Hailing from Orlando, FL, Anberlin formed from the ashes of various other area projects, including the Christian punk outfit SaGoh (Servants After God's Own Heart). Led by the soaring vocals of Stephen Christian, the positive-thinking Anberlin also included Joseph Milligan (guitar), Nathan Young (drums), Joey Bruce (guitar), and Deon Rexroat (bass), and presented an alternative pop/rock sound that, while inflected with the earnestness of emo, was closer to the mature stylings of Third Eye Blind. A five-song demo landed Anberlin the attention of the Seattle-based indie label Tooth & Nail, which signed the group in 2002. Blueprints for the Black Market marked the band's debut in May 2003, and Anberlin supported the album with shows alongside groups like Fall Out Boy and Story of the Year. Second guitarist Nathan Strayer later joined the lineup, and Anberlin returned in February 2005 with Never Take Friendship Personal.