In the 1990s, two classmates, Mark Engles and Dino Campanella, started playing music together. After graduation, Drew Roulette and Gavin Hayes joined them. That’s how Dredg was formed in 1993. The band began by recording covers to the songs by Sepultura. Then the artists continued by creating their own music in a similar aggressive style. In 1997, musicians decided to change the style and recorded an EP, Orph, which combined a heavy sound with harmonious melodies.
After some time, in 1998, the band released the debut LP, Leitmotif, which featured songs that were substantially different from what musicians used to record. The band chose a free musical genre, which was a mix of the modern hardcore and eastern psychedelics. At the same time, artists experimented with alternative, progressive, classical, and jazz music. Songs from Leitmotif had interesting lyrics, which talked about the life of a wanderer, who wanted to make satisfaction for his sins.
In the next two years, the band was giving many concerts. The majority of performances was given in California. At the same time, the artists kept recording demo albums and sending them to different labels. Finally, in 2001, they caught the attention of Interscope Records, which offered them a contract. After signing, the band re-released their debut album and embarked on a tour of North America with other artists, such as Pressure 4-5, The Apex Theory, Alien Ant Farm, and Taproot.