by Patrick Strait
Sometimes a joke can go a really long way.
That’s what Daniel Henry and Annie Sparrows learned back in 2004 when they decided to take a break from their main band, The Soviettes, and started a side project that would become known as Awesome Snakes.
“We’ve always liked more garage-y rock than punk,” says Henry, nearly two decades after the band’s impetus. “So we said, let’s make this band that we would really like, and also make it a really stupid joke. So that’s why we did this idiot thing.”
The band might have been a gag, but apparently no one told audiences who began to take note of Awesome Snakes. Part of their charm was the simplicity of the project: really cool garage punk music that focused exclusively on snakes, and, well, things that are awesome.
While they officially put the project to bed back in 2010, this month the Awesome Snakes have risen once again, thanks to a reissue of their album, aptly titled, Venom, earlier this month by local comedy mega label, Standup! Records.
“Dan [Schlissel, founder of Standup! Records] has been a fan for a long time. He’s into the same music that Annie and I are, and he would come to our shows,” says Henry. “One night after a show we played at the Triple Rock, Dan was like, ‘I’m going to do it.’ And Dan is very good at making things happen.”
In addition to being available on CD and digital download, this weekend will mark the release of the entire Awesome Snakes retrospective on vinyl. And to celebrate, the band is getting back together.
Saturday night, Awesome Snakes will return to the stage at Can Can Wonderland for a very special reunion show, along with music by The Slow Death, comedian Mo Alexander, and comedian/magician David Harris.
“It’s going to be a big party. It’s an excuse to see all of our friends,” says Henry.
Since the end of the Awesome Snakes 12 years ago, Henry and Sparrows have kept busy by playing in a number of other bands, including France Has the Bomb and Green/Blue, as well as the occasional Soviettes reunion show. That, along with life things like having kids and starting podcasts, have kept the Snakes grounded until now. But just because they’ve resurfaced, doesn’t mean a full-fledged return to music is in the cards.
“It just kind of ran it’s course,” says Henry. “How many songs can you write about snakes or things that are awesome? It turns out the answer is about 15.”
Still, Henry says he’s excited for the trip down memory lane, and feels grateful that people are still interested in what was originally just supposed to be a joke.
“I’m still surprised that people are really into this record,” he laughs. “The fact that anyone cares about this is pretty cool.”
Order the Awesome Snakes album Venom through Standup! Records now. IF YOU GO:
Awesome Snakes w/The Slow Death, Mo Alexander & David Harris
Can Can Wonderland
Saturday, June 24
Click here for details