Eric Rottmayer founded Columbus, Ohio's Tiara as a solo project in the mid 1990s. Rottmayer had begun his musical career in bands such as Broadcaster, Polar Bear Badges, and the Gainesville Dropouts. When Tiara evolved into a burgeoning indie rock quartet, Rottmayer found solace in a solo project dubbed Metronome. As Metronome, he released the Invisible Friends CD in 1997 on California's Blackbean & Placenta Records. The disc earned rave reviews in the indie rock and indie pop communities for its simple songwriting and Rottmayer's enchanting vocals.
Rottmayer soon changed the name of the project to simply Eric Metronome and released the Lime Green cassette in 1998 on Tape-Tape Records, which was later re-released on CD by Japan's Trolley Bus Records. 1999 saw the release of the She split CD with Orange Cake Mix on Blackbean & Placenta. The Two-Eared Man CD was released in 2000, again on Blackbean & Placenta. Soon after he released a split CD with Texas-based Super XX Man on Texas-based Post Parlo Records. 2001 saw the release of The Misfortune of Living in a Dying Empire CD and the Broken Seas single on Red Square Records.