Formed in 1988 by vocalist Jim Lindberg, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, bassist Jason Thirsk and drummer Byron McMackin, Pennywise linked with Epitaph Records for their eponymous 1991 debut. Willfully taking their sound in a direction counter to the burgeoning grunge movement, the group helped to define the emerging West Coast punk scene.
While on hiatus from the group, Jason Thirsk died on July 29, 1996 and Randy Bradbury stepped in to replace him. On August 21, 2009, Jim Lindberg announced his departure from the group. On February 16, 2010, Zoli Teglas, formerly of Ignite, was announced as Lindberg's replacement. Lindberg rejoined the group as lead vocalist on October 29, 2012.