Pennywise formed in 1988 in the south bay of Los Angeles in the same small coastal community of Hermosa Beach that produced three of the most infamous hardcore punk bands of all time, Black Flag, the Circle Jerks and the Descendents. The four band members, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, original bass player Jason Thirsk, drummer Byron McMackin and vocalist Jim Lindberg, began playing local backyard keg parties to increasing crowds, and with the help of friend Marc Theodore of Theologian Records, recorded a five song E.P. A Word from the Wise. A college radio DJ liked what he heard and gave it to Brett Gurewitz, guitarist and songwriter for L.A. punk legends Bad Religion, who was also starting his own label, Epitaph Records. Epitaph was already putting out Bad Religion albums as well as those of hardcore acts NOFX, Insted, and Down By Law. The band gave Brett a ghetto blaster recording of some new songs and he signed them to their first record deal. The result was their heralded, eponymous 1991 self-titled debut which immediately struck a chord with hardcore fans and action sports enthusiasts alike. In defiance of grunge, the disc helped to define the then-emerging West Coast punk movement. Astoundingly, 1993's Unknown Road sold a few hundred thousand copies and rather typically at the height of the punk resurgence of 1994 the major labels came calling. But the four-piece elected to stay put and released another Epitaph smash with 1995s About Time. When the tragic death of Thirsk the next year put the future of the collective in serious doubt, they rallied and regrouped with new bassist Randy Bradbury for Full Circle. The popularity of Pennywise continued to swell as the 20th Century ended, first with the success of 1999's Straight Ahead, followed by the riotous 2000 concert disc Live at the Key Club and the groups highly praised 2001 disc Land of the Free? An ensuing tour was highlighted by a sell-out gig at the 14,000-seat Long Beach Arena. After taking a year off for introspection, the group reemerged stronger than ever in 2003 as evidenced by the glowing accolades From The Ashes received. In early 2005, as Epitaph reissued remastered, content enhanced versions of the groups first four albums, the band reconvened to craft what would ultimately become The Fuse. After performing the more shows worldwide than they've played in recent years to support The Fuse, including a string of sold out House of Blues shows in L.A. and Orange County, the band again headlined the Vans Warped Tour in 2007, an entity they and a handful of other influential artists help turn into the longest running and one of the most successful American Music Festivals.