Formed in 1994 in Austin, Texas, Fastball combined a fondness for melodic, Beatles-inspired pop with the alternative aesthetic of late-'90s mainstream rock. Guitarist/vocalist Miles Zuniga, bassist/vocalist Tony Scalzo, and drummer Joey Shuffield — all veterans of Austin's underground rock scene — originally banded together under the name Magneto U.S.A. After signing with Hollywood Records, the musicians changed their name to Fastball and released their debut album, Make Your Mama Proud, in 1996. The album demonstrated the band's synthesis of modern flavor and bygone pop hooks, a combination that would later launch Fastball into the mainstream.
After several years of focusing on live work, Fastball returned to the studio in 2015, recording in their hometown of Austin. The project emerged in May 2017, a self-released album titled Step into Light, and the band supported it with an extensive tour of the United States and Canada. The following year, Fastball celebrated the 20th anniversary of All the Pain Money Can Buy with an expanded edition of the 1998 album; they accompanied the reissue with a hometown concert in Austin, Texas.