Vocalist Chaka Malik and guitarist Chris Traynor met in the New York hardcore band Burn, and began playing together as early as 1992. With an early version of Orange 9mm, the duo released a live EP in 1993. The recording earned the band a contract with East West, and after picking up bassist David Gentile and drummer Matthew Cross, Orange 9mm began recording. Driver Not Included was released in 1994, and the band spent time touring with Helmet before signing with Atlantic the following year. Gentile left later in 1995, and was replaced by Taylor McLam just after recording ended for Tragic, with production by Barkmarkets David Sardy. Tragic was released in 1996; it would be three years before Orange 9mm issued a follow-up, which bore the title of Pretend Im Human.