Sometimes you feel like a band, sometimes you don't. Such is the case of MullMuzzler. On the one hand, this band is not really a band, but James LaBrie (Dream Theater) working solo. Taken another way, it is a truly new band, simply fronted by the vocalist. LaBrie began work on the project in 1998, recruiting Trent Gardner (Magellan, Explorer's Club), Matt Guillory (Dali's Dilemma), Gary Sloyer, and three members of Shadow Gallery (Carl Cadden-James, Brendt Allman, and Gary Wehrkamp) to begin songwriting chores. During the course of working on this still unnamed project, they recruited several musicians to help them achieve their sound. Those artists included Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Beer for Dolphins), Mike Mangini (Extreme, Steve Vai), and Bryan Beller (Dweezil Zappa, Steve Vai, Beer for Dolphins). The production of the first CD was done with very little personal contact among the musicians, accomplished via both e-mail and old-fashioned mail. The process got LaBrie thinking about situations that prevent people from expressing themselves and caused him to coin the term MullMuzzler to describe it. The term was LaBrie's creation for a term to refer to gagging or silencing "an individual's thought before it can be expressed in any manner," as he described it. He created the word from the combination of the words "mull" (meaning to ponder thought) and "muzzle" (meaning to gag). So, with a name firmly in place, the band recorded its debut album, Keep It to Yourself, which was released in 1999. Not content to rest on his laurels, LaBrie quickly began thinking about work on a follow-up. The resulting album was 2001's MullMuzzler 2. It featured the same core musicians (LaBrie, Keneally, Mangini, Guillory, and Beller) with a few other players.