Following the dissolution of his former band, the groundbreaking progressive death metal combo Atheist (recognized as one of the leading lights in the once-thriving Floridian death metal scene), singer Kelly Schaefer started Neurotica with guitarist Shawn Bowen in his native Sarasota, circa 1995. Slowly building their repertoire while touring the local club scene, the band (eventually rounded out by guitarist Louis Polito, bassist Clay Yeagley, and drummer G.J. Gosman) was eventually spotted by AC/DC singer Brian Johnson (himself a local resident), who was impressed enough to help them secure management and produce their independent debut, 1998's Seed. Containing a lackluster set of middle of the road heavy metal, the album failed to impress and it wasn't until the arrival of its hard-grooving follow-up, 1999's very impressive Living in Dog Years, that Neurotica truly found its sound and direction. Also produced by Johnson and featuring new bassist Migwell Przybyl, the album's diversified songwriting was light years removed from its modest predecessor and eventually earned the band a major-label deal with the W.W.E.'s Smackdown Records. Further lineup changes ensued, including the arrivals of new guitarist Chris Rollo and drummer Jason West and, interestingly, the band was then given a nu metal makeover prior to releasing 2002's Neurotica. Ironically, the bulk of the album simply offered updated versions of the sophomore disc's best cuts, with a few new tracks thrown in for good measure. The band then embarked on that year's ill-fated Ozzfest tour, which was marred by everything from last-minute cancellations (due to Sharon Osbourne's ongoing cancer treatment) to the tragic death of Drowning Pool singer Dave Williams.