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Although Sound Team didn't officially form until later, the band had its beginnings in a friendship started up by University of Texas classmates Bill Baird and Matt Oliver. They were both playing around in various bands, but their interest in home recording brought them together musically. After college, they ended up in Portland, OR, staying with Baird's friends Sam Sanford and Gabe Pearlman (who would later join Sound Team) and holding down office jobs while still writing, recording, and performing some of their own material. In 2001 the duo moved back to Texas, and soon brought in Willis Diviney on drums, Baird's brother Michael, who was still in high school at the time, on keyboards and synthesizers, and Sanford on guitar. With this line-up (the elder Baird took songwriting and bass duties while Oliver did guitar and lead vocals), Sound Team used a four-track to record the CD-R Into the Lens, released in 2002. That same year Michael's former bandmate Jordan Johns, took over for Deviney, and soon Pearlman joined in and keyboards. After issuing some self-released albums and cassettes, the band started Big Orange Records in Austin, where they laid down material for their 2005 EP, Work, and their full-length, Movie Monster, which was released on Capitol in 2006.