Vancouver's Default fit the definition of straight-ahead hard rock in the early years of the 21st century: the guitar textures and melodic bent of grunge; the dark, brooding earnestness of post-grunge; and the deep, thick-sounding production (but not the rap influences) of new alternative metal. Default was formed as the Fallout in summer 1999 by guitarist Jeremy Hora and drummer Danny Craig, four-year veterans of the local Vancouver music scene; after auditioning several vocalists, they settled on former high school classmate Dallas Smith, whose power made up for his inexperience. The group recorded a demo with an unidentified bassist, and it fell into the hands of Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, who knew Hora and Craig from one of their previous bands. Kroeger offered to produce their independent recording sessions, and the group began gigging around Vancouver. In 2000, they entered a talent competition sponsored by a local radio station and won a spot on the Vancouver Seeds 2000 sampler CD, shortly before they changed their name to Default. Their song "Deny" subsequently became a smash hit on local rock radio, which led to a deal with TVT Records. Bassist Dave Benedict joined the band full-time not long after. Thus constituted, Default entered the studios with producer Rick Parashar in spring 2001 and recorded their official debut album, The Fallout; it was released later that year. Their follow-up, Elocation, came out in late 2003.