The four original members grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey and played in smaller bands during high school. Although they decided to forgo college, they made the decision to move to a college town; New Brunswick, NJ, which is the home of Rutgers University. New Brunswick had a reputation for supporting underground music, and over the years had seen not only musical acts but actors enjoy professional success. The Bouncing Souls not only became a staple in the New Brunswick music scene, but also helped other bands gain an audience by opening up for them in the clubs around town, as well as parties and shows they put on themselves. The band’s name is a derivative of Doc Martens shoes, specifically their advertising slogan “with Bouncing Soles”. Doctor Martens air-cushioned soles are a staple of punk dress.