Bongzilla formed sometime in 1995 in Wisconsin, quickly composing a host of songs inspired by their marijuana. Very little is known about the early years of the band except for their appearances on a host of split and EP releases between 1996 and 1999, the first being Mixed Bag on Rhetoric Records in 1996. Following a split with MeatJack another 7" EP entitled Hemp For Victory (Named after the vintage educational/propaganda film of the same name) was released on Thunder Lizard. Two more splits followed the same year and eventually Bongzilla was signed to Relapse Records.
The first release on this label was Methods for Attaining Extreme Altitudes released on CD on 27 January 1998. The band at this point made yearly appearances at the Milwaukee Metalfest, notably 1999 and 2000. The band's debut studio album Stash saw it's release on 20 April 1999 to positive reviews. A split with Corrupted, Noothgrush and Dystopia entitled Twin Threat To Your Sanity followed.
The band's second album saw release via Howling Bull America (With a reissue three years later via Relapse). Apogee was released on 11 May 2001 and showcased three new songs along with live recordings from 1998. A compilation of all of the band's EPs and splits to that point entitled Shake: The Singles saw release the next year. The band's third album Gateway saw release via Relapse on 3 September 2002.