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OC Music Awards 2013: Snakebit Drifters Play Straight From Their “Corazon”

Celebrating its 12th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicks off on January 8th with eight weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band and a performance slot at the 2013 OC Music Awards, March 9th at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Snakebit Drifters tell their dusty, lovelorn tales of death and life in a decidedly stripped down way. However, with just a jangly guitar, a foreboding upright bass, surf-inspired drums, and raw vocals, they manage to turn simple stories of days gone by into anthemic manifestos that even the most modern listener can relate to. The fourth installment in the Snakebit Drifters EP series came out in February of 2012, but don’t expect the steady stream of music to stop any time soon. ” We still have more to release from the EP series. They are a collection of our first songs from the good ol days” guitarist and vocalist Tim Willis told us.

Skeletons is the standout track on the latest release. Robin San Jose’s haunting bass lends what he calls a “spooky vibe” to the tune. Willis favors “Left For Dead” from the first “episode” of the EP series because “it paints a picture of a drunken gun fight from the past”. We wondered how a band that has only been around for a couple of years has such a catalogue. Willis explains: “Some of [the songs] were old punk songs I wrote while living on a ship that we turned into Snakebit style tunes. Kevin, our drummer, has a good ear for tweaking my trippy style of writing music and lyrics into something that works at a show.. From the first practice, I started writing like crazy because I didn’t know how long it would last. We had a wild first month as a band… and the boys are yet to reject any of the wacky, fast, slow, creepy, rock, or country songs!” Drummer Kevin Yoches adds ” I like records to me a moment in time and this one definitely captured a moment in our lives. We were Snakebit. We had nothing but our songs and the gear to record ’em with.”

There’s something to be said for capturing the spontaneity of a live show in a recording. Willis describes the recording process: “Lots of Coors tan cans were injured in the making of this album. We play our set live, mostly one take with a scratch vocals. We kept the sound just like a live show for the most part for the EP series. We didn’t leave the studio for 3 days. When we finally went outside it was a very psychedelic experience. I felt like a groundhog that wasn’t ready for Spring.” The beer soaked, off-the-cuff recording might be coming to an end, Willis told us. “We have a full album that we are 93.86% done writing, so we need to put the beer down and actually do it. It’s going to be so fun, because we put in way more work pre-producing the next album. The first one we basically locked ourself in a dungeon and recorded everything we did for a weekend.” You can look forward to new material from Snakebit drifters sometime this summer.

–Robyn Luttrell, KROQ Los Angeles

You can get listen to Snakebit Drifters’ EP Series at their Bandcamp.

Learn more at Snakebit Drifters’ Facebook.

The 2013 Showcase Series runs every Tuesday night, January 8th-February 26th with stops at:

Jan 22 – The Slide Bar

Jan 29 – Constellation Room

Feb 5 – Tiki Bar

Feb 12 – Founders Hall

Feb 19 – Yost Theater

Feb 26 – House of Blues-Anaheim




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