Los Angeles indie supergroup JJAMZ came together in late 2008 during a group hang session at a karaoke bar in Hollywood.
The band was formed by a group of friends who were already involved in different established bands: James Valentine of Maroon 5, Jason Boesel of Rilo Kiley and Bright Eyes, Phantom Planet's Alex Greenwald, vocalist Z. Berg from the Like, and solo artist Michael Runion. All of the players were feeling especially stressed with the obligations of their main bands, and this new amalgamation offered a chance for them to regroup and approach music-making with a fresh perspective. The band took its name (pronounced "juh-JAMS") from the first initials of each member and played its first show at the Echo Plex in Los Angeles on January 27, 2009. JJAMZ continued to play sporadically in the years that followed, eventually working toward national tours and the release of their debut album, Suicide Pact, in the summer of 2012. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi