At the Drive-In is an American post-hardcore band from El Paso, Texas, active from 1993 to 2001. They were known for their extremely energetic stage shows which hearkened back to the 1980s hardcore scene. They were also recognized for their blend of surrealistic lyrics, unorthodox guitar melodies and unpredictable shifts in tempo and rhythm.
Founded by Jim Ward (guitars) & Cedric Bixler Zavala (vocals - at the time a member of punk band, Foss, in which he played drums). ATD-I's first studio recording was Hell Paso (Western Breed), an EP issued in 1994. They would play their first show on October 15, 1994 at The Loretto Fair with Catch Okra, an El Paso music group, in El Paso, Texas. Much touring would quickly develop a following as intense in loyalty as the band was on stage.
The band was also very determined to get shows in their early days, even going to the point where they would pretend to be a polka chapel band to be put on a local television show called "Let's Get Real" in El Paso. At the Drive-In's reputation for energetic live performances outlasted their career, a faint hint captured on various live video recordings. It was this reputation, the release of perhaps their best-known album (Relationship of Command) and their small hit radio single "One Armed Scissor" (which had a music video in circulation on MTV) that contributed largely to the very positive attention they received in the rock press towards the end of their career. Spin Magazine named Relationship of Command one of their top 10 albums of that year, and in 2010 NME placed it number 12 in its top 50 albums of the decade. The bands first nationally televised performance was on FarmClub. A now defunct television show which aired late at night on the USA network. After that performance they also appeared on Later with Jools Holland, Late Night With Conan O'Brien and The Late Show With David Letterman, performing their single "One Armed Scissor" on national television. According to some sources, At the Drive-In struggled to recreate their intense live experience in the studio. At one point they tried to circumvent this problem by recording their second CD, In/Casino/Out (1998), as a live studio album; this was in contrast to the band's first album Acrobatic Tenement, which, although undoubtedly a hardcore punk album, lacked the energy seen in later works.