Bill Whitten formed the New York City band Grand Mal after the dissolution of his former group, the Connecticut combo St. Johnny, in 1995. While his former unit gloried in Sonic Youth-style fuzz and feedback (with a distinct slacker air), Grand Mal was decidedly less lethargic, glorying in glammed-up aggression and gutter-punk abandonment. Whitten launched Grand Mal with a primarily solo EP in 1996. The punctuations of energy and hearty stabs at club-kid culture (bolstered by the vocals of Carmen Quinones) clearly indicated a new path for Whitten. Lead guitarist John deVries (formerly of Agitpop) soon proved to be an able accomplice in the new venture, and the two continued to draw upon the inspiration of such '70s rock 'n' roll acts as the New York Dolls and Mott the Hoople. A revolving cast of musicians contributed to the group's first two releases. By the time of 1999's Maledictions album, Grand Mal had solidified around Whitten, deVries, bassist Steve Borgerding, drummer Parker Kindred and keyboard player Jonathon Toubin. The group released the album Precision Exits in 2000; three years later the glam heavy Bad Timing appeared.