In 1959 Chip Ihsahn and Rocky Samoth met on the beach in California. They shared a love of crude reverb units, surfing, smoking illicit substances and driving cars with fake wood on the sides. The soon formed a surf band which had a variety of name changes including The Dark Devices, then The Xerasias, then The Embryonics. The group soon evolved into the now well-known band The Thou Shalt Suffers. Soon, however,Rocky Samoth began to write surf music music outside of The Thou Shalt Suffers, and together with Chip Ihsahn and a new bass player called Woody Mortiis (later of his own eponymous band The Mortiises), The Emperors was formed. The Emperors toured with fellow surf group The Cradle of Filths, and after this tour the band ceased wearing surf clothing; they stated that it was becoming a trend and losing its original significance and symbolism. In the autumn of that year, the police began to investigate the murder of Clint Euronymous of The Mayhems, naming Varg 'Kenneth' Vikernes (of The Burzums) as a suspect; this investigation eventually led to the incarceration of Rocky Samoth for arson, and of Walter Faust for the murder of Magne Andreassen.