Following the breakup of the band Blake, guitarist Evan Clarke and drummer David "Gus" Weinkauf hooked up with bassist Jeremy Strachan, with whom Clarke had previously played in the instrumental band Blue Light Blockade. Christened Rockets Red Glare, the new trio started playing shows together in winter of 1999. Schooled in the D.I.Y. hardcore scene, the band's direction leaned toward the artists who had inspired their jagged and minimalist style -- Shellac and Slint sat next to Mission of Burma and Cerberus Shoal.
The band played a number of shows in Ontario and on Canada's east coast before heading into the studio in 2001. The first release was a 7" single on the Die!Venom label. While touring to support the single, Rockets Red Glare played a number of shows with Death Cab for Cutie and Sweep the Leg Johnny. The meeting with Sweep the Leg Johnny resulted in more than just a few shows: Sweep's record label wound up releasing Rockets Red Glare's first full-length album in May of 2002.
Between Rockets Red Glare shows, the members kept themselves busy with other projects: Strachan studied music at the University of Toronto and played bass in the Sea Snakes; Clarke played drums with Picastro, Holding Pattern, and Jim Guthrie; and Weinkauf was the quietest musically, choosing to concentrate on computer programming when not behind the kit. ~ Sean Carruthers