Founded in 1989, Saviour Machine was a Christian band. Drummer Jason Hartley graduated UCSD's Warren College in 1993 before becoming a staff attorney at a San Diego law firm whose clients included Toyota and Carnival Cruise Lines. Hartley also ran a record label called Dirty Dogma Records, whose acts included Richard Basement (a former member of the Shirleys), Strychnine Kiss, Acid Flowers, and rock spoof act Buck Narrows (aka Saviour Machine's Jeff Clayton).
Saviour Machine headlined a number of U.S. religious rock festivals in the 1990s and enjoyed some crossover success in Europe, especially Germany and Belgium. The group's videos were featured on WEWA, the German version of VH-1, as well as the European MTV, and the toured Europe around a dozen times, taking advantage of Hartley's summer breaks from his law studies at Tulane. "In Europe we play all big places," Hartley told the Reader in 1999, "nothing smaller than the [Los Angeles] Palladium."
In Germany, Saviour Machine was distributed by Massacre Records, known for bands like Atrocity, Whiplash, and PainFlow. "[Massacre] could even be considered the exact opposite of a Christian label," Hartley said. "They've got some really, like, satanic acts on there. When I first went over there I was surprised because we'd just done a U.S. tour and almost everybody who came to see us in the U.S. was Christian. It was marketed through Christian record stores and things like that," Hartley says. "But in Germany, it was a completely secular crowd. They just dug the music. The girls would come up to us after the show and be, like, 'Sign my body. Touch my body.' The people who find the lyrics valuable to them spiritually, more power to them. But I was surprised to find out there weren't that many."
The band split around 2000.