Pledging to never play a venue with a stage, singer/guitarist John Reis formed San Diego's Rocket from the Crypt in the summer of 1990 after becoming disillusioned with his then-current hardcore punk band, Pitchfork. Bassist Petey X, guitarist N.D., drummer Sean, and backing vocalist Elaina joined the band's initial lineup, and Rocket from the Crypt released Paint as a Fragrance in 1991. While the debut increased the band's profile, a lineup change ensued as Sean and Elaina left the San Diego area. Adam "Atom" Willard climbed aboard as the band's new drummer, and one of Reis' drinking buddies, Paul "Apollo 9" O'Beirne, joined as saxophonist. After 1992's Circa: Now! was released on Cargo Records and experienced a good deal of underground success, a major-label bidding war broke out, resulting in Rocket from the Crypt's decision to join Interscope Records. Interscope then re-released Circa: Now! in 1993, and the single "Ditch Digger" spent some time in MTV's Buzz Bin. Eventually, a sixth member -- saxophonist Jason "JC 2000" Crane -- was added, and the band moved onward as a punky, horn-influenced outfit, releasing the 10" record The State of Art Is on Fire in 1995.