Country Mice are a Brooklyn-based rock band whose music fuses the twang-infused melodies of Neil Young and Jeff Tweedy with the guitar firepower of vintage indie rockers such as Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. Country Mice were formed by Jason Rueger, who was born and raised in Beattie, Kansas, a small farming community with a population of roughly 300. While Beattie wasn't a haven for rock & roll, Rueger developed a serious interest in music as a youngster, and began playing guitar in his teens. Determined to make a career for himself as a musician, Rueger pulled up stakes and moved to Brooklyn, New York. While trying to make his way into the Brooklyn music scene, a friend introduced Rueger to Ben Bullington, a fellow guitarist who was also a Kansas transplant, and they began jamming together. While working a day job, Rueger met Kurt Kuehn, a drummer originally from Wisconsin, and he was recruited to join Rueger and Bullington's new band.
When a friend of Kuehn's described the three musicians as "country mice," the name stuck, and the new band became known as We Are Country Mice. The group became a quartet with the addition of bassist Mike Feldman, who wasn't a Midwesterner like the other members but did grow up in a small town in rural upstate New York. In 2009, We Are Country Mice released their first single, "Make Your Own Damn Fun," through the Brooklyn-based Lotion Records label, which received enthusiastic reviews and brisk sales. Toby Rascal and Hbear, two staffers at Brooklyn's Kanine Records, were impressed enough with We Are Country Mice's debut that the group's second single, "There's No Other," became the first release from Kanine's offshoot label Wao Wao Records. In 2010, the group streamlined its name to Country Mice, and in 2011, Wao Wao issued the band's first full-length album, Twister, which received plenty of positive reviews and was supported with extensive touring.