In a search to find others interested in trading videos of live shows, drummer/singer Bob Nanna, of Friction, placed a classified ad in Maximum Rocknroll and met drummer Roy Ewing, of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1993. That fall, Nanna, a freshman at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, started hanging out with Ewing, who played in Lowercase N. Nanna's friend guitarist Pete Havranek, of 42 Loads and Inkadink, wanted to play with someone new, so Ewing volunteered. Nanna became their singer and guitarist, Jay Ryan joined them on bass, and Braid were born. Shortly thereafter, Ryan left the band and went on to play with Hubcap and Dianogah. Todd Bell, who had played with Ewing in Lowercase N, replaced Ryan on bass. Kate Reuss was recruited to sing. Braid played their first show on December 10, 1993, in Danville, Illinois. Reuss left the band after the second show.