Formed in Milwaukee in 1996 as "The Buzz", this quartet began rehearsing and writing material for an extended period of time. The band's lineup consisted of Bert Zweber (guitars), Ryan Mueller (vocals), Todd Joseph (bass), and Rob Bueno (drums). Lead singer Ryan Mueller, who held down a job as a construction worker, continued to amass songs to build up a live set. In 1997, after changing its name to Buzzhorn, the group began performing around the Milwaukee club circuit. In 1998, the group recorded its debut album, self-producing it on a very tight budget.