In the late 1970s, Athens, Georgia was buzzing with a raw but sophisticated music scene. Traditional southern rock had been the Georgia musical export for years before, but the turn of the decade began producing new sounds from bands like The B-52's, R.E.M. and alt rock luminaries Pylon.
In 1980 the band released its first record, Gyrate, and began touring across the country in support of the release. The band would soon develop a following across the country and specifically in the bustling music scene in New York City. One of their earliest gigs was opening for the Gang of Four in the Big Apple. Following the critical acclaim of their debut release, Pylon went back into the studio. While in the studio they gleefully pulled their songs apart and put them back together in new shapes, revealing a band of self-proclaimed non-musicians who had transformed gradually but noticeably into real musicians. The resulting album, Chomp, was barely off the press when Pylon were booked to open a run of dates for a hot new Irish band called U2 (after previously playing two arena shows with them in the month leading to the album release). Most bands would have jumped at the opportunity, but Pylon were skeptical. At a critical point in the life of Pylon, they opted to become a cult band rather than stretch their defining philosophy too far.