A leading light in the punk-pop genre, Motion City Soundtrack includes members Joshua Cain (guitar), Tony Thaxton (drums), Justin Pierre (vocals/guitar), Jesse Johnson (Moog), and Matthew Taylor (bass). Following their high-school graduation, Minneapolis natives Pierre and Cain -- both of whom were inspired by Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbox, the Flaming Lips, and Superchunk -- formed the band in 1999. The pair assembled a temporary lineup and issued a self-released 7" that same year. Later, while touring through Pennsylvania in support of their release, Motion City Soundtrack met Thaxton and Taylor of the Virginia-based band Submerge. The two musicians decided to leave their hometown of Richmond, VA, to join Motion City Soundtrack full-time, and the expanded band soon entered the studio with producer/engineer Ed Rose (the Get Up Kids, Ultimate Facebook). Three weeks before recording commenced, they were also joined by keyboardist Jesse Johnson (whose personal record label, Ordinary Records, had issued some of Jimmy Eat World's earliest material in 1995) to relieve singer/guitarist Pierre of his synthesizer duties.