A major influence on the group's sound was their geographical location. Isolated on the west coast of Australia, Perth backs on to a huge, empty desert that infused The Triffids' early work with a feeling of emptiness and loneliness.
Their debut album Treeless Plain was released in November, 1983, an album completely out of tune with everything else going on in the Australian alternative music scene at the time. All of the songs for Treeless Plain were recorded over twelve midnight-to-dawn sessions at Emerald City Studios, Sydney in August and September 1983.
Their line-up stabilised to David McComb (vocals, guitar), his brother Robert McComb (guitar,violin), Jill Birt (keyboards), Alsy MacDonald (drums), Martyn P. Casey (bass) and 'Evil' Graham Lee (pedal steel, guitar).