Trelvis (bass), and Otis (drums) got together Pinhead Circus while under the influence of the Descendents, skating, and malt liquor. But it wouldn't be until 1997, after a bundle of shows and compilation tracks, when BYO Records caught their attention and released their first album, Detailed Instructions for the Self Involved. Two years later, Pinhead's second album, Everything Else Is Just a Far Gone Conclusion, followed, featuring new drummer Brandon Barnes. Soon after, Barnes split as well (later joining Rise Against) and Pinhead Circus welcomed both Dave Fantastik (drums) and Jordan Hauser (guitar and backing vocals) into the group. In fall 2000, the quartet released Fall in Love All Over Again through Soda Jerk Records; Black Power of Romance was issued in spring 2001 and found them back with BYO. Soda Jerk then put out the live album Live at Last in 2002.