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San Jose melodic punk-pop combo Fighting Jacks formed in 2000 around Casey Linstrum, Cory Linstrum, Mike Hoppe, and Mike Wright, who already had a history together as members of the ska-punk group Freeto Boat. Soon after becoming the Fighting Jacks, the quartet recorded and self-released Inside Trade Agreement; the EP created a buzz around the Bay Area, and the band began to gig aggressively up and down the West Coast. Fighting Jacks signed with indie Tooth & Nail in early 2003, after a few major-label showcases went nowhere. Despite its lower profile, the Seattle label did offer a roster and outlook friendly to the Jacks' Christian-leaning ideologies. Wright departed soon after the label paperwork was processed, and was replaced by ex-FAN5 drummer Jon Sontag. The Dying Art of Life appeared in late October 2003. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi