California's Simon Stinger was co-founded in 1995 by singer Alicia Perrone and bassist/producer Victor James. They quickly achieved popularity throughout San Francisco from word of mouth, touring, and a stage presence that incorporated the irreverent flair of Oingo Boingo and Bow Wow Wow with the edgy musicality of Blondie and the Ramones. The four-member band released a 7" vinyl recording in 1996 on their own Muscle Car Records label and followed with a full-length CD, Private Collection, in 1997. As a touring band, Simon Stinger developed a reputation for never performing exactly the same way twice and turned heads with their elaborately costumed Hi Brow Cabaret shows in 1999 featuring local area drag queens as opening acts. A video for their cover of Devo's "Girl U Want" won first place at a 1999 Hollywood performance showcase, further solidifying the band's industry appeal. The campy and intoxicating Devil on My Mind was released in 2000 on the Ann-Margrock Music label.