Given the backgrounds of each individual member, the Plus Ones had no choice but to become a pop-punk band upon their 1998 formation. Scotty Hays (guitar/vocals) spent his teenage years in the Struggle Buggies and Redemption 87 before dividing time between the Receivers and the Plus Ones. Joel Reader (vocals/bass) spent time in the Mr. T Experience; the Bomb Bassets, a 90's incarnation of the Avengers; as well as playing bass for Penelope Houston's backing band. Danny Panic was most noted for his time in Chicago's Screeching Weasel before moving to San Francisco and filling in for the likes of the Groovie Ghoulies and Pansy Division. The results brought on a playful pop-punk outfit that's synonymous with the warning "Cute Band Alert." Coldfront Records eventually contributed to the trio's debut EP On the List in early 2000.