One of Nashville's earliest original rock bands, the Questionnaires were formed in early 1983 as Basic Static by vocalist Tom Littlefield and bassist Greg Herston, who were later joined by guitarist Doug Lancio and drummer Hunt Waugh. The band enjoyed a fair degree of local success, scoring opening slots for national acts like the Romantics, Bow Wow Wow, and X, but later broke up due to personal conflicts among the members. Their song "Born to Die," recorded as the Basics ("Static" was dropped from their name due to a conflict with another band), appeared on the seminal 1983 Local Heroes cassette compilation alongside other young Nashville talents like Bill Lloyd, Jason & the Scorchers, and the White Animals. Subsequent college radio airplay for the song throughout the Southeast prompted the four members to re-form in 1985 as the Questionnaires, the band discarding their previous new wave sound in favor of a more timeless pop/rock formula. The change was due to the influence of Littlefield, the grandson of jazz great Woody Herman, who would take on the bulk of the songwriting duties. After developing a regional following, the Questionnaires would join fellow Nashville rockers Jason & the Scorchers and Walk the West as part of the Capitol EMI roster. By this time, Herston had left the band, replaced by Chris Feinstein of Shadow 15.
The Questionnaires released their debut album, Window to the World, in 1989, following it with Anything Can Happen two years later. With a sound that was heavily influenced by the Beatles and the songwriting of Brian Wilson, any chance for the Questionnaires to gain a national audience disappeared with the commercial ascendance of bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Littlefield would enjoy a modicum of success as a songwriter during the '90s, with tracks recorded by Shawn Colvin, Nanci Griffith, and Kim Richey, among others. Lancio and Feinstein would hook up with Jay Joyce of In Pursuit to form Bedlam, Feinstein later joining Joyce in the indie rock band Iodine. Lancio became an in-demand guitarist for folks like Steve Earle before becoming a member of Patty Griffin's touring band, also moonlighting as part of the Nashville "supergroup" Swag. ~ Rev. Keith A. Gordon, Rovi