The Subliminals

Sometime in 1998 in a dark and sweaty egg-carton encrusted practice room, Steve Reay, Simon Maclaren and Andrew “Hat” Meier were jamming. “Steve played feedback through everything, Hat played the road beat,” says Maclaren, “It was neither bluesy or alt-countryish and something was in the air.”

And he was right, but for once it wasn’t the trademark fetid odour of that notoriously poorly ventilated practice room. Not only was it a musical watershed moment. Those present all proved pivotal in the formation of The Subliminals as the band came together through mutual friends and acquaintances.

The Trans Am ticket with The Subliminals in support, June 1999
Simon Maclaren, Jared Johanson, Steve Reay with Brendan Moran obscured, Nunfest, Sammy's, Dunedin, 2011
The sleeve for 2000's United State album was created by John Pitcairn and inspired by a work by UK artist Bridget Riley. The album was produced by Tex Houston at a beach house in Northland.
Cross Auckland's Bond Street bridge
The Subliminals - Crystal Chain
A poster for Dirt, the pre-Subliminals band featuring Andrew 'Hat' Meier, Simon Maclaren and Steve Reay, at Auckland's Lost Angel Cafe, October 1998
The Subliminals whilst recording the Crystal Chain EP near Kaukapakapa
Jared Johanson, Steve Reay, Brendan Moran and Simon Maclaren
Steve Reay, Simon Maclaren, Jared Johanson and Brendan Moran
The Subliminals relax whilst recording the Crystal Chain EP near Kaukapakapa
The Subliminals reformed for the 30th Anniversay Nunfest, Sammy's, Dunedin, 2011
The Subliminal - Uh-oh (live at Sammys, Dunedin, November 2011)
The Subliminals on the cover of Auckland listings mag The Fix, September/October 1999
The masks made by Chris Knox for an early Subliminals photo shoot
The debut Crystal Chain EP, recorded by by Dale Cotton in a Kaukapakapa cowshed (!) and released in 1999 by Flying Nun.
Jared Johanson, Steve Reay, Brendan Moran and Simon Maclaren
The Subliminals - United State
A post United State Subliminals setlist
At the 30th Anniversary Nunfest, Sammy's, Dunedin, 2011: Brendan Moran, Jared Johanson and Steve Reay
The Subliminals trouble the charts - just ...
The remnants of the Chris Knox created masks in 2014 
The Subliminals reformed for Nunfest, Sammy's, Dunedin, 2011: Simon MacLaren and Jared Johanson

Simon Maclaren - guitar, vocals

Steve Reay - guitar, vocals

Brendan Moran - drums

Jared Johanson - bass


The distinctive macabre masks worn by the band in an early photo shoot were made by Chris Knox out of twine and duct tape.

The line-up of Hat, Maclaren and Reay played a small number of shows as Dirt before the formation of The Subliminals.


Flying Nun

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