The origins of The Eastside Rebels date back to 1999 in Chicago, Illinois. Founding members drummer Tommy Kick and keyboard player Scotty “Fingers” Hunt had just left the band “The Embarassing Incident” after a disappointing gig at Chicago’s Portage Theatre. They had spent the last of the bands funds getting to Chicago from Pasadena, CA only to find an audience of of six. Frustrated and broke the band members decided to go their separate ways.
The pair were drowning their sorrows at an after-hours club in Old Town and brainstorming ideas of what to do next, when out on the stage walked Zen Faulkner with his acoustic guitar. “His songs just blew us away,” said Tommy, “but what he really needed was a band,” added Fingers, and they knew in an instant what they would do next. They waited around to talk to Zen after his set and The Eastside Rebels were born. At the same time, bassist Charlie Teller was finishing his night playing in the club band at a Fremont Street strip club. He had no knowledge of it that night, but he was destined to complete the roster of The Eastside Rebels.
The band found local success and began to play shows in bars and small venues throughout Chicago. With a new band, a new sound, and several new songs, Kick and Hunt felt their music careers had been resurrected. Wanting to branch out to a wider audience they managed to convince the owner of a bar in Grand Rapids, MI to book them by claiming that they could guarantee an audience of 200 people. Owner and manager Jessie Ferguson later told the Music Express that the band had played mostly cover versions, but two original songs stood out and impressed the manager so much that he promptly offered to fund the recording of an album and recruited producer Daniel Jay Paul to make it a reality. Paul liked what they achieved in the studio so well that he pitched it to his contacts at a local label and it was released on the Sunlight Communication Arts imprint.