Cousins Gabe Archer and Cameron Nicklaus formed the Pale, an indie pop/rock band from Bellingham, WA, in 1994. The two had dreamed of playing music in a band together for most of their lives and were influenced by their fathers, who recorded music in the '70s. Drummer Greg Swinehart, a friend of Archer's from college, joined the band for their second album. Bassist Lance Fisher, a friend of Swinehart's, joined the band for their third album, replacing former bassist Jared Archer.
The Pale's first LP, First Attempt at World Domination, was released in 1998. Three years later, in 2001, they released their second album, Another Innovative Idea for the People on the Go. It featured more complex guitar riffs than their first album, as well as more polished vocals by Archer. Another Innovative Idea received moderate airplay on local college radio stations and mention from local media.
In October of 2002, the Pale released their third album, Gravity Gets Things Done. The album, more mature both musically and lyrically, brought them more success than the previous two. Gravity Gets Things Done won high praise from several Washington and British Columbia radio stations and newspapers, and was dubbed "The Next Big Thing" by absolutepunk.net. The band began playing more shows outside of Bellingham, many of them in Seattle and Portland, and airplay picked up. Gravity Gets Things Done was rereleased on SideCho in early 2004.