The curiously named !!!, whose moniker can be pronounced by repeating any one-syllable percussive sound three times (e.g., "chk chk chk"), formed in 1996. While on tour, members of the Yah Mos, including !!! singer Nic Offer, envisioned forming a band oriented more toward danceable music, and once they returned to Sacramento, CA, their hometown, they decided to turn their working concept into an actual group. The band quickly grew into an eight-member ensemble, including Mario Andreoni on guitar, Offer on vocals, Justin van der Volgen on bass, Dan Gorman on trumpet and percussion, Tyler Pope on guitar, Allan Wilson on saxophone and percussion, John Pugh on drums, and Jason Racine on percussion. Fusing the groove-oriented style of James Brown's backing band with the edginess of Gang of Four and the Contortions and featuring an expansive percussive presence, !!! spent its first few years as a group developing its sound and playing at house parties for friends in Sacramento.