Before emerging as a solo artist, Mike Doughty (known as M. Doughty during the early stages of his career) was best known as the frontman of the unique avant-garde group Soul Coughing. Formed in 1992, Soul Coughing took shape after Doughty met Yuval Gabay, Sebastian Steinberg, and Mark de Gli Antoni while working as a doorman at the Knitting Factory, a staple of New York City's underground music scene. The four musicians signed with Slash/Warner Bros. in 1993 after making a name for themselves on the local scene with a fusion of rock, Doughty's beatnik-inspired lyrics, and elements of hip-hop and electronic music. Releasing their first of three albums the following year, Soul Coughing enjoyed only moderate commercial success over the next six years with the singles "Super Bon Bon" and "Circles." However, their unclassifiable style kept them apart from the mainstream, which became beneficial as the initial boom of alternative rock in the early '90s subsided considerably.