Before the formation of Less Than Jake, vocalist and guitarist Chris DeMakes, drummer Vinnie Fiorello, and bassist Shaun Grief led a local band named Good Grief while attending high school in Port Charlotte, Florida. Good Grief broke up when DeMakes moved north to attend the University of Florida. On July 13, 1992, Less Than Jake was born. While Grief moved to New York City (he would later return as the band’s roadie), DeMakes and Fiorello began writing songs on the weekends before Fiorello would join DeMakes at the University of Florida. When united, the pair decided they needed a bass player, but first, they wanted a name. Fiorello said:
We decided before we tried to get a bass player we’d zero in on a name for the “band” – to either (A) – make it seem like we had our shit together or (B) – make ourselves feel better. I think it was (B) or maybe it was just so I could write it over and over again on notebook paper during my anthropology class.