With an experimental post-punk attitude and influences ranging from Krautrock to dub, Gogogo Airheart formed in San Diego in 1996, originally consisting of just core members Ashish Vyas and Michael Vermillion. A series of homemade cassette recordings got them signed to Vinyl Communications, and in late 1997 they released their (first) self-titled LP with the help of Andy Robillard on drums and Teri Hoefer on violin. This was followed by Love My Life...Hate My Friends in 1998. A number of changes came in 1999, the main one being a shift in personnel. Hoefer and Robillard left the group, replaced by guitarist Ben White and temporary fill-in James LaValle on drums.