Fastball formed in the early '90s in Austin, Texas. The band was originally called Magneto U.S.A. but changed their name after signing with Hollywood Records.
Fueled by the success of first single "The Way
," Fastball's 1998 album All the Pain Money Can Buy
went platinum after only six months of release and stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for an entire year.
Fastball guitarist Miles Zuniga told Entertainment Weekly that the band's name came from their favorite pornographic film. Zuniga called it "a typical porno movie" and explained that "it's about baseball. It's like a really raunchy Bill Durham."
As of January 2008, the members of Fastball still had side jobs to make ends meet. Lead singer Tony Scalzo worked the midnight shift at The Bagel Manufactory in Austin, Texas. Six months later, the band was playing the late-night TV circuit and their album All the Pain Money Can Buy had sold over a million copies.
Frontman Tony Scalzo wrote Fastball's song "The Way" about an elderly couple that went missing in Texas. Although the woman had Alzheimer's and her husband was recovering from brain surgery, the couple decided to drive to a music festival. Two weeks later, the pair was found dead in a ravine near Hot Springs, Arkansas, hundreds of miles from their intended route.
Fastball's 2000 album The Harsh Light of Day featured two notable collaborations. Billy Preston, who played with Ray Charles and The Beatles, played piano on lead single "You're An Ocean," while swing-rock bandleader Brian Setzer played Latin guitar on "Love is Expensive and Free."
Fastball singer Tony Scalzo says singer/songwriters "grow on trees" in the band's hometown of Austin, Texas, so he prefers to listen to music from the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. As for new artists, Scalzo says he digs what MGMT and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are doing.