Roback, along with his brother Steve, was one of the main architects of leading Los Angeles psychedelic revival band, the Rain Parade. Leaving that band after their first LP, he founded Opal in the mid-1980s with ex- Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith.
Opal’s quasi-psychedelic ruminations, with their guitar drones and hints of blues and folk, weren’t far off the map that Mazzy Star would follow, and indeed Roback met Hope Sandoval through Smith.
Sandoval, still in high school at the time, was playing in a duo called Going Home with Sylvia Gomez. Kendra was impressed enough to make a tape of their music and pass it on to Roback, who produced a still-unreleased album by the pair.
When Smith left Opal under cloudy circumstances in the middle of an American tour with The Jesus & Mary Chain, Sandoval was tapped as her replacement.
After that tour and a jaunt through Europe were completed, Opal disbanded, and Roback and Sandoval decided to continue collaborating in Mazzy Star.
They made three marvellous atmospheric albums on Capitol – 1990’s She Hangs Brightly , 1993’s So Tonight That I Might See Capitol and 1996 ‘s Among My Swan -before a few hiatuses!
After the release of Among My Swan, the band toured until early 1997, after which they would not be heard from for three years! During this time, Sandoval, worked with groups like The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Chemical Brothers.
Although the band never officially broke up, Sandoval would go on to found the band Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions, and appear on recordings by Bert Jansch, Air and Death in Vegas.