But the band was really noticed by critics and audience only after their second album A Word Is Also a Picture of a Word. The band’s sound was not ideal showing through that their true desire to create their own music and to experiment and not to be “a band merely trying to imitate their indie rock contemporaries”.
In August, 2002 Joe Kelly left we band, while the band was in the middle of recording of the third album. But Jay Pellicci (former drummer of Dilute and a friend of 31 Knots) joined the guys in the studio to help them finish the album It Was High Time to Escape which was released in 2003.
With the release of The Curse of the Longest Day EP in Japan and Europe the band separated from 54°40′ or Fight! and joined Polyvinyl Records. The EP was also released in the US in 2005 by Polyvinyl prior to the fourth full-length album Talk Like Blood which was released in October, 2005. The following year the band was on tour to support the album.
In November 2006, 31Knots released EP Polemics. According to Haege, the EP “represent[s] a conclusion of two or more viewpoints hashing it out and then left to stew in my mind until the song was written.” The songs provided stepping stones to a new compositional perspective that was realized in March 2007 with the release of The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere. The band’s 6th full-length release Worried Well came out in 2008.
In 2010, it was announced that Joe Haege has joined fellow Portland-based band Menomena as a touring member and is working on his debut solo album. Joe will also be acting in two films: “A Film Guide To November Days” (premiering in May) and “The Story of Hurt,” for which he will also be doing the soundtrack.
Despite of active side work of Joe on 7th of June, 2011 the band released the latest full-length album Trump Harm.