In the summer of 2002, the four of us decided to temporarily relocate to Midland, Texas. We thought it would be good to get out of Austin and hole up somewhere so we could just focus on writing music for what would be our third album. We knew our way around Midland (three of us grew up there) and the rent was cheap. Also, there is not a whole lot to do there so there would be few distractions. Once there, we spent our days apart...Michael got a job at a video store, Munaf at a Thai restaurant, Mark did some freelance copy editing and Chris walked his dog through abandoned parking lots. Late in the evening we would get something to eat and then head to practice. We had a practice space in the basement of an old downtown office building (which was quite possibly haunted). We could be there from 9pm to 6am. We put up some Christmas lights and got to work. The first couple of weeks were pretty rough. We were having trouble coming up with anything that we liked. It was frustrating and we became rather discouraged. One night we decided to take a break and we drove out to the Monahans Sand Dunes, a few miles outside of Midland. This place is hard to describe. You're just surrounded by weird, untouched desert. And you can see all the stars in the sky. Michael once described it as "like being on another planet." We brought a boom box with us and we laid down on the sand and listened to music. For some reason this made us feel better about things. The next night we were back in the basement practice space working on new songs. We can't remember if it got any easier or any less frustrating but somehow everything started to fall into place. A few weeks later we packed up and moved back to Austin.