the Audition in 2003, working with a revolving cast of early members to hone the band's sound and perform the material live. After recording a demo and playing shows with other Chicago-based acts like the Academy Is..., the Audition signed with Victory Records and issued a debut album, Controversy Loves Company, in September 2005. By that point, the band's lineup had shifted to include O'Connor, Lussa, guitarists Seth Johnson and Timmy Klepek, and vocalist Danny Stevens, all of whom hit the road to tour in support of the album. A sophomore effort, Champion, appeared in 2008 and cracked the Billboard 200 at number 157, a sign that the band had begun to attract a national following.
Self-Titled Album marked the band's third full-length release in 2009, the same year that founding member Joe Lussa left the lineup. Klepek deciding to handle bass duties in his absence, and the slimmed-down lineup made its debut in 2010 with Great Danger.