) and Ronnie Black (Stuart's brother) became involved (the former being in charge of projecting films and setting up sculptures, while the latter projected photographs). The band was offered a U.S. recording contract with Sub Pop Records shortly thereafter, which was soon followed by Stuart David's exit from Belle and Sebastian. After debuting in mid-1998 with the Sub Pop single "Impossible Things," the full-length Up a Tree was issued in 1999. Looper supported the release with a couple of lengthy tours of the U.S.A. (one supporting the Flaming Lips), where they were joined by multi-instrumentalist Scott Twynholm and both Karn David and Black began to play musical instruments on-stage (samplers, guitars, keyboards, and vocals). Shortly after the tour's completion, Stuart David published his debut novel, Nalda Said.
Looper's second album, 2000's The Geometrid, was recorded in a more collaborative fashion with Twynholm, Karn David, and Black all contributing. During the ensuing tour, the trio welcomed their bus driver, "Evil Bob," on-stage with them as a saxophone player. After a short hiatus during which the band's profile was lifted when Cameron Crowe used the song "Mondo '77" in his 2001 film Vanilla Sky and many of their songs were licensed to other films and video games, the quartet version of Looper debuted on record in 2002 with The Snare, their first release for new label Mute Records. Growing disenchanted with the label experience, Stuart David began releasing new recordings throughout 2003 for free on his Looperama.com website; some of the songs were then released as EPs over the next three years. After this the band went on an extended hiatus again, as Karn studied animation and Stuart focused on studying literature and writing, publishing his third novel, A Peacock's Tale, in 2011. After moving to the countryside and becoming interested in making music again, the Davids began working on two projects, a box set collecting songs from throughout Looper's career (These Things) and a new album (Offgrid:Offline). Both were released by Mute on the same day in April of 2015. ~ Tim Sendra