After being graduated from Hampshire Smith and Gust returned to Portland and have started reconfiguring the band into the line-up it is known for today: Elliott Smith (guitar, vocals), Neil Gust (guitar, vocals), Brandit Peterson (bass) and Tony Lash (drums). However, Brandit
Peterson stod in the band not too long; he was asked to leave by the other members. Sam Coomes was brought in to play bass into the last albums recording (Mic City Sons) and on tour. Tony Lash was brought in to play drums. In the late 1994 he left the band and was exchanged to John Moen (later of The Decemberists). But even those changes have made no positive effect - in the fall of 1996 the band broke up.
Elliott Smith later dismissed the group's music as "loud", and his own singing on their first album as "an embarrassment". Smith also bemoaned that being in Heatmiser changed the songs he was writing at the time into "loud rock songs with no dynamic". Heatmiser also frustrated the members of the band. In an interview, Smith recalled:
"I was being a total actor, acting out a role I didn't even like. I couldn't come out and show where I was coming from. I was always disguised in this loud rock band. [In the beginning] we all got together, everyone wanted to play in a band and it was fun, then after a couple of years we
realized that none of us really liked this kind of music, and that we didn't have to play this way. You didn't have to turn all these songs you wrote into these loud... things. It was kinda weird – people that came to our shows, a majority of them were people I couldn't relate to at all. Why aren't there more people like me coming to our shows? Well, it's because I'm not even playing the kind of music that I really like."