The band was started by Frank Smarra (bass) and Harry Minas (drums) in Astoria, Queens, N.Y., they were soon joined by Fred Mesk (guitar) and together wrote most of the material that would be on their early releases.
In early 1992, they recruited former Agnostic Front roadie Rick Healy (AKA Rick ta Life) who added the lyrics to all the songs. They adopted the name after it was suggested by Freddie Madball. Madball also helped the band by giving them guest appearances at the end of their sets. 25 ta Life played their first full show at Studio 1 in New Jersey on May 10, 1993 supporting Obituary. After a few failed attempts to add a second guitar player, Beto (formally of D'mize & Madball) joined the band in late 1993. In January 1994, Bassist and co-founding member Frank Smarra left the band due to family commitments and was replaced by Warren Lee. The band continued to play a large number of shows in the tri-state area and up and down the East Coast. In early 1996, 25 ta Life traveled to Europe, playing in Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Poland for the first time. By late 1997, co-founding member Harry Minas left the band and was replaced by Seth Meyer from One4One.
25 ta Life opened for Agnostic Front's reunion show at the Wetlands in December 1996 and then played all of AF's East Coast dates along with Madball, Hatebreed and H2O in early 1997. They went to Japan in April 1997. Warren and Beto left in May 1997 after the West Coast tour. Mike from One4One joined on bass in June 1997 and they went to Europe in July 1997. They recorded Strength Through Unity in July 1997, writing half of it on the spot. Loyal to da Grave featuring Freddy from Madball and Lord Ezec from Crown of Thornz/Skarhead was written and recorded in less than an hour. Mike left in August 1997 and was replaced by Dave from Faction Zero. Later that month, they went to Puerto Rico and recorded two songs for the New York's Hardest 2 Compilation with Candiria and SFA. In October–November 1997, Biohazard took 25 ta Life on a short eight-show tour of the East Coast from Washington DC to Boston. Seth Meyer left the band in February 1998 and was replaced by Rob Pallotta. The band recorded its first full-length album "Friendship, Loyalty & Commitment" in 1999.