Damien Rice was originally the singer for Juniper, a rock band which released the singles "The World Is Dead" and "Weatherman". On the eve of recording their first full album for Polygram in 1999, Rice became disenchanted with the commercial direction he felt pushed into by the label, and quit. His Juniper bandmates became Bell X1. He moved to rural Italy where he played acoustic guitar, wrote songs, and busked around Europe until he was able to form a band and get coffeeshop gigs in the Dublin area. Exploiting a lucky connection to David Arnold, his second cousin, Rice was able to record 2003 O, for which he won the Shortlist Music Prize in 2003. The other members of the band are Lisa Hannigan who sings and occasionally plays guitar and bass; cellist Vyvienne Long; percussionist Tom Osander a member of the groundbreaking 90's jam band God Street Wine; and bassist Shane Fitzsimons.