Down by Law, initially formed in America, has only one original member currently, Dave Smalley; he is also the one that started the punk rock band in 1989. From the time the band was formed, it recorded its music at Epitaph Records but then switched labels in 1998. The band’s commercial success has been considerable; nonetheless, the band has been immensely influential, having recorded seven studio albums. By 2003, the band was recording and touring before they went on a break. After a few years in 2008, they came back to the scene to create new content and do a tour. The tour, meant for 2009, would have been the first after six years of missing in action.
The current members of the band are Dave Smalley, Sam Williams, Hunter Oswald, John DiMambro. They came together in Los Angeles, California, and the main genre they do is punk rock. The original members that Dave Smalley founded the band with include Dave Naz and Chriss Bagarozzi. Their first-ever album was called “Down By Law,” released in 1991. Brett Gurewitz, the founder of Epitaph Record, was the one that recorded both of their albums. The second studio album, called “Blue,” was recorded in 1992. The band split in 1993 after they finished touring and promoted their second album.
Bagarozzi, who played the guitar, was replaced by Sam Williams, Urlik, who dealt with the bass by Angry John Di Mambro, and Naz, who played drums, was replaced by Hunter Oswald. One of their best selling releases, Punkrockacademyfightsong was recorded by the new lineup and was released in 1994. A few of the songs like “Hit or Miss” got videos, and they managed to receive decent airplay from radio stations and MTV. Down by Law decided to do a tour that lasted for a year in an effort to promote their album. During the tour, they also supported some bands during their shows, including Pennywise, Burning Heads, NOFX, and the Vandals.
By 1997 the band had already worked on two more studio albums “All Scratched Up” in 1996 and “The Last of The Sharpshooters” in 1997. After recording the two albums, they left the record label they had been working with, Epitaph. After working with the record label for many years, they called it quits in 1998. Afterward, they briefly worked with another record label called “Go-Kart Records.” During that time, they released a new album, “Fly The Flag” and soon after, two band members, John Di Mambro and Chris Lagerborg, left the group. Unfortunately, after he departed from the band, Chris Lagerborg passed away in 2002 at 33.
It didn’t take long before the two members were replaced by Milo Todesco and Keith Davies, who took over on the drums and bass, respectively. Down by Law released yet another album in 2003, four years after their last one with the new members. This time they worked with Union 2112 Records, but the Windwardtidesandwaywardsails album wasn’t very successful. After the album failed, they went on a break again that year. The next time their fans heard from them was in 2008 after the band announced on their website that they’d be working on a new album. A year later, they went on another tour since the last one they’d done in 2003, performing in South America and America as well. In 2010 they did two shows in Florida and performed in the Netherlands as well.
Later on, in 2011, they signed up with DC Jam Records. They announced and released an album in 2012 called “Champions at Heart.” Consecutively in 2013, Down by Law also released “Revolution Time,” an album that had seven mini-tracks. Dave Smalley did some solo shows in 2015 and 2016, and in 2017 Oswald and Di Mambro joined the band again.