Jack McDowell spent 11 years as a Major League pitcher for the likes of the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Cleveland Indians. He was also a musician at heart. He grew up listening to the Who and the Beatles and had various bands on the side. In 1989, he founded V.I.E.W. Four years later, they received their big break as the opening act on a tour for the Smithereens. McDowell was impressive, since Smithereeens bass player Mike Mesaros asked to work with him. In between various gigs, McDowell and tour-sound engineer Michael Hamilton formed Stickfigure in 1992. Mesaros joined two years later. Just a Thought was issued by Monsterdisc in 1995; Feedbag appeared two years later. Stickfigure made their proper modern rock debut with What Are Records in 2002 with the release of Ape of the Kings.