P.W. Long first surfaced as the vocalist for the Michigan-based Wig (appearing only on the 7" Just Obscene and the indie release Lying Next to You), billing himself as Preston Cleveland. After the single's release in 1991, Long left to form the disastrously named Nigger Lover, eventually changing the name to N.L. Mule before finally deciding on the more succinct Mule. Backed by Kevin Munro and Jim Kimball, veterans of Ann Arbor's Laughing Hyenas, Mule's eponymous debut was released on Quarterstick Records in 1992, followed by the Wrung EP and the Steve Albini-produced If I Don't Six, both released in 1994.