Staples co-founded the Florida alt-rock/Christian punk band Twothirtyeight in 1995, serving as lead singer and guitarist. The group released a few EPs before their bass player, Kevin Glass, was killed in a car accident in 1997. After regrouping from the tragedy, the lineup of Staples, Owen Grabo, DJ Stone, and Kevin Woerner signed with Takehold Records, which released their full-length debut, Missing You Dearly, in 1999. The album was dedicated to Glass. Regular lineup changes followed, as did the 2000 EP Matter Has a Breaking Point (without Grabo) and the LP Regulate the Chemicals (with Jake Brown on bass). Their final album, You Should Be Living, appeared in 2002 without Stone or Brown. The remaining group decided to go their separate ways in 2003.
The following year, Staples released a solo album on the Makebreak label. Titled Blackest Hair, Bluest Eyes, it collected previously self-released solo material along with two unreleased songs. He then relocated to Seattle, Washington and founded the more singer/songwriter-influenced indie rock outfit Discover America. Essentially a solo project, he recorded its debut album, Psychology, at his home studio. It was released by Tooth & Nail Records in 2005, and an eponymous EP followed in 2007. The sophomore LP, Future Paths, appeared in 2010 on Lujo Records. That same year, he put out another album as Chris Staples; Badlands was inspired by the Terrence Malick film of the same name.
In the meantime, the musician joined the Michael Lerner-led band Telekinesis as guitarist. They issued the albums Telekinesis! and 12 Desperate Straight Lines in 2009 and 2011, respectively, before Staples left the group. Twothirtyeight then reunited briefly in 2012 for an appearance at the Deluna Festival in Florida. Back on his own, Staples finished work on another solo LP. Moving further into the realm of indie singer/songwriter, the intimate American Soft arrived via Barsuk in 2014. He followed it with 2016's Golden Days, a reference to moving forward from an idealized past. ~ Marcy Donelson, Rovi