Central Figures was originally formed in 1982 around the emerging songwriting of singer/guitarist Jim McGinty. For four years and through many changes in the lineup, McGinty and steadfast drummer Rusty Crowe played for small but enthusiastic crowds throughout the Philadelphia area. When the band split again during the summer of 1986, Crowe left to pursue other musical directions, including brief stints with local roots rockers the Stand and the pop metal band Aria. McGinty attempted to continue with Central Figures, recording a four-song demo EP in 1987. After spending the next year writing, he put together a short-lived version of the band which never made it past the rehearsal stage. In 1990, he quit altogether to study classical voice and sing with an amateur opera company. As he put it, "I was extremely bored and disenchanted by the local music scene and when the opportunity came to do something different, I took it." McGinty's interest in songwriting never diminished, and after meeting up with some old music business friends, a new interest in pop music took hold of him. He began to consider making a serious attempt as a solo artist, but the need to form a band remained, which is when he met bassist Chris Coward at an open mike night at a club. Coward was impressed with what she heard and expressed an interest in forming a band. McGinty, in need of a drummer to audition Chris Coward, asked old friend Crowe to sit in. The audition was a huge success, and the newly developed trio rapidly became a dynamic band. McGinty, who was reluctant to take the spotlight, wanted to take on a band identity. In December 1994, a newly minted band, Central Figures, took to the stage. In November of 1995 the band released their first album True to Life, and began to play regularly, promoting the album in the Philadelphia area. They also received airplay locally on WXPN and WDRE and at a number of college stations on the East coast. However, this success was stunted by the unexpected departure of drummer Crowe in early 1996. Central Figures continued to play as an acoustic duo while McGinty and Chris Coward searched for a suitable replacement for Crowe. By 1997, they were recording new material with producer Tim Bomba (Rusted Root, the Clarks).