Originally starting out as a one man band that recorded exclusively in his own San Jose living room, Hutch Harris armed himself with two guitars and a stock of borrowed equipment to record a seven song cassette of lo-fi indie pop entitled Cycle; hence, Urban Legends was born in the fall of 1996. After releasing the Dance and Burn EP on Tree Records in 1997, Harris took a hiatus from Urban Legend to tour with his other band Haelah that summer with the additional intentions of never returning to California. Relocating to Portland, Oregon after Haelah's break-up, Harris got together with keyboardist Marc Bianchi from Her Space Holiday to record ten songs for the resurrected Urban Legends. Following a split 7" with Her Space Holiday in 1998, Hutch formed the Urban Legends band with himself on drums, Kathy (also formerly of Haelah) on guitar and Holiday Inn on bass. With their self-titled debut album released in 1999 thanks to Audio Information Phenomena Records (again, with Hutch performing all the musical duties), Fragile Records put out the 7" "My Only Defense Left" that same year.