The Deserters started life in 1979 in Toronto, Canada, as a rock group first called the Suspects. Original members were bassist and singer Chris Gibb, percussionist and drummer Henry Diclemente, and guitarist and singer Kenny MacLean. The new wave threesome succeeded in putting together one single, "Raining Over France." The independent release managed to draw some impressive attention toward the young band. In less than a year's time, the Suspects had smoothly transformed into the Deserters, signed with the Capitol Records label, and released a two-sided single that carried the tunes "Alien" and "Inner Vision." A self-titled debut album followed.
In 1981, singer and synthesizer Greg Stephens joined the group, and a sophomore album, Siberian Nightlife, hit the market. The Deserters and Capitol had big hopes for the album, but were sadly disappointed by the results and the reviews. It was enough of a frustration to bring the band crashing apart for good.