Snake Island! is Loud Psychedelic Rock n Roll without the faux flower-child gimmickry; Blues for pissed off teenagers; Fuzzed out sonic destruction.
The band formed in the spring of 2010 as a collaboration between guitarists and friends Allan Schleich (Omaha) and Garrett Schmelzel (Portland) who had been jamming and exchanging song ideas through email and video chat.
Allan created the concept when he was invited to join in a tour of China with other Omaha bands if he could start his own in time. He invited Garrett to move from Portland to Omaha and help put the project together. With the promise of a once in a life-time chance to see and perform in China, Garrett droveacross the country to Omaha and came up with the name for the project.
After finalizing a line-up to tour with, the band practiced overnights at the local DIY venue The Hole for an entire summer, honing their songs from sunset to sunrise three to four days a week, occasionally letting a crowd spill in from other shows to view the progress. By the end of that summer the band was ready to start performing shows and hop on a plane to Beijing. Unfortunately the promoter in China and the other bands faced scheduling and financial conflicts so the plug had to be pulled on the entire tour.Undeterred, Snake Island! began to gig relentlessly within the local and regional Indie and Garage Rock circuits and gained notoriety for themselves after many now-infamous house show performances.
After months of playing almost weekly through-out 2011, their efforts culminated in them earning an Omaha Entertainment Arts Award for "Best New Artist 2011".
On New Year’s Eve 2012 the band released their first self-titled 10" off Fear of Music records. The
limited run soon sold out and the band self-released a 12" version of the same album which they took across the country with them on their ambitious 2012 summer tour.
Fiercely DIY in terms of printing their own T-shirts and album covers as well booking entire tours by themselves, Snake Island! has garnered a large enough reputation in order to share the stage with such notable acts as A Place to Bury Strangers, White Mystery, The Night Beats, The Growlers, Hunters, The Biters, The Booze, Digital Leather, and Black Joe & The Honeybears .
In October of 2012 Snake Island! was invited to perform on the Halloween special of the punk rock public access kids show Chic-A-Go-Go where they debuted the new single “All My Friends Are Wolfmen, Yeah” they recorded specifically for that event. Additionally the band was once again nominated for two awards by the O.E.A.A. committee this time for “Best Artist” and “Best Rock”.
In 2013 Snake Island! received the O.E.A.A. award for Best Rock and placed the final touches on their new album. The album’s first single “Apple Tel Aviv” will be released in Mid-April with a corresponding music video.
The band is currently in the studio with Make Believe Records finishing their first full length LP gearing up to promote it with a nation-wide tour in the summer of 2013.
Snake Island! Summer Tour 2013
08.24.13 Sat Omaha, NE
08.23.13 Fri Lincoln , NE
08.22.13 Thu Kearney, NE
08.21.13 Wed Pueblo, CO
08.20.13 Tue Los Alamos, NM
08.19.13 Mon Flagstaff, AZ
08.18.13 Sun *OffDay*
08.17.13 Sat Las Vegas, NV
08.16.13 Fri South Valley, CA
08.15.13 Thu Oakland, CA
08.14.13 Wed Sacramento, CA
08.13.13 Tue Reno, NV
08.12.13 Mon Provo, UT
08.11.13 Sun Grand Junction, Co
08.10.13 Sat Denver, CO
08.09.13 Fri Colorado Springs, CO
08.08.13 Thu Santa Fe, NM
08.07.13 Wed Albuquerque, NM
08.06.13 Tue Phoenix, AZ
08.05.13 Mon San Diego, CA
08.04.13 Sun Long Beach, CA
08.03.13 Sat Los Angeles, CA
08.02.13 Fri Bakersfield, CA
08.01.13 Thu Fresno, CA
07.31.13 Wed San Jose, CA
07.30.13 Tue San Francisco, CA
07.29.13 Mon Sacramento, CA
07.28.13 Sun Eugene, OR
07.27.13 Sat Portland, OR
07.26.13 Fri Seattle, WA
07.25.13 Thu Spokane, Wa
07.24.13 Wed Boise, ID
07.23.13 Tue Salt Lake City, UT
07.22.13 Mon Fort Collins, CO
07.21.13 Sun Boulder, CO
07.20.13 Sat Denver, CO
07.19.13 Fri Omaha, NE
Garret Schmelzel - Vocals, Guitar
Allan Schleich - Guitar
Mike Zimmerman - Drums
Josh French - Bass
Snake Island! 12" (Fear of Music 2011) (Snake Island! 2012)
Rock Paper Dynamite, Snake Island, The Biters, The Booze | Photo Review
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Boasting a tight sound, Snake Island is a young band with a great bluesy, rock feel. Despite somewha...Boasting a tight sound, Snake Island is a young band with a great bluesy, rock feel. Despite somewhat erratic and awkward stage presence, the band used this tension to draw audience members into their drink-inducing rock. With callbacks to The Doors, long instrumental interludes gave listeners a chance to focus on their musical talent. We were all appreciative that the band understood their purpose was to play great music rather than banter in between songs. The sound was clean, threaded tightly and stayed solid throughout the set. I’m confident that when their presence grows into their musical talent, Snake Island will have a significant future on the local music scene.
Three Up and Three Down with Goth Ball’s Snake Island!
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Hard rockers and Omaha Entertainment Award-nominated Snake Island!, headline this year’s annual Goth...Hard rockers and Omaha Entertainment Award-nominated Snake Island!, headline this year’s annual Goth Ball — and fittingly so since this year’s GB theme is “Venom.” Lead guitarist Allan Schleich took time to discuss with The Reader the band’s first studio release, nudity and what and what makes their sound unique compared to other bands in Omaha.
Mitch Gettman celebrates album release
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Snake Island! used their opening set as a continued announcement of their rapidly-developing raw pow...Snake Island! used their opening set as a continued announcement of their rapidly-developing raw power. The band now hits on touchstones like the Doors, the Gun Club and 13th Floor Elevators in a way that easily conveys both knowledge and their own innate creative streak within those influences. The closest contemporary may just be Austin, Tex.'s Black Angels, though Snake Island! throbs with elements of surf, rockabilly and other biker-rock moves that the Angels just drone away from
See The Future! A Look Ahead in 2012
Snake Island!’s sultry garage rock thrills fans of blues rock, rockabilly and psychedelic rock alike
Snake Island! Q&A
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This New Years Eve, Snake Island is ringing in the new with a venomous hit that will be a certified,...This New Years Eve, Snake Island is ringing in the new with a venomous hit that will be a certified, memorable way to send off 2011. The boys will be releasing a new 12-inch vinyl, and will be throwing a release bash at the Sandbox to accommodate their new addition
Snake Island! Tour Diary
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Snake Island! slithered south to play 21 shows for our first tour from June 22-July 15. Since every ...Snake Island! slithered south to play 21 shows for our first tour from June 22-July 15. Since every day is a story in itself, we’ll trim the fat and personal accounts to give a brief overview on the tour as a whole. There were mostly great times, but also small frustrations. At some point in the tour, Garrett described being on the road as a “super fun nightmare,” which to me seemed accurate since the bad times made for great stories the next day.
The coolest venue we played may have been the Bottletree in Birmingham, Ala. Unfortunately this was probably our least attended show on the road. However, they were by far the most accommodating venue. They fed us and then let us stay in a couple of ’70s-style campers overnight that were fenced in by barbed wire. These things had big TVs, Atari, bedding, A/C, baskets of clean socks, massage chairs, etc.
The song "Dirty Bones" inspires a guest to join the band at Tequila Rok in Beaumont, Texas.
Houston, New Orleans and Chicago were possibly the three coolest cities we played in. Houston surprised us as our favorite city in Texas. Everyone talks about Austin these days, but they should be talking about Houston. New Orleans had a lot of character and was preserved more than most places you go. It makes you feel like you’re in a Tarantino movie at night. Chicago was a good place to be winding down on tour. It’s a big city with good food, great bands and no public bathrooms anywhere.
There were some awesome moments, some of which crossed the line between amazing and weird. In Detroit, a guy threw an empty beer can at me while I played drums, and then threw his Iron Maiden shirt at me. I threw it back at him, and then he just threw it at me again. He swiped his card at the bar for $50 in $1 bills and ran on stage throwing all the money at us, literally making it rain. After that, he put his hat on Garrett’s head, stage dove straight into the floor, pissed himself and then ran off with one of our shirts. Our minds were blown. Who was this guy?
We got really used to the uncertainty of where we were sleeping each day. It was one of those things that we usually had to figure out at the show we were playing by asking around. There was only one night that we didn’t get a plan figured out, which led to us sleeping in the woods with no camping gear. This was not necessarily an ideal scenario, but you can only get lucky so often. If we did get a place to stay, there was the chance that they wanted to party all night. Going to bed after 4 a.m. became routine.
Snake Island! performs two songs in a mashup at Hairhole in Columbia, Mo.
The more interesting stories are about the people we met on the road. We met a 53-year-old local crackhead avant-garde music legend in Texas, saw someone breathe in the fumes of their burnt chest hair followed by shaving a question mark in it, and had people lighting sparklers inside on the 4th of July. Someone even asked if they could take Garrett’s socks off for him.
Despite someone attempting to break into our trailer in New Orleans, playing a show with a broken tom head, and unpredictable sleeping patterns, the tour was a success. We made friends with awesome bands such as Thunder Brother, Tennessee Scum, Strange Baby, Soft Jolts and others. All in all, there were more good times than bad. We’ll begin recording our full-length record in August at Make Believe studios. New record, new lineup, new songs. We’re ready to shed our skin and hit the road again.
Pick: Rock Paper Dynamite and Snake Island
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Rock Paper Dynamite are returning to Omaha, just in time for Snake Island to leave town on tour. Roc...Rock Paper Dynamite are returning to Omaha, just in time for Snake Island to leave town on tour. Rock Paper Dynamite pulled up stakes last year for North Carolina, but now they seem to be splitting time between here and there. The band's presence in Omaha is a welcome one, as they play a brand of no-frills, good-time rock 'n' roll that's scarce in town. Meanwhile, Snake Island will be headed out on a three-week tour starting with this show. The psych-rock band is also re-releasing their self-titled EP on vinyl and cassette at the show. Fellow black-cast psych-roots band Dim Light and the youthful, bluesy Decatures round at this all-star local bill.
Adventures in reverb with Snake Island!
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I talked to Snake Island! guitar player Allen Schleich about the band’s first tour, their sound ...
I talked to Snake Island! guitar player Allen Schleich about the band’s first tour, their sound and Allen’s penchant for eating 60 tacos in one sitting:
Q What brings you to Beaumont, all the way from Omaha?
A Our car. Well, actually JT of The Escatones out of Houston, who I found through some intense Google searching for similar bands, was insurmountably helpful in booking us some gigs in and around Texas.
Beaumont, naturally, is a good spot to play between Houston and our next stop on the tour, New Orleans, and JT knew Tequila Rok would be a good gig, so he set us up.
Q I’m guessing this isn’t your first tour — how do you stay sane on the road?
A A little surprise, this is the band’s first true “tour.” As individual musicians we’ve all hit the road and as a band we’ve done a few out of town gigs; but this is our first nationwide trek as Snake Island!
As far as staying sane, personally, I embrace the insanity. Tour is a roller-coaster and at the low points of eating nothing but Ramen and playing to no one but the bartender and waitress, you just have to know there’s going to be a packed house the next day and someone might buy you pizza. Or your car will break down. Whatever happens — happens, and you have to make the most of it.
Q According to your bio you are, “shamans of love; runaway sons of a post-nuclear age and most exulted revelators of the secret cosmic Id.” I like that. This isn’t so much of a question as it is a statement, I guess.
A We’re also mustache enthusiasts.
Q What’s the story behind your band’s name?
A We like adventure, mysteries and travel, much like the Hardy Boys or Duran Duran. Our singer Garrett came up with the name and I’m pretty sure it was after reading too many Hardy Boys novels.
Q You guys play a style of music that seems to be really catching people’s attention right now — kind of a psch-y new style of blues. I’ve been listening to the new Little Hurricane album a lot and you guys kind of reminded me of them. What other new bands have you come across that are doing interesting things in the vein of music y’all are playing?
A We performed with The Night Beats who have got some fantastic psychedelic sounds. Swamp Walk from our home town of Omaha has got a cool Doom-y/Sabbath-y thing going right now, too.
We’re set to play with a lot of cool bands on tour too, like Deep Space out of Austin and Richard The Lionhearted out of Columbio, Mo., for instance.
Q If I read correctly, it seems that you once held the record for most tacos eaten in one sitting in Lincoln. I’m guessing that’s one of your prouder achievements in life?
A I’m incredibly proud. I held the beef taco record at 54 and the bean taco record at 69. The record stood for a year and a half. I’m only 5’11 and 160 lbs. and I can definitely eat more tacos (or anything) than guys twice my size.
All Over Omaha
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Same night across town- Snake Island played the dirty, gritty, and jam packed O’leavers Pub which is...Same night across town- Snake Island played the dirty, gritty, and jam packed O’leavers Pub which is one of Omaha’s legendary rock n’ roll landmarks. It was a very fitting venue for the band who seem to sound better each time I stumble upon seeing them.
Omaha band Snake Island! creates new sound with old vibes
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Rick Carson, a record producer and engineer at Make Believe, is looking forward to working with Snak...Rick Carson, a record producer and engineer at Make Believe, is looking forward to working with Snake Island! on its upcoming record.
“As far as Omaha bands go, I think they have a very bright future,” Carson said.
|May 29, 2013 Wednesday||9:00 PM||The Waiting Room Lounge||Omaha, NE, US|
|Jul 12, 2013 Friday||9:00 PM||Czar Bar||Kansas City, MO, US|
|Jul 24, 2013 Wednesday||9:00 PM||The Red Room||Boise, ID, US|
|The Bare Bones, Old Death Whisper|