roy montgomery grew up in christchurch new zealand; starting his first band, the pin group, who released the first single on the flying nun label in 1981. when the band broke up montgomery went to college where he dabbled in the theater while studying, developing an interest in soundtrack work that he would refine later in his career.
in 1985 montgomery was briefly involved in a band called the shallows (which released a single on flying nun in 1985), but gained wider exposure as a member of dadamah. the singles and one lp dadamah recorded (posthumously collected on the this is not a dream cd by kranky 1995) marked the quartet as one of the most unique groups to come out of the fertile nz scene. montgomery's guitar drone/strum, while anchored in an appreciation of the velvet underground, television and wire, showed itself to be remarkably wide ranging.
in 1994 roy montgomery began a trip around the world that would result in a wealth of releases. after finishing the initial dissolve album with chris heaphy in new zealand, he visited the u.k. and played live with flying saucer attack and accompanied writer kirk lane. while in guatemala, he spent the night at one of the temples at the mayan ruins in tikal. on a stop in chicago he got a $65 guitar in a pawn shop, a teisco matching the one rouy's favorite hound dog taylor modeled on the cover of his first album. arriving in new york city, montgomery apartment sat, borrowed a four track tape deck and started recording.