"Francis Coyote Shivers" was born on September 24, 1965 in Toronto, Canada. He produced the first single by the band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. The b-side to that single, "Having an Average Weekend", became the theme to the television show The Kids in the Hall. Shivers went on to produce the band's next two albums.
Shivers also played guitar in the instrumental rock band Sharkskin, which released three EPs and a greatest hits compilation. He then moved to Los Angeles, California with record producer Daniel Lanois, who later would produce the Shivers song "Sugarhigh" for the Empire Records soundtrack.
Shivers then moved to Amsterdam, where he lived on a boat in the canals until returning to New York City to play guitar for The Conspiracy (a band notable for being the first non-Soviet band signed to the Soviet state-run record label Melodiya, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall).
In New York City, Shivers also began acting, appearing in a bit part in Johnny Mnemonic with Keanu Reeves and co-starring in Empire Records with Renée Zellweger and Liv Tyler. He also made a cameo appearance in Smut.