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The instrumental rock group Character began as a side project for its members when it was formed in Nashville, TN, in 2001. Guitarist William Tyler was a member of Lambchop; theremin and pedal steel guitar player Luke Schneider was in Lylas; and guitarist Dave Paulson sang with the Privates. The sextet was completed by keyboardist and guitarist Ryan Norris, Eric Williams (grandson of country musician Merle Kilgore) on bass, and Scott Martin on drums. After first playing together at Williams' house in Nashville in the spring of 2001, they recorded an EP, A Flashing of Knives and Green Water, released by Set International Records in February 2002. Gradually, the band became a main focus for the players, and Fictitious Records, co-owned by engineer/producer Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater-Kinney, Lou Reed, Josh Rouse, Beulah), became interested, first issuing a 7" single and then, on November 16, 2004, Character's first full-length album, We Also Create False Promises, which the band accompanied by its first national tour.

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