...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead was formed in late 1994 by singers/guitarists/drummers Jason Reece and Conrad Keely, longtime friends who originally met in Hawaii before both settled in the perennial indie hotbed of Olympia, WA (where Reece fronted the notorious Mukilteo Fairies). Upon relocating together to Austin, TX, the duo played their first shows as You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, eventually adding both the conjunction and the ellipsis as well as recruiting guitarist Kevin Allen and bassist/sampler Neil Busch. After issuing a live cassette on the local Golden Hour label, the group — already legendary in indie circles for their anarchic concert sets — released their self-titled full-length debut on Trance Syndicate in early 1998. Following the label's collapse, AYWKUBTTOD moved to Merge to issue Madonna in the fall of 1999. After signing to Interscope, the band issued the formidable Source Tags & Codes in 2002, followed by The Secret of Elena's Tomb EP in 2003. Worlds Apart, a prog rock-inspired epic, arrived early in 2005. Despite widespread acclaim for the album, its sales were disappointing, leading Keely to consider disbanding the group. However, he and the rest of ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead found inspiration in their frustration and bounced back with the full-length So Divided — which was initially conceived as an EP — in late 2006.