Hot Snakes formed in 1999 as a bi-coastal collaboration of down stroke enthusiasts. John Reis of Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu and other punk atrocities along with Jason Kourkounis (aka J. Sinclair of Mule and Delta 72) convened in San Diego for a whirlwind session that gave birth to the Hot Snakes dark white sound. Once this skeleton had been erected, Rick Froeberg (aka Rick Farr aka Le Fork of Drive Like Jehu and Pitchfork) joined the duo as vocalist. John added the dubious sounds of broken organs and keyboards to elevate the mix to the desired height, solidifying the sinister chemistry. The results are documented on the band's acclaimed debut Automatic Midnight.
After it's completion the trio was hungry to expand into a breathing creation that could be seen on display in cities across the country. Enter Gar Wood (aka Dner of luminaries Beehive and the Barracudas) on low end. "It's alive!!," proclaimed the Swami. After East Coast and West Coast tours (the band finds the coasts to be weirder) it was back home to simmer.
A year or so passed and the Hot Snakes were ready to regroup, but this time as an initiated foursome. Rick picked up his guitar, Gar brought his bass (although he barely touched it) and Magi organ, Jason borrowed yet another drum kit and John showed up with a fresh guitar arsenal. The band found solace in a condo in Imperial Beach, CA preferring the stiff reflections of drywall as opposed to the tame acoustics of modern day recording studios. It was here that they recorded the much-anticipated second album Suicide Invoice.
Best described as a blasting wall of maudlin soaked punk, Suicide Invoice contains the true voice of the Hot Snakes. Their chemistry now a congealed flan-like murk, with Rick's guitar work and Gar's organ, bass and hi-tech sensibilities a new addition for these recordings. Still present is the enormous boom and the violent DSPM (down stroke per minute) levels, but now the compacted aftershocks are swung like an army of baseball bats. The guitars tug o' war and sometimes decide to gang up in order to give your ears a mean rousting. The deep end beckons with a sinister pulse that drowns the listener in studded, velvet robes. Rick's vocals, still full of his trademark howl, take a turn towards a smoother rasp that burns more evenly than before. Jason's trap kit teeters between thud and SCUD and keeps it loose like a pack of bombs. Swami John, just recovering from Swami John Surgery, has new tendons and ligaments in his arms and wrists to abuse with insistent veloci-wailing. Gar's demanding presence is punctuated by frying your speakers. Together, they hammer out a 13 story phallus to appease the punk gods.
The band promises to tour parts of the earth if the money is right and to never break up forever until the end of time.