The modern rock trio Monotone Pictures came together while attending Central Washington University in 1993. Lars Emerick met Steve Damm three weeks into their freshman year after Damm responded to a bathroom reader ad placed by Emerick, a music-hungry guitarist who was looking for a music-hungry drummer. The two went through names like Current and Ground Flower, played around to various frat parties, and later opened for indie popsters the Posies and Super Deluxe. Five years later, Emerick and Damm prepared themselves to enter the working world after graduation and naturally left music in the wings for just a brief moment.
Music couldn't pay the bills, but Emerick and Damm weren't distressed. A short time later, they met 18-year-old Kristin Pleasant and the final mold of Monotone Pictures was cast. The new trio began building a small following in the Seattle club circuit, soon signing on with Seafair-Bolo Records. Their debut, Framed, was released in September 2000.