Published Aug 17, 2011Since the long absent Hot Snakes announced their return to the stage late last month, fans have been clamouring for details about the band's reunion.
Until now, word of the reformation has primarily been spread via guitarist/vocalist John Reis, who confirmed that Hot Snakes would be playing ATP's Nightmare Before Xmas in England this December and may do some shows on the North American East Coast and in Europe around the same time. Though vague, the news is heartening for the band's loyal following who seem genuinely shocked that Hot Snakes are back.
"We got asked and decided to do it," Hot Snakes vocalist/guitarist Rick Froberg tells Exclaim! of the band's decision to reform for ATP, which is being curated by Les Savy Fav. "Kinda came out of the blue, and we got offered good money to do it and thought it'd be fun to do. Since we're doing it, we figured we might as well do a few more [shows]."
This is Hot Snakes' first full-fledged reunion activity since they called it a day six years ago, not counting a July 29, 2010 show at the Casbah club in their native San Diego, featuring the Night Marchers (Reis's band with former Hot Snakes Gar Wood and Jason Kourkounis) and Obits (Froberg's current, Brooklyn, NY-based group). After the two outfits played their proper sets, Hot Snakes reconvened unexpectedly, playing three songs.
"It wasn't like an official Hot Snakes reunion where we practised or anything," Froberg recalls. "We probably practised for 15 minutes before we played our sets and then just fumbled our way through a couple of songs."
According to Froberg, Les Savy Fav are the first people to ever formally request a Hot Snakes reunion, whereas his previous band with Reis, the legendary Drive Like Jehu, have repeatedly been asked about playing again and declined every offer.
"The difference between them is that everybody in Hot Snakes is an active musician, whereas in Drive Like Jehu, that's not the case," he explains. "I think it's a different matter when you have people who haven't been playing music for years and years and years."
Aside from ATP, the only other confirmed Hot Snakes show thus far is on November 5 at the Fun Fun Fun festival in Austin, TX.
"We're not sure how much we're gonna do," Froberg replied when asked of the rumoured East Coast and European shows. "John's back's been kinda bad. We are gonna play in New York and some places in Europe. Beyond that -- like playing Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver -- I'm not sure yet. Everyone has their usual bands and everyone wants to get back to doing that, me included."
Froberg's hands are indeed full with Obits, who have a busy tour schedule ahead of them that includes stops in Canada (see the schedule below), even after recently losing original drummer Scott Gursky for Alexis Fleisig (Girls Against Boys, Soulsides, Bellini).
"He's a good drummer," Froberg said of Fleisig, who was still acquainting himself with Obits' catalogue and practising with the band. "Scott wanted to concentrate on work, and when he had time off, he wanted to do other things. It's understandable. It's difficult to have a full-time job and do this whenever you have vacation and you're married and wanna do things with your wife. So he's concentrating on that. But everything's great. We're leaving on Thursday [August 18] to go to the West Coast, from Vancouver to San Diego, and we have more shows in the fall."
As for Hot Snakes' drum throne, Froberg believes that original drummer Kourkounis will be on board for ATP but isn't sure if his replacement Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From the Crypt, Earthless, OFF!) will be able to participate in any of these reunion shows due to previous engagements. In any case, the entire Hot Snakes camp sounds stoked to be back at it for these reunion shows.
"Yeah, everyone who's playing is excited and the band seems more popular now than when we were around," Froberg said. "I guess that's often the case for bands that break up and get back together. There are people who were too young and missed it back then. It does happen a lot now; I'm not sure why. The bands do get paid a lot more and we're kinda cashing in. I think it's fine; I don't have a problem with it. I still play in a band now that plays for door deals in Indianapolis or whatever. It's not exclusively that, but we're definitely gonna make some money off it. We also like the band and wanna play; it sounds like fun."
Hot Snakes tour dates:
11/5 Austin, TX Fun Fun Fun Fest
12/9 Minehead, UK All Tomorrow's Parties
Obits tour dates:
8/18 Vancouver, BC Biltmore Cabaret *
8/19 Seattle, WA The Crocodile *
8/20 Portland, OR Doug Fir *
8/22 San Francisco, CA Bottom Of The Hill +
8/23 Visalia, Ca The Cellar Door +
8/24 Los Angeles, CA The Satellite +
8/25 San Diego, CA The Casbah +
9/16 Austin, TX Red 7 #
10/20 Louisville, KY Club 21 $
10/21 Chicago, IL Subterranean $
10/22 Madison, WI The Sett At University Of Wisconsin $
10/23 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme %
10/24 London, ON Call The Office %
10/25 Toronto, ON The Rivoli %
10/26 Ottawa, ON Babylon
10/29 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands
* with Disappears & Broomsticks
+ with Disappears & Beaters
# with Hex Dispensers & Broken Gold & Ghost Knife
$ with Bottomless Pit
% with METZ
You can listen to this interview below:
Froberg on Hot Snakes Aug 12 by vish khanna