Hailing from Chicago, Carey Ott got his start in the mid-'90s with a band called Torben Floor. Backed by his brother Chris Ott on bass, Doug Sale on drums, and John Mooney on guitar, Ott gained a following on the Chicago club circuit for his pensive, confessional songs. Due in no small part to Ott's contributions (he wrote all of the band's songs), Torben Floor managed to snag gigs at popular festivals like SXSW and at clubs like Schubas, Doubledoor, and Metro. The band managed to release one album, Live Music in the Apartment, in 1999, but was unable to land a major record deal. It was during this time that Ott met and eventually teamed up to cut a demo with producer Ed Tinley. Frustrated with their inability to land a major record deal, Torben Floor split up shortly after their debut was released.