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New Orleans' World Leader Pretend features Keith Ferguson (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Parker Hutchinson (keyboards), Matt Martin (guitar), Arthur Mintz (drums), and Alex Smith (bass). The ambitious quintet, which cites R.E.M. (they admittedly took their band name from the R.E.M. song of the same name), Radiohead, and the rich blues aesthetic of their hometown as influences, formed in 2002. A year later, World Leader Pretend issued Fit for Faded on Renaissance. The buzz surrounding them took off, and by 2004, Warner Bros. offered them a contract. An appearance at the first annual CMJ Cleveland and a slew of North American tour dates coincided the June 2005 release of World Leader Pretend's proper debut, Punches.