Philadelphia-based Sonny Sixkiller formed in 1997, when Kara Lafty, formerly of Moped, hooked up with guitarist Matt Kelley and began noodling around with a pair of acoustic guitars and a four-track recorder. Drummer Lance Crow and bassist Joe Paone soon joined. It took only three practice sessions for their repertoire to grow to 10 songs and soon they were playing regular gigs throughout the Northeast. Their pop-punk guitar grinds accented by Lafty's sugary vocals were featured on their first release from Vital Cog Records, I'm in the Band, in 1998. This Is Your Heaven followed in the spring of 2000.