The Ponys was formed by singer/guitarist Jered Gummere, in early 2001. Gummere was concurrently in the punk band, Guilty Pleasures, at the time of The Ponys’ formation. He eventually left to devote himself entirely to The Ponys. Gummere recruited members of the band, his first choice being girlfriend Melissa Elias who he met while she was attending Illinois State University in his hometown. Together they experimented with indie/postpunk styles.
The two began to write songs, and were joined by ex-Mushuganas drummer, Nathan Jerde. The Ponys began touring the Chicago club circuit and would then record their first singles on Contaminated and Big Neck records. Concerned their sound was lacking, Gummere asked Ian Adams, a member of Happy Supply to join the band. After releasing a few more singles, the Ponys signed with In the Red Records (based in Los Angeles), due to widespread circulation.
Their initial release, Laced With Romance, met with moderate critical success . The album reached media from local indie-zines such as Horizontal Action, to mainstream-America music publications like Rolling Stone and Spin.