The band formed in 1989 in Simi Valley, California. The original lineup consisted of vocalist Jason Cruz, guitarists Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos, bassist Jim Cherry and drummer Adam Austin. After releasing a self-titled 7″ record, they became one of the first bands to be signed to Fat Wreck Chords, the record label owned and operated by Fat Mike of the band NOFX. Austin left the band in 1992 and was replaced by Brad Morrison who also left the band and was replaced on drums by Jordan Burns, formerly of fellow Simi Valley natives Ten Foot Pole. Their first album, Another Day in Paradise, was released in May 1994. Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues followed in 1996. In 1998 they released The Skinny Years…Before We Got Fat, a compilation album of their pre-Fat Wreck Chords material.
The band showed notable musical growth on their 1998 album Twisted by Design, which was both speedy and technical but also with darker overtones. The album established a mixture of the fast, poppy sound the band had established with Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues but mixed it with more atonality and more abstract song structures.
Bassist Jim Cherry was fired from the band in 1999 and went on to play in Pulley and Zero Down, but died of heart failure in 2002. He was initially replaced by Craig Riker (later known for his tenure in Deadsy), but the fit was not right, so the band recruited Chris Aiken, whose musical background had a strong impact on the 2000 eight-song EP, The Element of Sonic Defiance.
In 2002 the band released their fourth full-length album An American Paradox, their first release to appear in the Billboard 200. The initial production run contained a bonus song entitled “Don’t Look Back”. A video was filmed for the song “Cemetery” and was included on several punk rock video compilations. In 2003 they recorded and released a live album as part of the Fat Wreck Chords Live in a Dive series. Exile in Oblivion, was released in 2004, with a video filmed for the song “Analog.” Strung Out released their sixth full-length album, Blackhawks Over Los Angeles on June 12, 2007.
In March 2009, Strung Out released a collection of rarities & B-sides entitled Prototypes and Painkillers. The album is the second such compilation from the band who previously compiled similar material on The Skinny Years: Before We Got Fat in 1998.
On September 29, 2009, Strung Out released their 7th studio album titled Agents of the Underground. This has a less political tone to it than their previous one, and it also combines more of the old fast sound with heavy metal influences.
On July 19, 2011, they released the compilation album Top Contenders: The Best of Strung Out. In contains remastered versions of 23 songs, and 3 new songs; “City Lights”, “Saturday Night”, and “Here We Are”.
On August 2, 2012, drummer Jordan Burns revealed to Punknews.org that Strung Out planned to release a new album. Transmission.Alpha.Delta was announced as the title of the album, initially scheduled to be released in the summer of 2014. The album was delayed and released on March 24, 2015.
As of February 2017, Strung Out has begun working on a five to seven song acoustic EP, titled Black Out the Sky, which is due for release on April 18th, 2018.
As of February 19, 2018, the band announced on their Facebook page that Jordan Burns is no longer the drummer.