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The original line-up included frontman J. Neo (Marvin), bassist Alan Korn (formerly of SF's The Catheads) and drummer Michael "Mick" Freeman. Neo offers this explanation of the band's name: "Still no agreement on a band name until Maati [Stojanovich, Neo's girlfriend] sees a graffiti on a sidewalk in the Tenderloin reading 'XTAL.' No one hates it; it grows on you. Somewhere along the line a hyphen is added to make it easier to pronounce, but for the next 13 years, confusion ensues as to whether the letter 't' is capitalized. (It's not.)"