Active between 2001 and 2008, The Format were an indie rock duo made up of singer/songwriter/instrumentalists Nate Ruess and Sam Means. Taking cues from as far afield as Pavement, Muswell Hillbillies-era Kinks and indie-folk high priest Will Oldham, the band's primarily acoustic music secured them a major-label deal (with Elektra), and in 2003 they released Interventions and Lullabies. Despite almost no promotion from the label (due in part to its going under shortly after the album came out), The Format gained local and some national recognition thanks to heavy Internet interest and the characteristic word-of-mouth nature of indie rock music. They self-released a second full-length, Dog Problems, in 2006. In 2008, the band abruptly announced there would be no new albums as Ruess and Means, still friends, had decided to disintegrate their musical partnership.