James Shaffer was born in Rosedale, California, on June 6th, 1970. Munky began playing the guitar after a accident as a child in which he cut part of his left index finger off. When he was younger, he had a three wheeler. One night, when he was sneaking out to go to a party, the chain slipped off. He wanted to quiet it, so he wouldn't get busted, and he slapped his hand down on the chain, but it got caught between the chain and the sprocket. When he pulled his hand up, he was missing the tip of his finger. His doctor said he needed to do something to help rehabilitate the finger, and then Munky remembered an old guitar that he had in his closet.... When he was asked about the "uniform" that he always wears on stage, he said: "I wanted to wear something on stage that was like... kinda trashy... dirty, you know? Because when I'm up there I feel like... sick. Really what it is, it's like that person I don't like in me, all the things I hate about myself, that's who I am up there." His nickname "Munky" comes from: "My feet. I'd spread 'em out and everyone said they look like hands, like monkey hands."