Singer/songwriter Rocky Votolato was born in 1978 and spent his childhood on a 50-acre horse farm in rural Frost, TX (population 647), located 100 miles south of Dallas. Growing up amidst a backing soundtrack of Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, and Johnny Cash, he had a semi-unconventional upbringing, as his father was a member of the Dallas-based motorcycle gang the Scorpions (rivals to the Hell's Angels). Rocky's mother moved the family to Seattle in his early teens, and he was soon inspired to start playing guitar by his older brother Sonny. Expanding on his country music roots, Rocky spent high school discovering the underground punk and indie rock scenes before starting his first band, Runaway Laughing, with some high-school buddies. He also fronted the group Lying on Loot, which included his friend and drummer Rudy Gajadhar. When the latter band broke up in 1996, the two musicians (under the influence of Fugazi) started the acclaimed -- though emo-stigmatized -- punk outfit Waxwing with bassist Andrew Hartley and Rocky's younger brother Cody on second guitar; Cody also played in the art-damaged hardcore combo the Blood Brothers. The group recorded three full-lengths albums before officially disbanding in late 2005.