In 1990, a bunch of punk, mod, and skinhead-types, among them Stephen Jackson, Chris Watt, Ben Gauslin, and Tom Goodin, were attending college in central Virginia. They soon discovered they shared the same love for punk, ska, soul, and reggae music. They decided to form a punk rock cover band, The Slugs, whose initial forays were disappointing.
Soon after, a mutual friend, Tal Bayer moved in. He was very much into ska and reggae and suggested that the band play some of the catchy songs that they loved to drink to.