The Auteurs were a vehicle for the songwriting talents of Luke Haines (guitar, piano and vocals). Formerly of the band "The Servants" (who had featured on the seminal compilation C86), Haines later created the Auteurs with his then girlfriend Alice Readman (bass), old school friend, Glenn Collins on drums and James Banbury (cello). Their first single "Showgirl" was praised by Melody Maker, and ensured the band a record deal with Hut. The following album, New Wave (1993), was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize and saw The Auteurs associated with the emerging Britpop genre.
However this association never sat well with Haines who frequently made derogatory remarks about his peers. After New Wave, the band remained on the fringes of the music scene. The critically acclaimed album Now I'm a Cowboy in 1994 built on the themes of New Wave and contained what remains probably Haines' best-known song, "Lenny Valentino". Demonstrating, again, their difference from their musical peers, the band's next release was The Auteurs vs µ-Ziq, Auteurs songs remixed by producer µ-Ziq (aka Michael Paradinas): in interviews at the time Haines claimed he found contemporary techno and house music more interesting than most Britpop bands.