Braid was an influential emo/indie rock band founded in 1993 in Champaign, IL. The original line-up consisted of Bob Nanna (vocals/guitar), Pete Havranek (guitar), Jay Ryan (bass), and Roy Ewing (drums). Of that original quartet, only Roy was actually from Champaign. The other members were all from the Chicago-area and were attending college in Champaign. Jay Ryan, nearing graduation, left after a few practices and was replaced by Todd Bell. Also, Kate Ruess joined the band as 2nd vocalist. This line-up would last for 2 shows and record one song before Ruess departed. In the summer of 1994, Chris Broach, another Chicago-area native, joined the band as lead vocalist. Shortly afterwards, Pete Havranek, unhappy with the band's musical direction, left the group. The band had been planning on recording their first EP when Pete left, and the covers had been printed prior to the recording so he was credited on the first pressing despite not actually playing on the record. With Pete's departure, Chris stepped away from being the full-time lead singer and picked up the guitar.
In 1995, Braid released their first full-length album, "Frankie Welfare Boy Age 5", a sprawling, 26 song double LP. This was followed by a frenzied release of EPs, split 7"s, and compilation appearances, as well a second LP, 1996's "Age Of Octeen". In the spring of 1997, family commitments and job constraints forced Roy Ewing to leave the group. He was replaced by Milwaukee, WI, native Damon Atkinson. The band's third album, 1998's "Frame & Canvas" proved to be their most critically acclaimed release. However, in mid-1999, the band announced their impending break-up. The group played their last shows in the summer of 1999, hitting Champaign, Chicago, and Milwaukee (the home towns of all the members). A posthumous live album was released the following year, along with a 2 volume record collection of compilations and EP tracks.
Following the break-up, Bob, Todd, and Damon formed Hey Mercedes while Chris formed the Firebird Band. The quartet reunited in 2004 for a tour.