When vocalist Will Frith and guitarist Zack Cayton got together to start a band in 1996, the intention was for the sake of "just wanting to play music," nothing more. But as their practice sessions slowly shifted toward the influences of Operation Ivy and the Specials, a high-energy sound of ska-punk developed into what was to become Secret Agent 8's early incarnation. The addition of Kenny Dickman (guitar), Clint Dale (bass), Aaron Koerner (trumpet), David Evans (trombone), Chris Jensen (trombone), and Justin Brouillard (drums) completed the lineup as this Houston, TX, eight-piece debuted on the 1998 compilation of Texas Ska, Vol. 1. But by the time their first self-titled album came out that same year through their own 008 Records, Secret Agent 8 matured into a two-tone ska ensemble that attributed their development from an influence of blues, jazz, swing, and rocksteady.
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