Bill Janovitz is best-known as the guitarist and lead singer with Buffalo Tom, one of the few bands that sprung from the American underground scene of the '80s who weathered the alternative rock boom of the '90s with their talent and integrity intact. Born in Queens, NY, Janovitz spent most of his childhood living in Long Island. At the age of 16, Janovitz moved with his family to Massachusetts and, after graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Janovitz began playing music while in elementary school when he took up the trumpet; at the age of 12, Janovitz moved on to guitar, and at 14 had formed his first band, the Plastic Peach, who played covers ranging from Neil Young to Talking Heads. Several years later Janovitz joined what he's described as "a tragically named high school band," the Rambunctious Llamas, who specialized in new wave and jangle pop covers. Janovitz was still playing with the Llamas during his early college days when he met fellow UMass students Chris Colbourn and Tom Maginnis, who were also playing in local bands. The three became friendly after running into each other at local rock shows, and after discovering a shared admiration for bands such as Hüsker Dü, Mission of Burma, and the Replacements, they decided to join forces, with Colbourn on bass and Maginnis behind the drums.