The Natural History are a New York City-based trio, featuring brothers Max Tepper on guitar/vocals and Julian Tepper on bass, with drummer Derek Vockins as the only other member. Max Tepper and drummer Vockins had both been playing in emo-rock/math-rock bands (similar to Don Caballero
), before their mutual interests began to change. By the beginning of 2001, they were ready to try something new, and they began reaching back into the past, pulling out influences from their youth, including Elvis Costello
, the Kinks, the Beatles, Wire
. They were still in need of a bass player, and less than a week after graduating college, in June '01, Max's brother Julian joined the band. They began rehearsing, and just a few short weeks later, recorded their first release, a self-titled 3-song EP issued by Macarta Recordings (a tiny label operated by members of the Walkmen. The Natural History continued to perform, even touring the
Midwest, before they ultimately signed with the Brooklyn-based StarTime International, the strong indie label who had also signed the Walkmen, Brendon Benson and French Kicks. They began recording with Greg Talenfeld
(he'd worked with Pavement
and Jonathan Fire*eater
, in addition to their aforementioned labelmates) at his Stonehouse studio in Nyack, NY. The result was a five song, self-titled EP, which was released by StarTime in July 2002. A slew of shows with the likes of Enon, Spoon and Oranges Band consumed the band for the rest of the year, however the Tepper brothers found time to record their proper studio full-length. Beat Beat was slated for a spring 2003 release.