Pulse Ultra aimed for something harder. Childhood pals Dominic Cifarelli (guitar) and Jeff Feldman (bassist) were influenced by the post-grunge reign of bands like Limp Bizkit and the Deftones, therefore they designed Pulse Ultra with similar appeal. They spent the latter '90s gigging at local parties and competing in various showcases, but it wasn't until 1997 when the two befriended drummer Maxx Zinno. Zinno gave Pulse Ultra a refreshed outlook and a new focus. Two years later, vocalist Zo Vizza was added to the group, and an intense, raw rock sound was forming. A chance meeting with Taproot in summer 2000 was a golden moment for the band; Cifarelli immediately clicked with the band and gave them a demo. Shortly thereafter, Taproot's manager worked a deal for Pulse Ultra with Velvet Hammer/Atlantic and the band was off to the sunny side of Los Angeles. Pulse Ultra spent the next year writing songs and tweaking their sound; the result was their debut album, Headspace, which was issued in summer 2002.