Gust and Smith first met in 1987 while the pair were attending Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Gust wrote songs for as well as played guitar and sang in the band. As Heatmiser was breaking up, Gust played on Smith's second solo album Elliott Smith, recording the electric guitar part for the song "Single File". Gust was also a founding member of the now-defunct band No. 2. No. 2 released two albums, No Memory and What Does Good Luck Bring?, and a seven-inch single, "Allistair Chestnut". In 2012, he posted 3 new songs on his SoundCloud account.