Mason Daniel Shelby. Raised in historic Vienna, Virginia, he was one of two twin boys born to David Arthur Shelby and his wife Allison Larie in October of '87. Always a curious child, his initial interest in insects ironically developed into a paralyzing phobia. Mason loved to draw and longed to one day be a cartoonist. At an early age, young Mason worked as an understudy beneath some of Vienna's foremost pianists. Though it ‘twas trying at times, the experience planted a musical seed which began to grow and grow.
Paul Nicholas Tsiaperas. The son of a draperymund, John Keith Tsiaperas, and poet, Denise Devries, little Paul was the youngest of three. Though he had a penchant for causing trouble in the classroom, he was a moderately bright boy who used his right brain more often than his left. Against his will, Paul was enrolled in the school wind instrument corps and studied euphonium, the tuba's unpopular cousin. He liked orca whales and dreamt of becoming a marine biologist. These interests would one day inspire some of his magnum opuses.
Paul and Mason met in Mrs. Simpson's kindergarten class at Cunningham Park Elementary School but only became close friends in the third grade when the two collaborated on a rain forest themed science poster. This was the tiny spark which started the fire of comradery and a friendship which would last a lifetime. The two proceeded to work on an extracurricular project, The Book, which was a collection of short stories and poems by some of the more creative students in their class. There were several volumes of The Book, all which, unfortunately, have been lost in time. However, the spirit and verve with which the boys wrote and illustrated The Books was just a glimpse of their future glory.
In the sixth grade, during an otherwise uneventful lunch hour, Paul nonchalantly proposed an idea which started simply as a means to woo their female classmates.
"My friend Mason,
Dude, we should start a band.
Your faithful friend,
P. N. Tsiaperas, Esquire"
Mason liked Paul's suggestion, and though the two possessed no instruments and little knowledge of songwriting, they began composing simple melodies and lyrics under the moniker Earwacks. Their debut album and hit single was to be named Q-Tip. Other titles included Fast Food, You Tore My Heart Out, and Scooters. Although no songs were ever recorded and no documents from that period remain, this was truly the pre-cursor to Catscan.