Rufio was formed when bassist Jon Berry was a freshman in college and the other three members, Scott Sellers, Mike Jimenez, and Clark Domae were in their senior year of high school. Sellers and Domae had been acquainted for some time and found a shared talent in the guitar. Sellers met Berry and they began playing together in various groups and sessions. Around the same time, the two purchased a 4–track to record the songs they were writing. After Berry and Sellers began recording, they asked Jimenez to listen to their recordings and play drums with them. Domae joined shortly after and completed the official lineup. The band took their name from the character Rufio, leader of the Lost Boys in the absence of Peter Pan in the 1991 film Hook.