The band was born in Houston, Texas around 1982. DRI was the quintessential hardcore band that went (and invented) crossover and ended up becoming a thrash metal band.
The band's name was taken from a label given to them by Brechts' father who was upset at the racket upstairs in the bedroom! While DRI, Dealing With It and 1984's Violent Pacification EP were worshipped by hardcore punks and showed a band influenced by Discharge, God and others, Crossover and Four Of A Kind, while retaining the sharp political sense, introduced a palatable feast for metal fans. The band was receiving much flak from older fans during this period.
The following albums seemed increasingly tired and the band lost much of its popularity. DRI's logo (a slamming fan) remained the best-known underground emblem anywhere.
The ‘90s were a period of calm for the band with much of it spent on hiatus. Members instead concentrated on publishing, poetry, the Rotten label, etc. In 2002, D.R.I. signed with Beer City Records. The deal also included the re-release of the band's catalogue. A new album was expected for 2003. D.R.I. cancelled its U.S. tour following the diagnosis of guitarist Spike Cassidy with colon cancer in early 2006. Kurt Brecht and one-time Deadhorse members Scott Sevall, Greg Martin and Ronny Guyote had a new band in Texas called Pasadena Napalm Division in late 2008. Reactivated California crossover artists D.R.I. were touring the USA beginning November, 2009 and well into March, 2010. The band had been dormant for five years. Drummer Rob Rampy was taking a hiatus from the band in late 2011. The other members would continue touring with Walter "Monsta" Ryan of Possessed and Merauder. Rampy was hospitalized before D.R.I.'s Portland, Oregon show on Friday, September 23th. According to M.A.D. Tours guitarist Spike Cassidy (guitar) of D.R.I. had finger and hand problems thus forcing the cancelation of the band's 2013 European tour. D.R.I. would enter a studio in October 2014 to begin recording a new EP with producer Bill Metoyer. It was due in early 2015. D.R.I. would release a new EP, called But Wait… There's More!, on June 10th 2016 through Beer City Records. Brandon Karns was on drums.