PICS: Hot Snakes at the Observatory North Park

San Diego post-hardcore titans Hot Snakes slithered this way and that during their recent packed Observatory North Park show on May 11. Le Butcherettes opened.

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Samantha Tatro
The beloved hometown band is on the reunion trail with a new album out now ("Jericho Sirens") via Seattle indie powerhouse label Sub Pop.
Tim Fears
The new record is 14 years in the making -- Hot Snakes was largely on hiatus from 2005 until this year. They reunited for some one-off shows a couple years back but they're legitimately back in action now!
Tim Fears
The band consists of original members Rick Froberg (guitar/vocals), "Swami" John Reis (guitar), Jason Kourkounis (drums), Gar Wood (bass), and Mario Rubalcaba (drums, not on tour with them currently).
Tim Fears
Hot Snakes originally formed in 1999. Reis and Froberg are like kindred musical soulmates: They've played in Drive Like Jehu and Pitchfork together as well.
Tim Fears
Swami John Reis is a sort of San Diego rock legend at this point -- having also found international success fronting the band Rocket From the Crypt. (Kourkounis pictured)
Tim Fears
Read our recent SoundDiego interview with Reis (pictured right) here and learn where his go-to spots in town are:
Tim Fears
Fun fact: According to Reis (in a segment that didn't make it into the written interview), Hot Snakes are highly influenced by none other than AC/DC: "On ['Jericho Sirens'], we were trying to honor the inspiration we've been getting from, for example, AC/DC. That's a band whose early records are things that we all listen to and we blast them together. When we all get together, that's usually the soundtrack. So there's a lot of AC/DC in the new record, but it obviously doesn't sound like AC/DC. It comes out a little bit different by the time we eat it and digest it." (Froberg pictured)
Tim Fears
Reis told us he thinks Hot Snakes holds a unique place in the music world, and always has: "When we were around the first time, we weren't really a part of any thing ... For the most part, I don't think anyone at the time was really doing that much like [what we were doing]. I'm not saying we were entirely unique, I just didn't hear things that were really, really similar. And to this day, I still don't hear things [that sound] similar exactly ... I think we're pulling from different places and we can't really lump us in with a movement that's going on in underground music right now. We just kind of stick out by ourselves." (Wood pictured)
Tim Fears
When talking about "Jericho Sirens," Reis said he considers himself and the band to be approaching music in a similar way that they did originally: "When we were [originally] making music ... we already knew what we wanted to do stylistically. We came to that point and we're kind of still there now. I don't think I've really moved on from that person that wrote that music. I mean, I have -- I'm always listening to new things or getting interested in different ideas -- but it's part of the same story as opposed to something that no longer representative of what I'm about."
Tim Fears
In addition to "Jericho Sirens," the band's new label Sub Pop has recently reissued their entire full-length album catalog: 2000's "Automatic Midnight," 2002's "Suicide Invoice" and 2004's "Audit In Progress." (Froberg pictured)
Tim Fears
Hot Snakes played the following set list on May 11: "Death Camp Fantasy," "Who Died," "LAX," "I Hate the Kids," "Gar Forgets His Insulin," "XOX," "Why Don't It Sink In?," "Six Wave Hold-Down," "Death Doula," "10th Planet," "I Need a Doctor," "Suicide Invoice," "Having Another?," "Jericho Sirens," "If Credit's What Matters I'll Take Credit," "Automatic Midnight," "No Hands," "This Mystic Decade," "Plenty For All," "Braintrust," "Hi-Lites," and "Retrofit." (Reis pictured)
Tim Fears
Reis told us the band is already at work on a followup to "Jericho Sirens" and expects it to be out in 2019 at some point. Can't wait!
Tim Fears
Le Butcherettes opened the show and they were simply phenomenal!
Tim Fears
The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Teri Gender Bender (pictured), bassist/multi-instrumentalist Riko Rodriguez-Lopez, and drummer Alejandra Robles Luna.
Tim Fears
The band originally hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and got its start in 2007.
Tim Fears
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (of At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta) produced (as well as contributed bass guitar to) Le Butcherettes' LP, "Sin Sin Sin" in 2011. (Riko Rodriguez-Lopez pictured)
Tim Fears
The band released "Cry Is for the Flies," on May 15, 2014. Their 2015 album "A Raw Youth" featured appearances by John Frusciante and Iggy Pop.
Tim Fears
Everyone in the crowd was blown away by the group's intense performance -- come back to San Diego soon! (Alejandra Robles Luna pictured)
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