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Long Beach, CA's Speaker formed in 1995 as a creative partnership between friends. Guitarist/vocalist Tom Gonzales and bassist/vocalist Matt Jacovides played with various people in the local scene, but when Jacovides tried to help Gonzales find bandmembers, he realized that their collaboration was better than his current band. Drummer Scott Devours completed the lineup, and the trio began writing and playing their brand of dynamic, diverse music.
Speaker's first release, Model Citizen, came out in 1997 on Capricorn Records, and after spending much of 1998 writing and recording with producer and friend Rich Mouser, they released Orizaba in 1999.