Formerly known as Cherry, New York's rock-meets-electronica duo Ratatat features multi-instrumentalist/programmer Evan Mast and guitarist Mike Stroud. Mast is also the brains behind the pretty laptop pop of E*vax, and with his brother E*Rock he runs the indie electronic label Audio Dregs. Stroud also plays, in the studio and on tour, with artists including Ben Kweller and Dashboard Confessional. Between these duties (and Mast's job as a graphic designer), the duo found time to work on their collaboration. Mast worked beats and song ideas in his bedroom studio, which he gave to Stroud to develop while the guitarist was on the road. Though Mast and Stroud began working together in 2001, things began to really come together for the pair in 2003: in May, while they were still called Cherry, they played their first gig; by September they changed their name to Ratatat; and that November they issued their first single on Audio Dregs, which had a limited run of 1,100 copies. Dates with Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, and Batles followed, and Ratatat signed to XL Records. The duo's self-titled debut album arrived in spring 2004, coinciding with another round of dates with bands including !!!, Electrelane, and Tortoise, and two years later their sophomore record, Classics, was released.