From Monument to Masses features vocalist/percussionist/drummer Francis Choung, guitarist/vocalist/programmer Matthew Solberg, and bassist/keyboardist/programmer/vocalist Sergio Robledo-Maderazo. The band formed in late 2000, when Solberg met Choung through an online bulletin board for local musicians. The duo began playing together and connected with Robledo-Maderazo, who had attended UCSB when Choung was there and was a mutual friend with Steve Aoki, the head of Dim Mak Records. The band's collaborative, experimental approach combines the fluid arrangements and structures of post-rock, the explosive attack and principled stance of old-school hardcore and emo, and the members' political and social concerns; Choung and Robledo-Maderazo are both Asian-American and their viewpoints heavily inform the band's music. In addition to their work with the band, Solberg is a painter and plays with a jazz-metal band called the Mass, Choung works in video and has a BA in film studies, and Robledo-Maderazo also works in graphic design and multimedia. From Monument to Masses' self-titled debut album appeared on Dim Mak in spring 2002; the band followed it up the next year with The Impossible Leap in One Hundred Simple Steps.