BioMilwaukee, Wisconsin's Decibully is a band's band. Featuring numerous multi-instrumentalists and having earned a strong reputation for their live performances, Decibully brandishes a wide variety of influences, mixing a rich blend of finely interspersed layers tinged with country-esque flourishes, subtle electronic twinges, and rockist undertones.
Formed as a trio in Fall 2001 by William J. Seidel (vocals, guitar, percussion, Rhodes), guitarist W. Kenneth Siebert and keyboardist Nick Westfahl, the group soon added Ryan Weber (lap steel, synths, guitar, percussion), bassist Justin Klug, and drummer Jason Gnewikow to further round out their sound. Decibully spent the rest of 2001-02 practicing when time could be found, touring and self-releasing their debut album You Might Be A Winner, You May Be A Loser, But You'll Always Be A Gambler.
When Gnewikow moved to New York, he was replaced on drums by Aaron Vold. At the same time, banjo player Eric Holliday joined the band. Following a successful January 2003 tour, Decibully returned to the studio to begin working on their second full-length, the tentatively-titled When We Learned How To Dance. In late May 2003 Westfahl was replaced by Nicholas Sanborn on keyboards and the band began looking for a label.
Prior to Decibully, Seidel and Weber were founding members of Camden. In 1999, Camden recorded demos with Chris Rosenau, guitarist for Pele and Collections of Colonies of Bees. Based on their prior relationship and having seen Decibully live numerous times, Rosenau contacted Polyvinyl Records via a two o'clock in the morning phone message lauding the band. A few days later, an unmastered, incomplete version of the album arrived by mail. Band and label began talking and, following a return to the studio, the album was released as City of Festivals on October 14, 2003 followed by a self-booked national tour and an appearance at Polyvinyl's 2003 CMJ Showcase. With nearly a hundred shows played in support of City of Festivals, Decibully again returned to the studio to begin recording their follow-up album to the Polyvinyl debut.
City of Festivals had been a mix of different songs written while the band was undergoing personnel changes. A little over half the songs had been written before the band became the solidified line-up that toured in support of City of Festivals. From the initial roughs sent to Polyvinyl, it was obvious the dividends from touring were paying off in the studio.