While John Nolan and Shaun Cooper were still in Taking Back Sunday, John began writing songs that incorporated more piano and ultimately was a different style of music. Nolan was tired of what he felt was a formulaic repetition in the songwriting collaboration between himself and Taking Back Sunday lead singer, Adam Lazzara. When Taking Back Sunday was on tour, John and Shaun stopped in a mall, and sat down in the food court. While seated, a group of girls "mobbed" them due to their remote fame, turning John and Shaun off from pursuing Taking Back Sunday any further. In Las Vegas, Shaun asked John to leave Taking Back Sunday, and he agreed. In addition, it is rumored and suspected that since Adam Lazzara was in a relationship with John's sister, Michelle, and cheated on her with another woman, it gave John more of a reason to depart.
After the duo departed in 2003, John and Shaun demoed out six new songs with Taking Back Sunday's drummer, Mark O'Connell and posted them for free download on their main website. Meanwhile, in Taking Back Sunday, Fred Mascherino and Matt Rubano replaced John and Shaun. Fred, who was previously in the Pennsylvania based band, Breaking Pangaea, played music in that band with drummer Will Noon. Noticing that Breaking Pangaea had broken up, John and Shaun asked Will to join the band. It was at this time that Will accepted, and came up with the name for Straylight Run; the name was taken from a chapter in William Gibson's novel, Neuromancer. After playing as a trio for a while, they added John's sister, Michelle Nolan on piano, vocals, and guitar.
By September, 2003, Straylight Run was playing and selling out shows across the Northeast.
Since Taking Back Sunday was signed to Victory Records, John and Shaun's contracts with the label required them to release an album under Victory Records. They began recording their first self-titled debut album, Straylight Run in April 2004, and released it on October 12th, 2004 after a one month postponement. The album reached the Billboard Top 100 Albums list, selling 11,000 copies in the first week alone. While touring in support of their record the band played four shows with Coheed and Cambria. During the band's trip home, from Cleveland to Long Island, the band's van crashed, however, everyone escaped with only minor injuries.
In preparation for their next release, the four secluded themselves on a farm for two months, without cable tv or internet. Nearly a year later, on October 4th 2005, the band released their first EP, Prepare to Be Wrong. The extended play consisted of two songs off of their first demo a Bob Dylan cover, and three new songs. The CD fulfilled the contract that John and Shaun were obligated to fill for Victory Records. Plans for a live DVD were in the works, however, were never realized.
On June 19th, 2007 the band released their second full length album, The Needles The Space, through Universal Records. The title of the album was originally called "The Miracle That Never Came", after the track, however, was changed to a line from their first unofficial single, "Buttoned Down". The album was on sale for $7.00 at Circuit City during the week of the album's release. The band had plans for releasing a self made music video for each song, but the idea wasn't approved by their label, Universal Records, and were dropped from the label soon after.
The band toured in support of Bayside in February and early March of 2008. The band toured in support of The Used on the Get a Life Tour from March 31st through May 11th, 2008.
On June 3rd, 2008, Michelle DaRosa announced that she would be leaving Straylight Run to pursue a solo career, however, did not rule out the fact that she would play with the band again.
On June 10, 2008 the band entered the studio for pre-production on their next CD.
- Studio Diary Day 1
- Studio Diary Day 1, Part 2
- Studio Diary Day 2
- Studio Diary Day 2, Part 2
- Straylight Run in the Studio Vol. I
- Straylight Run in the Studio Vol. II
- Straylight Run in the Studio Vol. III
- Straylight Run in the Studio Vol. V*
- Straylight Run in the Studio Vol. VI
- Fall Tour '05 Part 1
- Fall Tour '05 Part 2
- Fall Tour '05 Part 3
- Fall Tour '05 Part 4
- Straylight Run Tour Update One
- Straylight Run Tour Update Two
- Note- The video, "The Best of Shaun Cooper" in the category above qualifies as Vol. IV of the Straylight Run in the Studio series.
- Hands in the Sky (Big Shot) Music Video
- Buttoned Down Music Video
- Soon We'l Be Living In the Future Music Video
- The Miracle That Never Came Music Video