Blending heavy melodic rock, power pop, and electronica, Esion has established a sound that is difficult to classify, but easy to identify. The Detroit-based band combines energetic vocals with neck-snapping beats, vicious guitar riffs, and dizzying synthesizer work. Since its initial inception as a one-man band in 1995, Esion has evolved into a full band that continues to forge new territories while staying grounded to the music they make and the listeners who support them. Don Kline began writing and recording in the spring of 1995 while he attended the Eastern Michigan University School of Music. By the end of that year, he adopted the Esion moniker and released his first collection of original material on e.p.. Joining him for his first live performances was Benic Systems, an Ann Arbor-based lighting and theatrics company that has continued to design and run custom lighting for almost every Esion show since. In March of 1996, Kline released the industrial-tinged Lickity Split, focusing on heavier beats, grinding samples, and stronger melodies. The full-length follow-up garnered some good regional press, but recognizing the need to release a more radio-ready effort, Kline returned to the studio and began writing new material. In early 1998, he emerged with En Route. Featuring a variety of styles ranging from drum 'n bass and trip-hop to salsa and jazz, the album quickly caught the attention of several radio stations and independent record labels. As "13 Machine" and "Drill the Sky" were added to regular rotation on college radio in the Midwest, Kline travelled to New York to promote En Route and meet with record labels. A few months later, Esion contributed "You Are Hear" to Delectronict, the debut compilation CD released by the Detroit Electronica Coalition. The new song signified both the beginning of Esion's attraction to heavy, melodic electro-rock, and the realization that an expansion of the group would be necessary to realize the music in a live setting. After providing tour support for Sister Machine Gun and receiving a Best Industrial Band nomination from the Detroit Music Awards, guitarist Jon Ameel, bass player Andy Monkiewicz, and drummer Joseph Popiolek officially joined the Esion lineup. The band steadily built steam as they licensed songs to MTV's Making the Video television series and received a second straight Best Industrial Band nomination in the 2001 Detroit Music Awards. Shortly after, keyboard player/producer Steve Sholtes joined the group and they continued to play select dates throughout the Midwest. As the band prepared for the release of their new EP, drummer Joseph Popiolek exited and was replaced by Nick Hura of Black Eyed Susan.
Towards the end of 2001, the second Detroit Electronica Coalition compilation CD, Delectronict 2 was released and featured an early version of "Collide," a track that would later be included on Pull. Marking the first release on Kline's own Mastadon Records imprint and the first Esion effort to feature a full band, Pull showcased a new solidified direction for the group. Following the release, Esion supported Jesus Jones on their U.S. tour, with Kline also taking on the role of Tour Manager. As Esion returned from the tour, Invisible Records released Notes From Thee Real Underground, Volume 2. Featuring exclusive remixes of "All the Dirty Girls" and "Damage," the compilation helped Esion gain national exposure as they began shopping Pull to labels. As the band returned to the road to tour and promote their recent releases, their explosive live set helped to further propel their buzz and gain new fans. In August of 2002, Esion headed back into the studio to begin recording material for the follow-up to Pull. ~ All Music Guide, Rovi