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Self is largely the project of Matt Mahaffey, a Murfreesboro, TN-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who began writing songs at age four and was a professional drummer at 12. During high school and college he became proficient at home recording, setting up a studio in his basement and recording demos, some of which eventually became part of his debut album, 1995's Subliminal Plastic Motives. The album, an eclectic blend of power pop, hip-hop, and samples, earned Self a devoted following and tour dates with big alternative acts like Garbage, 311, and Cracker. After being on the road with touring bandmates guitarist/vocalist Mike Mahaffey, keyboardist/vocalist Chris James, drummer Jason Rawlings, and bassist/vocalist Mac Burrus, Matt Mahaffey celebrated his return to the studio by releasing a small-run album, Half-Baked Serenade, on the local Spongebath label. 1999 saw Self return to the limelight with Breakfast With Girls, which was co-released by Spongebath and Dreamworks. 2000's Gizmodgery was performed exclusively on toy instrumentation.