Based in Oakland, California, this US pop punk band was formed in 1997 by school friends Shawn Harris (vocals/guitar), Justin San Souci (bass) and Matt Whalen (drums). Originally known as the Locals, the trio added Jon Devoto (guitar) to the line-up and began playing gigs at a warehouse that they had adopted as a suitable venue. Dubbed ‘L3’ (Live, Loud & Local), the venue became a rallying point where other Bay Area bands were able to make their music heard. After a forced name change to the Matches following complaints from the Chicago-based band of the same title, the quartet recorded their low-budget debut E. Von Dahl Killed The Locals. Originally self-released in 2003, the album gained widespread distribution the following year when it was picked up by Epitaph Records and re-released in an expanded version.
The Matches quickly established themselves as a popular draw on the national punk circuit, and landed important slots on the 2004 and 2005 Warped Tour. Their follow-up, 2006’s Decomposer, revealed a greater maturity and willingness to experiment beyond the pop punk genre.