Dead Meadow formed in 1998 with Jason Simon on vocals and guitar, Steve Kille on bass, and Mark Laughlin on drums. They began to combine 70s hard rock and 60s psychedelic rock with far out and sometimes mystically minded lyrical themes occasionally even hinting at the obscure genius H. P. Lovecraft and other far out writers of the bizarre and weird. The first album, Dead Meadow, was released in 2000 on Tolotta Records, a label run by Fugazi bassist Joe Lally. The LP version was released by Planaria Records. This was quickly followed by 2001's Howls from the Hills, also released on Tolotta Records. At the completion of "Howls from the Hills" John Peel asked Dead Meadow to record a Peel Session which was recorded in Fugazi's home studio, the first time a Peel Session was recorded outside the BBC studios.