Long Island hardcore punks Kill Your Idols got together in late 1995 around vocalist Andy West and guitarist Gary Bennett II, two friends who'd grown up enamored with both '80s NYHC and bands like Black Flag, 7 Seconds, Negative Approach, the Descendents, and Poison Idea. They debuted with a 12" EP on local indie None of the Above, which became a success around their hometown scene and sparked the band to begin touring all around the country. Soon enough, Kill Your Idols had signed with Blackout! Records, releasing the eight-song This Is Just the Beginning in early 1999, and on which West and Bennett were rounded out by bassist Paul Delaney and drummer Jim; second guitarist Brian Meehan later joined on as well. The band played out rounds of shows with likeminded hardcore units (i.e., H20, Indecision, Kid Dynamite, Ensign, the Casualties, etc.), setting up a nice buzz for their June 2000 full-length No Gimmicks Needed. Though Kill Your Idols continued to turn heads in underground circles, they reached a low point themselves and almost imploded the following year. They ultimately managed to hold it together well enough to ink a deal with SideOneDummy Records in May 2001.