Brazil began in Muncie, Indiana around 2000, with a lineup that included brothers Nic Newby and Jonathon Newby, Aaron Smith, Benjamin Hunt, Eric Johnson, and Scott Freeman. The sextet recorded a series of demos, and began gigging whenever possible. Eventually their persistence paid off, and Brazil secured a deal with Fearless, who issued the Dasein EP in autumn 2002. Its ambitious mixture of post-hardcore freakouts, experimental noise, and progressive piano movements didn't necessarily make a splash, but it did put Brazil on the touring map. By summer 2003, drummer James Sefchek had replaced Freeman, and the band adjourned to the studio to record their full-length. The LP A Hostage and the Meaning of Life appeared on Fearless in May 2004. It was supported by a brief tour in support of Coheed & Cambria; a round of Warped Tour appearances were planned for that summer.