Around the early 1990s, Nic and Tom wrote a bunch of short pop songs over the counter of the Half A Cow book store. They were meant to be songs for the yet to be formed Smudge (Tom and Alison Galloway were still discussing that idea), but it was suggested by Michael (from Troy Horse studios) that Nic and Tom record the songs on a double 7". So they brought in their new friends, The Lemonheads, to help record the songs. Sneeze put the songs on one self titled double 7" vinyl in 1993 with no song over two minutes, guarrenteed. Their motto emphasising this point:
"If ya can't do it in two minutes it ain't worth doin'."
The regulars were on the album, as well as many guest artists including Evan Dando, Alannah Russack, Stevie Plunder and Simon Day. This album was rereleased on CD a few years later and included 21 bonus tracks (all still under two minutes) to satisfy their fans.
When Nic and Tom started Sneeze they never really planned to play live because they never thought they'd be able to learn all the songs. Plus, they were both already in other bands which were keeping them busy - Nic touring with the Lemonheads, Tom with Smudge and both of them doing Godstar things. They played a few times on special occasions, always under a different name, such as Smudgesneezestar and Sneezestar, who were crosses between Smudge, Sneeze and Godstar, playing songs by all bands.
It was around 1996 when they decided to play live. There was only one small problem, they didn't really have a drummer. They were just going to use a drum machine when Lara 'Stix' Larson said she new all the songs and would love to drum for them...thus, Lara joined Sneeze.
In 1997 the idea of recording a Sneeze version of Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons' was suggested. Not being ones to brush off great suggestions like this, Sneeze did the unthinkable and the 19 minute long Four Seezons was recorded. It was released on bright green 12" vinyl (as always) with the B-side comprising of Nic and Tom live on FBi (a community radio station in Sydney).
Nic and Tom toured USA during 1998. With no drummer on the tour Nic and Tom would simply invite the drummer of the band to whom they were supporting on that night to drum for them. This ensured that each show would be very unique. The tour turned out to be a bit of a disaster (read their media bio for Lost The Spirit) but a number of great songs were written as a result. These songs were heard by fans at live shows throughout 1999 and 2000, and fans wondered when the new album would finally come out.
Lara played her last shows with Sneeze during 1998. She moved to New York to play keyboard for Ben Lee's band. Her spot on the drum stool was temporarily filled by a few people, including Evan Dando, Russell Hopkinson (You Am I) and later perminately by Simon Gibson (Half Miler).
Doctor of Love was released as a single in September 1999 in the hope of high rotation on JJJ. Unfortunately the band is still hoping.
June 2001 saw the release of the long awaited third album from Sneeze. Released on CD and, keeping all Sneeze traditions, also on double vinyl with 6 bonus tracks, Lost The Spirit To Rock & Roll is a mix of indie pop and soul rock.
After the release of Lost The Spirit To Rock & Roll, Sneeze embarked on a national tour, including Perth, Victoria and Queensland. They have been getting some airplay on the radio too and are still concentrating on becoming famous, "We can't stay Sydney's best kept secret forever", says Nic. If all goes to plan, they'll also tour USA, UK, Japan and Spain.
Early name changes, gigs and members
- Nic Dalton, Tom Morgan and 4-track in 1990. Memory has it they played about 4 shows, one at the Hopetoun, one at the Annandale, and two at the Lansdowne.
- Tom (guitar), Nic (bass), Alison Galloway (drums). One show at the Annandale Hotel, October '91. Supported Evan Dando and Lick/Cruel 3.
- Tom (bass), Nic (guitar, vocals), Alison (drums). One show at the Hopetoun Hotel, December '91. Played songs by both Sneeze and Godstar.
- Nic, Tom, Alison and Tania May. Benefit show for Waste Matter, end of '94.
- Nic and Tom, mid '96. Lite, because there were no loud instruments.
- Nic, Tom and Lara 'Stix' Larson. Annandale Hotel, 1996 - 1998.
- Nic, Tom and Simon Gibson, from 1998.
First Sneeze photo by Lara 'Stix' Larson, taken from Sneeze The Four Seezons 12".
Nic Dalton picture copyright Evette Buono, Annandale Hotel, 6-3-99.
Second Sneeze photo taken by Semone Maksimovic at the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, Australia, 23rd June 2001.