Snake! Snake! Snakes! on Reinvention, New Material, and Why Playing Scottsdale Sucks

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K.C. Libman
Jon Messenger, David Cooper, and Chris Sanchez of Snake! Snake! Snakes!
Without reinvention, there would be nothing new worth being inspired by. For Snake! Snake! Snakes!, an alteration came with the coming and going of band members and a new option to simplify the band's entire approach.

At its writing core is bassist Chris Sanchez, drummer David Cooper, and guitarist/vocalist Jon Messenger, who are joined onstage by guitarist Dan Tripp. Coming together in 2006, Cooper, Messenger, and Sanchez are guys who seem to have matured in a fraternal sense, evidenced by spending an hour with them cracking Miller Lites, talking University of Arizona basketball, and trading war stories in their Icehouse practice space.

They're a cross-section of the insular Phoenix community, as self-effacing as can be while being well-established. Since their formation, Snake! Snake! Snakes! have moved on from the indie pantheon that was their hallmark following the release of their self-titled EP in 2010 to a grittier, stripped-down sound that's just as layered as their previous work, following the departure of keyboardist Georgie Rodriguez.

They're also one of those bands that seems to be playing almost every other local show lately, and for good reason: Their rocking new sound has yet to define them, though fresh recordings are on the way. Whether it's a set at the Sail Inn or their showing at the PHX FMLY Fest this past December, Sanchez and company are dead set on cutting teeth again to showcase their latest work.

"When Georgie left, he was a big part of the writing of those songs, they were made around keyboard or piano or whatever, and after he dipped, we started taking things on a different route," Sanchez says. "It felt fun, just stuff that we've been itching to play. It's basics, basic shit -- the songs aren't complicated or anything like that; they're just fun songs that sound cool."

Though their previous work plumbed depths that were driven by Rodriguez's writing, the new lineup views the change as less a departure and more a progression. For local bands anywhere, eight years together is a blessing no matter which way you cut it, so such logic holds water. Aesthetics are made to be malleable, according to Messenger.

"We always slowly evolve," he says. "If you knew us when we first started playing, it was completely different, darker. Everybody that writes songs, whatever they're influenced by at the moment kind of comes into it, so it's not like we're going to stick to something because that's what we'll [always] be."

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