The Negatones were formed by brothers Jay and Justin Braun in 1997. Jay Braun (vocals, guitar, keyboards) had been a member of the Band of Susans on their final tours, then had played bass in the Mooney Suzuki on two North American tours, but declined to join the band formally. Instead, he teamed up with Justin Braun (vocals, bass) and Jun Takeshta (guitar, xylophone, keyboards), who had known the brothers in high school to form the Negatones. Various drummers came and went until late 2000 when Jesse Wallace proved to be a keeper. While getting the band on its feet, the Braun brothers worked as recording assistants, eventually amassing enough money to record the Negatones' debut EP, The Heavy EP, which they released in May 2002 to positive reviews. A second EP, Snacktronica, followed in 2003.