Ben Folds Five are an alternative rock trio formed in 1993 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The group's members are Ben Folds, Robert Sledge, and Darren Jessee. The group achieved mainstream success in the alternative, indie and pop music scenes. Their single "Brick" from the 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen gained airplay on many mainstream radio stations. During their seven years together, the band released three proper studio records, one retrospective album of B-sides and outtakes, and eight singles. They also contributed to a number of soundtracks and compilations. Ben Folds Five disbanded in October 2000.
The group reunited for a one-off concert on September 18, 2008, where they played their album, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, in its entirety. In 2011, Ben Folds Five reunited to record three tracks for Ben Folds' The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective. It was announced on Folds' Twitter in January 2012 that the band had reunited to record a new album, released on September 18, 2012, titled The Sound of the Life of the Mind.