The band was formed in 2000, when Jon Hoyt and John Hergert realized they were both now living in Chicago at the same time. Both had grown up in Appleton, WI and knew of each other in high school. The original name for the band was Zig Zag Engine. Hoyt met Ben Riley at a Guitar Center in Chicago and asked him to join. They held auditions for weeks, looking for a singer. Freddie Feldman answered an ad in Illinois Entertainer, emailing Jon Hoyt about the gig.