The band was originally formed in 2001 as a three-piece, consisting of Joe Shrewsbury, Paul Wolinski, and Iain Armstrong. The popular belief (and as the band once stated) is that they took their name from the unreleased and little known John Carpenter film Stealth Bomber starring Kurt Russell. Another theory that holds is that the band took their name from the CIA's 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état during which the CIA put a white book instrument to use according to which 65 days of disabling the communication systems of a nation while spreading propaganda is enough to overthrow a country.[unreliable source?] Alternatively, New Statesman has presented the theory the name was derived from psychological experiments conducted in the 1960s, in which it was found that exposure to 65 days of white noise (or static) would render the listener insane.
The lineup of the band has changed significantly since its initial formation. Armstrong left in May 2003, and later went on to form a new band, Actionier. Feedle joined for a brief period and played a part in writing the band's first single from The Fall of Math, "Retreat! Retreat!". By the end of 2003 Rob Jones (drums) and Gareth Hughes (bass) had been recruited, increasing the band to four members. Gareth left around the time of the release of their debut album The Fall of Math. Simon Wright took over on bass duties. Members of other bands, particularly The Mirimar Disaster and Youthmovies, often join them in their live shows.
In 2005 they remixed Alkaline Trio's single "Burn" from the album Crimson. The track appears on one 7" vinyl out of a set of 2. In the same year, the band also remixed "...Spooks the Horse," a track by Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies, for inclusion on the reissue of their debut album, Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness.
Their third album, The Destruction of Small Ideas, was released on 30th April 2007. The album features contributions by members of The Mirimar Disaster, Digitonal, and Circle Takes the Square. The track "Don't Go Down to Sorrow" was released as a single three weeks before this on 9 April, backed by a new song "Morning in the Knife Quarter" and a remix of "The Major Cities of the World Are Being Destroyed One by One by the Monsters", a version of which appeared as a b-side on the Retreat! Retreat! single. This single was released on 21 March 2007 in Japan, while the album was released there on 23 April. The video for the single was made by Medlo.
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