BioBrian McBride and Adam Wiltzie met in Austin, TX in 1990 when they were both college students. McBride had a radio show on the college station and Wiltzie did live sound for local bands like Ed Hall as well as recording (ultimately he would be behind the desk for Bedhead). A mutual interest in music ("When you're at a party in 1990 and you attempt to put on Eric Satie and everyone just scowls at you - Brian simply smiled" Wiltzie told XLR8R in 2003) and obsession with Twin Peaks (song titles are rife with Lynchiana) motivated the two to work together.
Stars of the Lid toured the U.S. and Canada with Bedhead and Michael Gira's Angels of Light, played some select shows in the U.K. and Adam Wiltzie did live sound for Labradford in Europe. Adam Wiltzie and Labradford's Bobby Donne each remixed the other's band for a 12 inch single on the Trance Syndicate's Kahanek Incident' series. A painter named Jon McCafferty (who had contributed the cover art for R.E.M.'s Green album) contacted the band, explaining how he listened to Stars of the Lid as he painted. A collaboration ensued, with McCafferty contributing artwork in the form of a painting and Stars of the Lid incorporating recordings of the painter painting, and the ambient sounds of his studio, to their own compositions. The result was the Per Aspera ad Astra LP/CD.