The Bronx's swaggering interpretation of hardcore punk found them a quick audience in Los Angeles, where guitarist Joby J. Ford, bassist James Tweedy, vocalist Matt Caughthran, and drummer Jorma Vik founded the band in 2002. Known for a blistering live show, the quintet attracted attention from major labels after only a handful of performances. An offer from Island/Def Jam materialized after the Bronx's 12th gig, but the band decided to issue several recordings on its own label, White Drugs, before partnering with a major. Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke helped the Bronx compose an intense rock sound for their first demo, and the band's debut, The Bronx, appeared in August 2003 via the Ferret Records label. Three years later, a second self-titled album marked the band's first effort for Island Records, and the band supported its release by joining Priestess, the Riverboat Gamblers, and Wires on Fire on the WHODOYOUVOODOO Tour.