The Grinners began as Lyon, a "high school" rock/grunge band based at Hamilton Boys High School. They released one album in the late 1990s, In with the Grin, and performed in the Xtrasmokefree Rockquest in 1998, placing third in the Regional Final. Handsome Geoffrey sang about the band in their song New Idols. In turn, the group released a song titled Handsome Geoffrey on their In with the Grin album.
They are most notable for having three later significant contributors to Hamilton's musical landscape - Jody went on to play for One Man Riot and 48May, as well as record albums for several other bands and work with noted Welsh producer Greg Haver; Fagan and Michael first formed Shihad-influenced Stadium, before launching the progressive-jazz-punk New Caledonia.