All three of Regular John's frontmen sing and write their own songs, giving variety to their brand of grungy hard rock and sometimes lending it more metal riffs or punk thrash or political dissatisfaction. The members came together after overcoming Australia's tyranny of distance. Ryan Adamson (guitar/vocals) moved around a lot as a kid, living in several different small towns in New South Wales where country music reigned supreme, rather than the Metallica and Nirvana he loved. In the town of Manila he met kindred spirit Caleb Goman (bass/vocals) before moving to Griffith, where he encountered Ryan "Macca" McDonald (drums) and Brock Tengstrom (guitar/vocals). The latter three started Regular John -- named for a Queens of the Stone Age song -- and moved to big city Sydney to chase the rock & roll dream. Goman also moved there for the same reason, hoping to find a new group of likeminded rockers to form a band with before falling in with his old high-school friend instead.
In Sydney they played their first gig in support of local band the Valentinos. It was such a disheartening experience -- Goman had only just switched from guitar to bass to fill the band's gap and the left-hander was playing a borrowed right-hand model missing a string -- they almost broke up immediately afterwards. However, they soldiered on with one more gig because they'd been invited to play at a historic venue, the Annandale Hotel, and although the turnout was still small, the response was overwhelmingly positive. It gave them the impetus to carry on, and in 2007 they released the Marrickville 2204 EP, which was recorded in five days straight, named after the suburb where they lived. From there they went on to record their debut album, The Peaceful Atom Is a Bomb, produced by Tim Powles, drummer for the Church. The recording coincided with Adamson's spinal surgery and he spent the entire time with a set of steel pins in his back and a high dosage of painkillers in his bloodstream. Immediately after the final day of recording he went into the hospital and had the pins removed. The album was released in 2009 and given a glowing welcome in Australian Rolling Stone.