Snake Rattle Rattle Snake
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Snake Rattle Rattle Snake

Denver, Colorado, United States | INDIE

Denver, Colorado, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Gothic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Best New Recording - 2012 Sineater"

With all of the buildup — from the buzz that Snake Rattle Rattle Snake generated almost immediately after forming a few years back to the breathless accolades the group continues to collect — there seemed plenty of room to be disappointed with Sineater, the band's first full-length. Fortunately, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake delivered on all of its early promise. From Ravi Zupa's stellar cover art to the ominous clouds these ten songs conjure up with their angular guitar lines, pulsing bass and powerful percussion propping up Hayley Helmericks's enthralling vocals, Sineater is absolutely riveting from beginning to end.
- Westword

"Snake Rattle Rattle Snake’s Hayley Helmericks"

A lot has happened for Denver’s Snake Rattle Rattle Snake in a relatively short period of time. The five-piece dance-rock outfit has gone from being a local supergroup (featuring members of Monofog, Mr. Pacman, and Hawks Of Paradise) to being one of the most buzzed-about bands in the scene right now, exceeding the confines of the supergroup tag. And the band did it all in about two years’ time, with only a handful of recorded songs to its redundant name. Just before the release of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake’s debut full-length record, Sin Eater, (Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Bluebird Theater) The A.V. Club talked to vocalist Hayley Helmericks about the new album and what comes next.
The A.V. Club: Can you tell us a little bit about the new album?
Hayley Helmericks: It’s, for the most part, songs that we’ve been playing over the past couple of years and haven’t gotten recorded yet. Our main purpose in recording them is that we needed to document them. We decided we want to record the whole thing ourselves, so starting in January we just recorded when we were able to. As people with full-time jobs, you have to just pack it into the weekends or the after-hours [time], so it takes a little bit of time, but I think recording it ourselves allowed us to experiment and get things sounding the way we wanted, without the pressure of having a timeline.
AVC: How would you say it’s different from the EP?
HH: Only two songs from the EP made it to the full-length record, and they’ve kind of shifted and changed over time. I would say the songs themselves have just matured into something more fully realized than the EP—which, looking back on it, felt like more of a demo, really.
AVC: What sort of things influenced the new album?
HH: Jeez, I don’t know. Figuring out how the electric drums were going to fit in and out of the album was difficult at times, and also made us have to think about how we wanted the songs to be represented a little bit. Once we started laying down the basic tracks, it became very apparent that it’s kind of a dark album, not only in subject matter, but just the sounds themselves. I think once we figured out that’s where they were naturally leading themselves, we just kind of went with that.
AVC: What can fans expect from the release show? Do you have any surprises lined up?
HH: Maybe a few. We’re really, really excited that the album is done and it sounds as good as it does. I think we’re just going to be pumped up to have a little party and get it out into the world, because it’s been consuming so much of our minds and energy for the past several months. We’re just excited to put it out [there]. Land Lines and A. Tom Collins are good friends, so I think it’s just gonna be a night of good music, and we’ll see what kind of surprises we can work out. We’ve got a few ideas.
AVC: How did you guys get involved with the Greater Than collective to put out the album?
HH: The idea had come to work with Virgil [Dickerson] in some capacity, and he and Andy [Thomas] and Pete [Turner] were trying to come up with some idea of how to help local bands kind of take it to the next level, [to] get their music into a more national market eventually, and spread the word a little bit using their resources and the DIY bands that are doing everything themselves. After having a few conversations with Virgil, we met with everybody and realized that we’re a pretty self-sufficient band and we’re motivated and do a lot of things for ourselves, and they were able to supplement the other things that we needed help with. It’s been great. We couldn’t have asked for a better situation, and hopefully through them we’ll be able to get this record into people’s hands who wouldn’t normally have been able to get it.
AVC: Do you think you’ll continue doing things yourself, or do you eventually hope to be picked up by a record label?
HH: Yeah if the situation was good, I don’t think we would shy away from that at all, but for our purposes now this is the best possible situation. Honestly if some badass label wanted to pick us up, I don’t think we would be opposed to that, but we’ll see.
AVC: What are your plans for after the record comes out?
HH: We’re working on a West Coast tour right now. It’s time to start pedaling it and playing for new audiences. For us that means getting out of Denver and Colorado.
AVC: Do you think you’ll eventually make this a full-time job?
HH: That would be ideal. We’ve all been doing this for such a long time, and balancing being in a band, being an artist, and working can be hard. I’d love to be able to devote all of my energy to making music. That would be great!
AVC: How does Snake Rattle Rattle Snake compare to the other bands you’ve been in?
HH: It’s by far been—I think for all of us, people have been very receptive to this band in a way that some of our other bands didn’t really have. All of our other bands have had their audiences, but this has just been a little more far-reaching in terms of people that like our music and come to our shows. I don’t know if that’s an issue of accessibility or I don’t know, but it’s been pretty exciting to play the shows that we’ve played and have the opportunities that we’ve had.
AVC: Do you ever get tired of having your music described as dark or brooding?
HH: Like I said earlier, there is something dark in our songs, but I’ve noticed that sort of language popping up when people are describing us. I don’t know; it could just be the music and people picking up on my weird lyrics and my deep voice sometimes. It’s not something we consciously do; it’s just that that’s what we’re all drawn to when we’re making music, and I guess people are picking up on that. - The Onion A.V. Club

"My Denver: 14 Questions For Snake Rattle Rattle Snake"

Who: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake (SRRS are: Hayley Helmericks, Wilson Helmericks, Doug Spencer, Andrew Warner, James Yardley)

Years In Denver:
66 years total, some of us more than others.

Current Neighborhood:

Current Gig:
As in live show: The UMS July 23 9:00pm, Goodwill Parking Lot stage AND Record Release show August 20th at the Bluebird w/ A. Tom Collins and Land Lines.
As in job: Barista, waiter, art framer, digital event engineer, and shelver.

What do you love most about Denver?
The people, the community, the Reptilian agenda.

What is it like being an artist in Denver?
You pack your art into the crevices of time you have between working full-time. That said, rent is cheap and there are usually lots of pals around.

What are your 3 local meals you can't live without?
Watercourse, Burritos! (Illegal Pete's, El Taco de Mexico, Senor Burrito), Wolfe's BBQ (RIP).

Favorite Colorado beer (craft beer, banquet or silver bullets, no judgement)?
Dale's Pale Ale, New Belgium Blue Paddle, Great Divide Rumble IPA and Samurai ...I guess that would be "craft."

"Sineater" is your new LP in the works, can you tell us a bit about it?
It's done! We sent it off to the plant and we are eagerly awaiting test-presses. We recorded the record ourselves and were lucky enough to take our time doing it. Tracking took a handful of months followed by mixing and mastering. It has been in the works since the beginning of the year so we're really happy to be finished and proud of what we've done. We are putting it out on our own label Glow & Arrow with some help from the Greater Than Collective who is out to help local musicians reach larger national audiences.

How does the songwriting process work for SRRS?
It's a very collective process. It can start with one person's idea or spring from a cool part within an experiemental jam. No one person writes the songs and we certainly are responsible for all our individual parts within a song. It's definitely an organic process. Our recording experience thus far has been building on pre-existing ideas and documenting our work up to this point.

What are your favorite bars/pubs around Denver and why?
Sputnik is the local haunt. If we're venturing out of the neighborhood... Meadowlark, Lost Lake, City O' City - places where you are bound to bump into a friend.

What are your favorite music venues to play in Denver?
Hi-Dive, 3 Kings, Bluebird. Red Rocks!

What is on your weekend must-do lists?
Sleep in, get outside, play Settlers of Catan, go to/play shows.

Take your iPod and hit shuffle, give us the first 5 songs that play, no cheating.
Hayley and Doug's joint-iPod:
1. Matson Jones: "He Means Nothing Dear"
2. Junior Boys: "More Than Real"
3. The Clash: "This Is England"
4. The Walkmen: "Follow The Leader"
5. Pink Mountaintops: "The Gayest of Sunbeams"

Keytars or guitars?

Hall or Oates?
Which one wrote "Rich Girl?"

What's next for SRRS?
Record release, tour, fragrance.

In a word, Denver is...
Dy-No-Mite! - Huffington Post

"A Bite, A Churned Up Passion And Red, Sweaty Cheeks"

We're not quite sure what's gotten to Hayley Helmericks. It's something gristly, something that eats at you like corrosive chemicals, something that leads to a slow and painful end. Then again, perhaps it doesn't. It just seems like it might. The lead singer for the Denver, Colorado, band is a woman who has been exposed to the darker sides of the human condition and she's not turned away, but rather leaned in, wiped the wax out of her eyes and tried to get a better look at them. She sounds as if she's been consumed by paranoia, by something that's bearing down on her and casting a great shadow. It's a shadow that she doesn't cower from though, one that she meets head-on, seeing if it will push her back or if it's just something that she can walk through, like an extra-strength fog. It might just be an obstacle, pawing at her, poking her, seeing what kind of a reaction it can evoke. If the reaction is little or other than what it is looking for in the way of amusement, it will get bored and she'll have won. There's nothing that we like more than a singer, and a band, that dive into dark matters, into the realm of great uncertainty and crawl around in there, on their hands and knees, getting down with it and then putting it all together into a musical thought. Ask anyone and they'll likely admit to enjoying storms, loving the sheer volume and power of incoming thunder and lightning, rattling the windows, the foundation and the doors on their hinges, as the disturbance does what it wants and makes its way across the land like a conquistador.

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake makes a sound that simulates this movement of temporarily epic energy and force. Helmericks makes us feel as if we're in for it, or she's in for it and she's got her eyes split, watching the entrance, looking into all the corners for that something that might sneak out at her. She sings about the darkness in the way that someone who knows that there really is something out there in it to be genuinely frightened of. She respects the darkness and knows that there's a lure and a pull there, something that's impossible to ignore. She sings that in the dark, "Bodies are holding you there," keeping you from getting away. The band builds a lot of purgatory into their songs, letting them roar on with churning passion and reddened cheeks. Helmericks sings with bittersweet awareness that finishes with that bite and that kick in the ass that makes it feel like the work of a tortured soul. The stories are those of wanting and of broken glass, cracked teeth and dried blood in places on our body that are surprising to us - the altercations that led to it spilling at all happening too fast and furious to be remembered. Helmericks offers, "No one ever told me/How you live is how you'll die," and it could be her admonishment to the heavens, every night before she goes to bed, just to set the record straight and to make sure that no one's off the hook for anything that's happening.
- Daytrotter

"Snake Rattle Rattle Snake interview"

text is imbedded in the website - 303 magazine

"Sineater Album review"

By Jon Solomon Tuesday, Aug 9 2011

Although Snake Rattle Rattle Snake has been playing some of the finest dark dance rock around these parts for more than two years, the band has only released a few recordings, including a four-song EP and a two-song seven-inch single. One spin of Sineater, the band's debut long-player, and you'll agree that it was more than worth the wait. It's a riveting collection of tracks that conjures everyone from early New Order and Siouxsie & the Banshees to Can and LCD Soundsystem. Built around the propulsive beats of drummer Andrew Warner, additional percussion from Kit Peltzel and James Yardley's dynamic bass lines, the grooves are just as mesmerizing as Hayley Helmericks's vocals. While most members of the group have played extensively in other bands, including Monofog, Red Cloud and Hawks of Paradise, there's just something thoroughly engaging about Snake Rattle Rattle Snake that doesn't seem to have come from those other acts, and Sineater is proof of that.
- Westword

"Sineater Album review"

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake


Greater Than Collective

4.5 out of 5 stars

For more than two years, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake have been the darlings of Denver. “Best New Band” by Westword? Yep. Top finisher of the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase poll? Done. But in addition to taking home accolades, the band has been a model of solid DIY ethics, with smart heads on their shoulders to handle the ever-important offstage part of the business.

So the only question that remained of the band, who had only released an EP to date, was how Snake Rattle Rattle Snake’s debut would stack up.

Not surprisingly, they’ve hit another home run, in what is already a long list of accomplishments for the still young group. Filed under “indie” but more of a blend of melodic psychedelic post-punk and dance rock, Sineater opens with “Hastily,” a percussive cymbal ride almost indicative of the group’s namesake getting ready to strike. As the bass-driven melody takes hold, vocalist Hayley Helmrick’s vocals begin pulsing through the rhythms like venom through the bloodstream. At times sounding like Sinéad O’Conor — not “Nothing Compares to?You” Sinéad; more like “Jerusalem” Sinéad — and at other times coming across like the stoner pop songstress Nichole Gehweiler of The Comas, Helmrick’s haunting vocals both punctuate the melody while also beautifully wrapping around it, which allows the vocals to both lead, and support the dark rock.

“Hastily,” one of the few songs from the band’s EP that made it onto this release, gives way to “NOPD,” an epic sounding climb that opens up to the heavy-beat and catchy verses of “Kafka and the Milk” — the only other song from the band’s EP.

The remaining eight tracks are songs that the band has been playing live for some time, but are no less enthralling. And that’s truly the only downside to this release — the lack of any brand new material from the band. But the group said that the goal of this album was to document what their songs have become, and in that regard they have again wildly succeeded.

In addition to being a debut for Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, the album is also the debut of the new Denver label/collective Greater Than, which was founded this year by Virgil Dickerson of Suburban Home Records, musician and journalist Andy Thomas and Colorado burrito king, Pete Turner of Illegal Pete’s. The three partners started working together feeding bands through Pete’s Starving Artist Program and with the new label seek to help DIY bands by filling in the missing pieces they need — almost providing an a la carte approach to everything from booking or publicity to licensing and management. — Brian F. Johnson - Marquee Magazine

"Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Sin Eater album review"

by Matt Pusatory August 24, 2011

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Sin Eater

rating: A

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake opens its brand-new album with “Hastily,” the same song that closed its debut EP. The reprise adds a feeling of continuation from the previous record to the new one. The band is picking up where it left off, but considerably upping the ante.

The thundering drums throughout the album, especially present on songs like “Break The Same” and “NOPD,” along with throbbing bass lines and Hayley Helmricks’ vivid lyricism, make a strong statement and set a dark tone for the album from the outset. The songs are still strangely compelling and danceable, even when the lyrics are discussing such pleasant topics as bodies with cutout hearts and kittens in the trash, as on “Like A Moth.”

“Enleadenment” is a standout track. With its slow build, souring chorus, and layers of guitar and synthesizer, it’s like the most distilled version of what’s becoming the band’s own dark sound. The up-tempo, synth-heavy “Adoration” is another standout, coming at the perfect time in the record to add an injection of straight-up hip shaking. The album closes with the monotonous, meditative track “Warning,” which serves not as a final punctuation, but rather as more of an ellipsis for a band that will no doubt continue to make big things happen both inside and outside of the Denver area.
- A.V Club, The Onion

"Making of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's - Dead Men's Words"

On December 2nd, director Vincent Comparetto of Denver, Colorado, premiered one of the years best music videos in Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's "Dead Men's Words". It was ambitious, creative and flawlessly calculated. Everything was in it's right place, to say the least. And here to bring the video to life once more, I bring you 'The making of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's "Dead Men's Words.' Directed by Vincent Comparetto. - Speaker Snacks

"New Video for Denver's Snake Rattle Rattle Snake: Dead Men's Words"

Here's some new local action for Denver band, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. It's directed by Denver's Vincent Comparetto. You can listen to Vincent explain his connection with the group and his vision behind the shoot here. - The Denver Egotist

"Official Video Premere: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake - "Dead Men's Word's""

With one of the more ambitious music videos of the year, Denver, Colorado's Snake Rattle Rattle Snake embark on a film that conceptually speaking, looks a whole lot different than anything else I've seen this year. It's a video full of enchanting visuals and unique narrative. All set to the audio of "Dead Men's Words," a Snake Rattle classic. Enjoy!

Stream/download audio of director Vincent Comparetto explaining his connection with the group, and his vision behind the shoot below. A short, video documentary, following Snake Rattle Rattle Snake & Compatetto as they film the "Dead Men's Words" video will be released on Speaker Snacks next week. - Speaker Snacks

"More CMJ 2010 Highlights"

Denver’s Snake Rattle Rattle Snake has all of the no-nonsense, in-your-face rock and roll bite that you can imagine–without an anti-venom to slow the swelling. Two drummers, two guitarists, a bass, keyboards, and a seasoned female lead singer with grit and grace provided a genre-defying infusion of danceable poly-rock rhythms and piercing guitars strung out with bursts of damaging double percussion. If they’re not on your radar, it is time to take heed, rock and rollers. -Carnie Fulton - The Owl Mag

"Steal This Track: Exclusive Snake Rattle Rattle Snake remix by Iuengliss"

No, it’s not Tuesday again, but we just got our hands on something extra-special and exclusive, and we didn’t want to make you wait until next Tuesday’s Steal This Track to hear it.

Back in November of last year, we gave you a sneak peek of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake’s debut EP, with the song “Hastily.” Since then, the group released an EP, placed #1 in the annual Denver Post Underground Music Showcase poll, signed manager Bart Dahl (who also manages Denver favorites Nathaniel Rateliff and Houses) and played high profile, high energy slots at the UMS, Red Rocks and the Mile High Music Fest.

Today, we received a startling dance-friendly remix of “Hastily,” produced by Iuengliss, a.k.a. Bocumast Records artist Tommy Metz. The talented producer retained the song’s original slithering, sinister air while adding a rump-shaking beat and just enough electronic wizardry to give the track a cold, shiny exterior that makes it all the more compelling and chilling. According to Metz, the remix will be included on a forthcoming re-release of the band’s debut, but you can steal it right now, exclusively from the Denver Post, Reverb and Steal This Track.

Stream it:

Steal it:
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake | Hastily (Iuengliss Remix) (right click to save to your computer)

What’s that? You say you haven’t had enough of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake yet? Well, the band just released a two-song 7? vinyl on Sunday at the Larimer Lounge, but you pop on over to Bandcamp right now and get both new songs for just $2. Now that’s a steal!

Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live. -

"from "Over the weekend: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake at the hi-dive" by Andy Thomas"

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake busted out of the gates quickly with the dance floor pounding rocker, "Kafka and the Milk." James Yardley's masterfully written bass line, though not turned up as loud as it should have been, throbbed and bounced between dual percussionists Andrew Warner and Kit Peltzel syncopated rhythms, while guitarists Doug Spencer and Wilson Helmericks sprinkled echoey guitar lines over the top.

Vocalist Hayley Helmericks strutted amidst the music and conjured up images of other great front women like Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde -- and not just because of her bangs. Helmricks persona was brazen and sassy while the music played, yet unassuming and polite between songs, thanking the sold out crowd for "packing it in so tightly."

As a singer, Helmericks is arguably one of the best in town. She has the ability switch from sultry, sweet and seductive to guttural, commanding and downright horrifying. Midway through the set, on the song "Parallel Lines," she dug deep into her diaphragm and began to growl, "In the dark, we don't know who is who," before barking out a concluding "ooooh" that was so spine chillingly abrasive it would make the chick from Arch Enemy jealous.

Before this night, the name Snake Rattle Rattle Snake came up frequently in talks about great local bands. On this night, the band lived up to the hype and should continue to be included in these types of talks. They may not play like they just woke up, but local music fans who are unaware of their presence should get up to speed. Soon. - Westword

"Live review: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake (CD release) @ the Hi-Dive by Katherine Peterson"

For the official release of their EP at the Hi-Dive on Friday, Denver band Snake Rattle Rattle Snake were joined by friends Cannon(s) and Treeverb, both of whom were playing their very first live shows. The show was well on its way to selling out by the time it got started, a credit to the immense talent of all the bands on the bill.
...Finally Snake Rattle Rattle Snake came on stage. They’ve been generating mass excitement around Denver since their beginning as a local supergroup. This sextet features Hayley Helmericks and Doug Spencer (from the late Monofog), Andrew Warner (Bad Luck City), James Yardley (Hawks of Paradise), Kit Peltzel (Mr. Pacman and Space Team Electra) and Hayley’s brother Will. Their brand of synth-driven post-punk is the heaviest, darkest dance music around Denver. The lashing rhythm is created by Warner and Peltzel’s team of drumming, Yardley’s thick basslines and Hayley’s tambourine pounding.

Perhaps the most notable piece of their sound comes from commanding front lady Hayley Helmericks and her seductive, booming voice. Every member holds their own though in creating the full sound that makes the band so satisfying to see live. - Denver Post

"Denver's Snake Rattle Rattle Snake Interview with"

Video interview of us before our show with The Dead Weather. -

"Snake Rattle and Roll Snake Rattle Rattle Snake prepares to release its first EP"

Things got crucial really fast for Snake Rattle Rattle Snake.
As often happens among people who spend a lot of time together, the phrase “to get crucial,” denoting a sense of importance or urgency, was one of those catchphrases that just spontaneously develops on its own and acts as an in-joke, a point of reference.
Sometimes those phrases are meaningless, but in the case of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, this one seems to apply. In the space of less than a year, SRRS went from a side project for basically everyone involved to the main course—and that’s saying something. The band’s six members have all been involved in some pretty prodigious projects; in terms of promise and ambition, SRRS tops them all.
Without even a record out—the band will release its first self-titled EP this weekend—it’s already become standard to refer to the band as a Denver supergroup.
“It’s understandable,” jokes electronic drummer Kit Peltzel—but the thing is, he’s kind of right; SRRS comprises members of Monofog, Mr. Pacman, Joshua Novak, Bad Luck City, Red Cloud, and Hawks of Paradise, among others.
It started out as nothing serious, just vocalist and keyboardist Hayley Helmericks, her husband, guitarist Doug Spencer, both of Monofog, and her brother, guitarist Wilson Helmericks, jamming together and writing songs, thinking about doing something kind of different. In the course of the next nine months or so, they brought on Andrew Warner on drums, James Yardley on bass, and last, Peltzel.
Peltzel happened to hear them rehearsing (he had known them previously, as well) and felt like he just had to be involved. Said Peltzel, “I even thought about, maybe I could play bass, or do something different, but I’m glad I didn’t, because I can’t really play bass.” Eventually, he settled on electronic drums, part of what gives the band its particularly percussion-heavy, driving sound.
By February of last year, the band had played its first live show, and the supergroup moniker quickly attached itself. “I hate that,” said Spencer initially of the label, but Warner was somewhat more reflective.
“Has it held us back at all?” he asked.
After a moment, it was agreed that it hadn’t. “It’s actually helped us out a lot,” said Peltzel.
That’s probably true. As far as labels go, it’s a flattering one, and the momentum of the critical interest the term creates has played a substantial role in propelling the band into the limelight at a relatively fast pace. Since playing its first show on Valentine’s Day of last year, the band’s live shows have generated a substantial amount of buzz, which, with luck, will continue to snowball.
Not that the band doesn’t deserve it.
With tight, relentlessly driving rhythms and buzzing synths, SRRS recalls the best of 80’s dance-pop, but the minor-key moodiness and atmospheric, swirling guitars also lend it a gravity the members like to describe as “cerebral.”
The cerebrum is no doubt further stimulated by the oblique lyricism of Hayley Helmericks (“No one ever told me / how you live is how you die / how you live is how you’re gonna die”), delivered in a velvety alto that sounds something like a reverb-drenched Ann Wilson.
The 80’s feel is something the members say they weren’t consciously going for. “It’s more like getting together and when it feels right, we all sort of understand when it’s right,” said Peltzel.
Spencer agreed. “There’s a certain energy that happens in the middle of the room that we’re all trying to feed,” he said, adding: “We are drawn to rocking.”
The band certainly rocks in a different way than the members perhaps had before; Monofog had a garage rock vibe, while Red Cloud drew from the alt-country well and Joshua Novak is pure pop. It’s a different sound for everybody (OK, Mr. Pacman is not really a stranger to 80’s pop—but in a jokey way), but going in that direction was, according to the members, something that just happened organically.
“Initially, when it was Doug and Wil and Andrew and I writing songs, it wasn’t necessarily dance stuff at all…But then when we all got together and started writing collaboratively, it just kind of turned into it. It just felt right,” said Hayley Helmericks.
Besides that, the members didn’t really want to be involved in something they’d been involved in before. “I wouldn’t have seen the point of doing that with other people,” said Spencer.
“I think the idea of doing something different was like a prominent notion in all of our heads,” said Yardley. “Just the idea of pushing ourselves as artists and musicians to do something different.”
But the icing on the dance-rock cake was perhaps the addition of Peltzel on electronic drums—in addition to Warner already on “acoustic” drums. “We have pretty intense, polyrhythmic songs, and more than anything it’s just to create textures that overlap and add to each other,” said Warner. Various percussive shakers also figure heavily into the band’s arrangements.
“I kind of think of myself as the thump machine,” said Peltzel, “and Andrew’s like the badass…” After thinking for a moment, he settles on “um, drums.”
It’s an approach that gives SRRS’s songs an undeniable momentum—a momentum that seems to carry over to the band itself. Preparing to release its EP among considerable anticipation and with an upcoming appearance at SXSW on the horizon, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake is poised to strike. - advocate

"Images from Red Rocks Show"

Photos of our recent Red Rocks Show! - Brian Carney

"Snake Rattle Rattle Snake"

Working their way up from the somewhat dingy Denver local scene these rockers are making a name for themselves. A name which strikes fear and intrigue in to the hearts of farmiliar fans and newcomers alike.
Since they appeareed at SXSW they have grown significantly in the local area. Since they have played numerous show including the Westword Music Showcase. The band is made up of Hayley Helmericks (Vocals), Wilson Helmericks (Guitar), Doug Spencer (Guitar), James Yardley (Bass Guitar) and duel percussionsist Andrew Warner and Kit Peltzel.
Driven by the unique sound of two percussionist and two guitar players allows them to set up an arrangement that sounds alot like a dark, dirty, sweaty, basement party, full of ghouls, ghosts and spectares to dance with. Hayley Helmerick's deep, raspy vocals are raw but very powerful over the wailing guitars and what sounds like latin percussion. The sound is relatable, not over complicated but unique in its own right.
Their somewhat elusive self titled ep is everything that has come to be expected from their high energy live shows. Since they are locals they are much easier to come by a live show then a hard copy of the ep. and plenty this weekend. The forked tongue rockers will be playing Casselmans Bar, 2620 Walnut Street Denver, CO 80205. For the Denver Film Society's "Reel Social Club" launch party, from 8:00pm till 2:00am. The show is 21+ and $15 per ticket. However if you are a Reel Social Club member then the show is free.
The Reel Social Club membership costs $25 dollars per year. The membership comes with movie viewings, ticket discounts and free popcorn among other benefits. This offer can be found here:
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake will also be opening for Jack Whites newer band The Dead Weather the very next night at the Ogden theatre. Doors for that show open at 7:00pm and cost $32 before service charges and ticket prices raise to $35 the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased at But if you don't mind traveling donwtown for tickets the Ogden box office is open from 10am till 2pm and also open one hour prior to showtime the service charge is generally less if tickets are purchased at the box office. The show is 16+.
In addition to spreading their venomous rocking throughout town they are on the bill for arguably Colorado's largest music gathering, The Mile High Music Festival. They are playing Saturday August 14th, details on stages and schedules will be posted as they become availible.
For moreinformation on Snake Rattle Rattle Snake visit,!/pages/Snake-Rattle-Rattle-Snake/119023984764?v=info. you can also find links to the DFS page as well as information about the Ogden show and Mile High Music Festival as well as all their shows. -

"Snake Rattle Rattle Snake - Snake Rattle Rattle Snake EP"

Collaboration is growing in power within our society. Our world is getting smaller, and we’re better off for it. We come together to provide aid to a country in desparate need, or come together to deliver or receive musical presents, which is at the heart of our humanity.
It’s been less than one year since Snake Rattle Rattle Snake played their first show, but what they’ve delivered in quality a short amount of time is most likely to sell-out the Snake Rattle Rattle Snake 5-song EP release at Hi-Dive (Friday, January 22) with an easy flick of the tongue.

The members of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake are proof positive of the collective nature of Denver’s musical community. Hayley Helmericks, lead singer and keyboardist, and guitarist Doug Spencer came from Monofog, bassist James Yardley from Hawks of Paradise, on dual percussion there’s Kit Pletzel of Mr. Pacman and Space Team Electra plus Andrew Warner from Red Cloud and Bad Luck City, along with Wilson Helmericks, Haley's brother.

Some of those bands were still in existence last summer at Denver Post’s UMS, so these musicians werete bouncing around venues like cats on a hot tin roof.

Despite the myriad of musical influences from all their band backgrounds, the sheer ingenuity in sound Snake Rattle delivers is what has people within Denver and beyond clamoring to see them every time they play.

For starters, Helmericks maneuvers her vocals in a rare way that I can’t say I’ve heard in a long time, if ever. She’s able to make one shiver and sweat in one sitting. It’s as if she’s persuading the words themselves to dance with her, like the seductress in a Bond movie. Except SHE’S the one with the gun and the secret identity, having her martini shaken and sprayed all over the crowd. And they lap it up, intently following every move, every note, every chord.

While Helmericks commands the helm at center stage, this is a unified and choreographed orchestration by all members. Yardley’s bass weaves in and out of the highly palpable guitar sparks from Spencer and Wilson H., echoing at times with the eerie nature of a David Lynch film. The intensity gets to a breaking point and swoop, the precise cacophony of instrumentation and dual percussion from Warner and Pletzel slides down to a pin drop level, but muscles are still tense and isometric.

There’s definitely an opportunity to dance to Snake Rattle, but this about as rock as it gets. This dance requires complete surrender with eyes closed, letting the rhythms direct the head and body (and no, not fucking noodle dancing to fucking jam band crap), along with the willingness to be vibrated down to your spleen.

So if you’re more the quiet type, I would suggest standing closer to the bar at Hi-Dive, because I expect things pretty nuts when Snake Rattle Rattle Snake headlines this Friday, playing with Treeverb and Cannons. If you don’t have tickets already, get on it. - Kaffeine Buzz

"The members of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake may have impressive pedigrees, but they'd rather impress with their music"

Largely comprising veterans of Denver's underground music scene, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake is a bit of a sonic departure for its members. Rather than assemble a clumsy pastiche of space rock, psychedelia, Americana and dark post-punk from past projects, the players created a new sound, one in which icy melodies course over and through interlocking, coiling, streaming rhythms while Hailey Helmericks's vocals accent the dark, bristling electricity of the songs.

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake kicks ass ass kicks.
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake EP release, with Treeverb and Cannon, 9 p.m. Friday, January 22, hi-dive, 7 South Broadway, $6, 720-570-4500.
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Hailey HelmericksDoug SpencerJames YardleyPunk Rock


Although the band began in the fall of 2008 and played its first show on Valentine's Day 2009, it has had no need to rely on its members' laurels. Instead, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake has cultivated an elemental sound and entrancing live performance — the sinuous menace of which is captured well on its debut EP. Recalling early offerings from the Rapture and sounding like Eat to the Beat-era Blondie waxing moodily cinematic, the four-song recording displays the confidence and expansive spirit of this gang of six. We had a chance to speak with the group about its songwriting and how having a history in local music has affected both its reception and its goals.

Westword: You were all friends before forming this band. Because of that, do you feel free to talk about when something doesn't work in a song?

Doug Spencer: I think everyone puts the art first. We're working on this project, and we're trying to craft pieces of music.

Kit Peltzel: At the same time, I think we do all have a strong presence and personality, and we have a lot of ideas. We mishmash, and sometimes we fight for ideas.

Hailey Helmericks: It's all for the benefit of writing a good song.

Whenever anyone writes about your band, they often list the other projects in which some of you have been involved — some of the more prominent bands in underground music in Denver of recent years. Has this helped you in any way?

DS: I think it has opened some doors, because we know people. I don't want all the other bands to overshadow us.

KP: I don't think we feel that the other bands were a factor in this band. The contacts are great, but beyond that, I feel like the band is a new entity beyond our previous projects.

HH: I'm sure it makes people curious. Initially it probably pulled people out to our shows. I'm proud of everything we've ever done.

James Yardley: I think one of our goals in 2010 is to get out of Denver. We're well established here, and we have a lot of friends. And our friends are going to come to our shows, and we're going to get a lot of positive feedback because of that. But we'd also like to play in front of strangers.

HH: It's exciting playing in front of new people.

JY: By playing outside of Denver and getting exposure, hopefully, the synchronicity of the universe will find us playing the right gigs and someone will talk about us to the right person.

Visit for more of our conversation with Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. - Westword

"Best Photos of Denver's Mile High Festival"


"Presenting a half-dozen acts worth keeping an eye on in 2010"

“You could almost power a small, rural town with the buzz being generated by this all-star ensemble. Formed just last spring, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake — comprising Monofog's Hayley Helmericks and Doug Spencer, Andrew Warner of Bad Luck City and Red Cloud, Kit Peltzel of Space Team Electra and Mr. Pacman, James Yardley of Hawks of Paradise and Wilson Helmericks — seems to get better with each gig. Hayley Helmerick's vocals tantalize, caress and terrify, and her fellow Snake charmers cast an ominous pall with brooding bass lines, unrelenting rhythms and guitars that chime, slash and careen — when they're not copping tone from yesteryear's dirtiest-sounding surf-rock passages. The results are as unsettling as they are alluring”. (Dave Herrera , Westword Music Editor) - Westword

"Snake Rattle Rattle Snake packs out Denver's Bluebird Theater--concert review"

Saturday night at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake clearly demonstrated why Westword readers recently voted them "Best New Band."
Formed a little over a year ago by a collective of local underground music veterans, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake has rapidly developed a trademark sound of atmospheric guitars over heavy tribal rhythms, rounded out out by the passionate, lower-register female-rock vocals of Hayley Helmericks. The result is a potent blend containing elements of danceable rave and fist-pumping rock that makes it easy to get lost in the music--all with an edge of danger and a vibe that suggests the band will bite you if you come too close. Their name truly fits them.
The opening acts were a mixed bag of genres. The evening kicked off with Glass Hits, a local hardcore band that shows potential but whose set was a bit muddy sound-wise and arrangement-wise. Next up was Ian Cooke, who brought a complete change of pace with his signature artful eclectic-folk vibe on cello and piano, accompanied by a full band.
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake took the stage after 10:30, playing for over an hour to an energized near-capacity crowd. They played one high-energy tune after another, dual-drummers busy in the background while guitars, occasional keyboards and Helmericks' growling vocals filled in the sonic space. As a front person, Hayley Helmericks is as fun to watch onstage as she is to listen to--moving to the music, clapping, hitting tambourines and shaking her head wildly with a passion reminiscent of Janis Joplin. Throughout the set, the only indication that we were watching a new band was that occasionally they seemed a bit overwhelmed by the size and energy of the crowd, as though the venue was almost too big for them. It didn't stop them from giving their all.
Instead of an encore, Helmericks announced three different times that this was the "last song." Each time, the audience's cheers prompted the band to play another. After the third "last song," Helmericks told the crowd sheepishly, "Those are all the songs we've written!"
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's growth as a band is evident both by their performance Saturday night and by the way they captivated the crowd. Headlining and filling the Bluebird Theater after only a year is a huge achievement in itself, and runing out of songs before your audience runs out of energy is a great "problem" to have. Saturday night's show was a triumph for Snake Rattle Rattle Snake; it won't be long before larger venues won't contain the crowds. This band is definitely one to watch. -

"Colorado Daily"

If you're not intrigued by the name, you will be fascinated by Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's brand of indie rock.

The Denver band's on the new buzz list of Colorado acts. That's why Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's playing a special Friday showcase at the Larimer Lounge.

The group's fusion of percussive beats and eerie rock riffs creates a unique sound package -- and its putting this act on the local radar.

Hayley Helmericks is Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's vocalist and her band's ready to rock the Larimer tonight.

Q: How did your band form out of the Denver music scene?


I started meeting all these bands on the local Denver scene, so we got together and formed Snake Rattle Rattle Snake.

We have members in the group from Monofog, Space Team Electra and Red Cloud West. We all knew each other's music and we essentially became friends first.

Q: Why did the band pick the name Snake Rattle Rattle Snake?

A: It was a play on words and it spoke about we're doing as a band. The name's fun, progressive and strange -- just like our music.

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake plays the Larimer Lounge tonight.
How would you describe your band's very interesting music?

A: Our music is spooky surf and carnival music. It's kind of dancey and it really moves -- we definitely see people moving around at our shows.

There's a dark aspect to our lyrics, tunes and sounds. And, we're also a very polyrhythmic band. We have two drummers and that creates this driving percussive sound.

We have this rock and electric aspect to the music, but at the core of it all, we're really a rock 'n' roll band.

Q: How is your band creating its buzz?

A: We just put out a four-song EP. We had a record release party at the hi-dive a few weeks ago. Making that EP was a big move for us. It's definitely a snapshot of where we are as a band.

Our next big thing will be playing South By Southwest in March. We're going to be playing the Mile Hi-Fidelity showcase. From there, we plan to record a full-length CD and do lots of touring in 2010.

Q: How hard is it being a band in this economy?

A: We all have day jobs, and we just save up the money we make at shows and put it in our band fund. We've used the money for recording, and it will get us down to Austin for South By Southwest. It's definitely hard to work full-time and do a band, but we're doing what we love.

Read more:

Read more:
- Colorado Daily

"Catch Snake Rattle Rattle Snake and a hundred or so of the best local acts at the 16th Annual Westword Music Showcase this Saturday, June 19"

Catch Snake Rattle Rattle Snake and a hundred or so of the best local acts at the 16th Annual Westword Music Showcase this Saturday, June 19
By Jason Heller Thursday, Jun 17 2010
"When we were in high school in Fort Collins, Hayley and I would play guitar for each other on the railroad tracks behind my house," remembers Doug Spencer, guitarist of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. Then he laughs. "She'd always sing about this jerk that she liked."

That jerk, of course, wound up being Spencer. Now married, he and singer/keyboardist Hayley Helmericks form the core of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, one of Denver's hottest new indie-rock bands. Since playing its first show in early 2009, the brooding yet electrifying sextet — which also includes bassist James Yardley, guitarist/keyboardist (and Hayley's brother) Wilson Helmericks and dual drummers Kit Peltzel and Andrew Warner — has built a steady buzz that culminated in being crowned Westword's Best New Band in 2010.

Making music together, though, is nothing new for Spencer and Helmericks. It's been ten years since the couple founded Monofog, the first of many groups they've shared over the past decade (including the massive ensemble Moonspeed, the one project they've been part of that doesn't revolve around the pair's songwriting). Viewed as a whole, these groups form a single animal — one that, like Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's namesake, sheds its skin from time to time to reveal a fresher, brighter incarnation.

"We started dating when I was seventeen and he was eighteen," Helmericks recalls. "I had always played guitar and stuff like that, and when I got out of high school, I started hanging around with Doug's little crew while they were playing music and stuff, and I quickly realized I wanted to play music with the boys, too."

Spencer was in a punk band at the time that bore the inspired name Jake Fucking Jabs. After Helmericks started attending Colorado State University, she moved in with Spencer — as well as the rest of his bandmates, all of whom shared a house in Fort Collins, complete with a basement practice space.

"That was the start of Monofog," says Helmericks. "I think that's what it came down to, living in a place where there were always drums and amps set up. I had no problem abandoning the acoustic guitar. Doug and I never really had to sit down and think when it came to writing songs together. It was all pretty natural from there."

Monofog's sprawling, unvarnished post-punk showed plenty of promise, and Helmericks's rich voice and poetic lyrics evoked a young, hungry Patti Smith. But the band didn't make much of a dent in the local scene. Says Helmericks, "We were in our little Fort Collins bubble. There wasn't a lot going on up there except our friends who were playing music. We would come down to Denver to see touring bands, but we weren't really involved in any sort of scene at that point."

The band sputtered out completely in 2003 when drummer Lucas Rouge moved out of Colorado, but the remains of Monofog morphed into the short-lived project Ready Machete before reforming under the old name in 2005. During that tumultuous time, Spencer's guitar lines had become leaner and sharper. And Helmericks, in addition to honing her voice into an even more cryptic yet compelling force, started playing the keyboard, a moody-sounding instrument that was carried over into the resurrected Monofog.

"I think Ready Machete and Monofog kind of collided," says Spencer. "We couldn't just go back to what we had been doing before Ready Machete. There was still some life left there."

Helmericks agrees: "That last Monofog record we did in 2007, Runner, has half Monofog-style songs. The other half is stuff that trickled in from Ready Machete. A lot of it has to do with those keyboards. When we transitioned back in to Monofog from Ready Machete, I kept playing keys. I just like doing it. That's why I still do it in Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. It's a good songwriting tool."

That tool would come in handy when, in 2008, Spencer and Helmericks realized Monofog was drifting apart for the second time. Although building a lot more momentum since relocating to Denver — and embarking on a few brief tours — cracks in the previously tight-knit band were starting to show.

"We were happy and revitalized due to being in a new place," says Helmericks. "We wrote a lot of new songs here, but at a certain point we kind of stopped. Touring wasn't really in the cards. We did it a few times, but nothing really came of it. We recorded and put out Runner, but after that record came out, we kind of lost steam. We'd get to band practice, and we'd just want to hang out together. When we tried playing music, we'd all just get kind of grumpy, so we were like, 'Let's just keep drinking beers and hanging out.'"

"No one ever said, 'Let's stop playing for a while.' We just kind of did," Spencer recalls. " I remember Lucas saying that we just loved each other too much. If we didn't care about each other, we probably could have broken it off cleaner."

During that downturn, Spencer and Helmericks revived an acoustic project called Sweet Tooth Meat Tooth that they'd formed years before in Fort Collins. Not only did it keep the creative bond strong between the two, but it gave Helmericks a much-needed opportunity to crank the vocals down a notch.

"In Monofog, I felt like some of us wanted to rock so hard," she says. "Sometimes I was like, 'I think I have a pretty good singing voice, but I'm sick of screaming all the time.' That was a pretty minor concern, but it did drive a wedge into things."

In 2007 and 2008, Sweet Tooth Meat Tooth played a few shows. The modest duo, though, soon outgrew its format. Warner and Wilson Helmericks were gradually added to the mix, and it wasn't long before the band realized it had turned into an entirely fresh entity. The newly dubbed Snake Rattle Rattle Snake began playing in early 2009, and the expanded roster — including Yardley and Peltzel, whose electronic drums intertwine with Warner's acoustic kit — built on the seething, shadowy music of Monofog while somehow streamlining the whole sound.

"When Snake Rattle Rattle Snake started practicing and writing songs, we were like, 'Oh man, this is kind of fun. This is where we want to put our energy,'" says Spencer. "Everyone in the band really adds a lot. The idea was, let's make this a fun project. Let's make it physical and base it around that."

And although Spencer is hesitant to use the word "dancey" to describe the SRRS sound — captured beautifully on the band's self-titled debut EP from early this year — Helmericks is less shy on the subject: "If someone's inclined to do the d-word while we're playing, that's great."

Both of them, though, are a bit more leery of another oversimplified tag: goth. As Helmericks explains, "Doug has always written weird, darkish things, and that's what I've always attempted to write, for whatever reason. We're not big fans of the major chords. The music's not so weird that it's inaccessible, though."

"I'm always trying to be a creep," adds Spencer with a laugh. "There is some goth leaking out of us. Oozing out."

With a new, two-song single being released soon — one that features the slashing, syncopated "Dead Man's World" and the hauntingly spacious "Ornament" — Snake Rattle Rattle Snake has already staked a claim for itself far outside of any easy pigeonholes. And with a full decade of playing together behind them, Spencer and Helmericks are able to look back and appraise their long, ever-evolving past — not to mention their future.

"If anything ever happened to this band, we'd still keep doing some kind of music together," says Helmericks. "This music just feels natural to us."

Spencer seconds that emotion. "Making music together is a big part of how me and Hayley's relationship works," he says. "I remember we were up at Black Hawk once, and we saw this old couple in the casino playing some show tunes together. I told Hayley, 'Get ready for this. In twenty years, that's you and me.'" - Westword

"2010 UMS: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake basks in a dark limelight They're tight, driven ... and this year's No. 1"

It's rock 'n' roll's most legit adage: The best bands are the ones that make music because they have to, because they're driven to.

Brooding rock six-piece Snake Rattle Rattle Snake came together in early 2009 out of a shared need to play together. Their intimate relationships are obvious when you see them on stage. So it's hardly surprising to learn of the intimacies within this group of six Denver musicians. Friends. Lovers. Siblings. And bandmates.

"There were no auditions with Snake," drummer Kit Peltzel said last week, pint in hand on a downtown Denver patio. "There were no ads placed for 'Bass player wanted.' It formed out of friendships."

"Everybody fit in this group as a necessity," guitarist Doug Spencer continued.

When Snake Rattle Rattle Snake plays two big shows at next weekend's 10th annual Denver Post Underground Music Showcase — The UMS, which runs Thursday-July 25 on South Broadway — the Denver act will take the stage as the No. 1 underground band in Colorado, as voted on by a panel of local-music enthusiasts.

It's been a big year for Snake, a darkly melodic post-punk band that makes you want to dance. In the past six months, Snake received the Westword cover treatment and an assist from local band manager Bart Dahl, who helped hook them with a date at the Mile High Music Festival in August. They were scheduled to open for the Dead Weather last night at the Ogden, and they also have a date with Film on The Rocks later this summer.

This recognition via the Denver Post Underground Music Poll cements 2010 as the summer of the Snake.

"My attitude on this summer is, let's live in this moment," said frontwoman Hayley Helmericks, "because this is a pretty amazing summer we have ahead of us, and I don't wanna (expletive) with it."

Catching the next wave

Helmericks' philosophy seems to be working. Snake is happening — right now. The band's unusual approach to rock recalls for fans of alternative rock a sexier Joy Division, a less spastic Gossip and a four-on-the-floor Hole. Its sound is very current — next- wave, even. There aren't enough rock bands that inspire dance parties, but like a modernized (if less anthemic) Jefferson Airplane, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake makes you move.

This is a group of musicians that's not afraid to talk about recording, labels, touring and anything else that gets its music heard outside of Colorado — an ambitious slate and a fresh take on the group's natural ties to the dearly departed band that was known as Monofog.

"Touring is the next big step all Denver bands are forced to take, but actually very few do," bassist James Yardley said. "It's
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake (Lisa Gedgaudas)
a different kind of commitment level. But we're all committed."

Snake's story starts in Fort Collins in the '90s, when Helmericks first met Spencer. They started making music together after high school, and that became Monofog, an angular rock group that seduced rock clubs with its post-punk jams and Helmericks' sticky alto and undeniable stage presence for nearly 10 years.

After a decade and many incarnations, Monofog eventually split. But a move from northern Colorado to Denver for Helmericks and Spencer meant closer proximity to Helmericks' brother, Wilson, some musicians they admired, including drummer Andrew Warner, and a scene they loved. The siblings Helmericks, Spencer and Warner started practicing and writing songs together when they eventually got a knock on the door at their practice space.

"I remember hearing you guys rehearse through the wall," Peltzel said to his bandmates, "and I wanted to rock. I knew it wasn't Monofog this time, but I heard Hayley's voice, and it sounded great."

The band already had a drummer in Warner. But that didn't mean they couldn't have two — Warner on a traditional kit and Peltzel on an electronic kit.

"Being able to have that extra set of hands when you can't get to something is huge," said Warner, who first saw Peltzel rock the two-drummer approach years ago with the Denver Gentlemen. "It was cool when Kit came in. It was like, 'Wow he's doing all this stuff that I could never do.' "

And then there were six

Yardley joined the fold after another player didn't work out, and then there were six. The band's name was initially a joke of Spencer's — a proposed name he pitched to a friend's band. (He later reneged his offer and kept it for his own project.) Now each member is dedicated to making the band happen — with unspoken dreams that involve particular labels and specific producers.

They seem to have the kind of shared vision that could make it happen, too.

"I'd like for these guys to be my future," Spencer said of the group.

That goes without saying when you're married to the singer and are brother-in-law to the other guitarist. Yes, longtime sweethearts Hayley Helmericks and Spencer are now married. Wilson Helmericks and Yardley will soon be roommates. Close friendships abound — including Peltzel and Warner, who are brothers in percussion. Of course there are the Helmericks siblings, of whom Hayley is two years Wilson's senior.

Even though these musicians have played in countless Denver/Fort Collins groups, only a few are still active — primarily Moonspeed (for Helmericks, Spencer and Peltzel) and Bad Luck City (for Warner).

"Denver is super-incestuous with people playing in tons of bands," Warner noted.

"But it's called community, not incest," Hayley Helmericks interrupted. "I hate the word incest when referring to bands."

The members have few problems speaking their minds — perhaps because of their pre-existing friendships, love affairs and familial ties. The siblings, for example, shared heated words at band rehearsal the night before our interview. But 24 hours later over beers and whiskey, all was back to normal.

"We're not afraid to call each other out at times, for better or for worse," Wilson Helmericks said of his relationship with his sister. "It's always for the benefit of the music. And we have the opportunity to be honest because we're related."

Added his sister, "And I'm sure that honesty makes other people uncomfortable at times." - The Denver Post

"Q&A with Snake Rattle Rattle Snake"

The membership roster of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake includes former (and current, in the case of Andrew Warner) members of bands that left an indelible mark on the underground music scene in Colorado, acts like Space Team Electra, Red Cloud, Bad Luck City, Monofog, Hawks of Paradise and V-Tech Orchid.


Rather than taking bits and pieces of any of those bands, this quintet forged something markedly different. The songs are marked by flowing, textured rhythms that trace a propulsive, dancing cadence beneath brooding atmospheres, punctuated by pointed vocals. Although easy comparisons could be made to early offerings from the Rapture, with some aesthetic nods toward LCD Soundsystem, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake is darker than all of that, while embracing how that music is written for the dance floor.

We recently had a chat with the band about its use of two drummers, how friendship within the band affects the songwriting and the group's aspirations beyond the confines of Denver proper. Read the full interview after the jump.
Westword (Tom Murphy): Where did you record your new EP?

Andrew Warner: Briny Deep Studio with Greg Kammerer. It's mostly a digital set-up with a couple of pieces of analog equipment.

Westword: Why do you have two drummers and do you both have separate roles as percussionists?

Kit Peltzel: Andrew plays the acoustic sounds and I play the electronic sounds. We hold the bass drum down together. I do a lot of stuff that floats over the top like handclaps and bright sounds and he just does tribal badass-ness. Sometimes I throw in deep tribal stuff along the way too.

Andrew: I think the best part about working with another drummer is that you don't always have to take on the same roles that you traditionally do when you're the only drummer where you hold the backbeat down and provide texture. With this arrangement you can always jump back and just be color in a song. There are opportunities for each person to take the helm when we need to.

Kit: One thing I've noticed is that we do this call and response thing the more that we play together he'll come up with a phrase and I'll respond to it and vice versa.

Andrew: I don't know if "tribal" is wrong, but the rhythms are always going - there's not a lot of time when the drums stop but there are a few times when one drummer can take that lead role. It's pretty exciting as a drummer for that to happen because you almost never get to do that.

Hailey Helmericks: It depends on the song too. There are songs where Kit will carry it a lot and in others, Andrew carries it more. It opens up a lot more possibilities in terms of mood.

Andrew: It's also great that I'm not playing to a machine. Even though the sounds are electronic, they're still really organic the way we play so when we're on we can lock on. I have a definite sway in my timing, which is to say that I'm pretty terrible [laughs]. But we can catch each other.

Westword: James, do you play off Kit and Andrew or do you play more melodic bass?

James Yardley: I play off these guys but I'd say I play melodic too. I just try to find a groove that works. There's so much room for expression with everyone.

Westword: You've submitted to South By Southwest? Have you heard back about whether or not you've been accepted?

Hailey: No, we haven't heard yet but we're going anyway. We're playing a party and we'll try to get on a few others.

James: We're probably going to play Mile High Fidelity--that thing Adam Lancaster does every year. Overcasters played it last year. We may play with The Fresh and Onlys, Wymond Miles' latest band.

Westword: You were all friends before forming this band. Because of that, do you feel free to talk about when something doesn't work in a song?

Doug Spencer: I think everyone puts the art first. We're working on this project and we're trying to craft pieces of music.

Kit: At the same time I think we do all have strong presence and personality and we have a lot of ideas. We mish-mash and sometimes we fight for ideas.

Hailey: It's all for the benefit of writing a good song.

Westword: Wilson, you play both keyboard and guitar, when did you start doing that?

Wilson Helmericks: I've been playing guitar since I was fifteen, synth and keyboard for about four or five years. The synth came about Doug and I played guitar together and I wanted to buy a Nord Lead so I did. I brought it into the mix and I use it as a rhythm instrument and used it to reinforce the rhythm guitar ideas, backing the harmony and provide more texture--coating the sound even more and getting away from traditional guitar.

Westword: James, you play bass for this band. Is there a primary instrument you play?

James: Bass is the instrument that I started playing music with. My first band I think was called Misanthrope. I was fifteen and it was just a straight up punk rock band back in San Diego. I got more into indie rock when I moved to Colorado because of the skate boarding culture. I lived in Palisade, which is a weird coincidence because Hailey and Wilson were born there. My mom moved us there in 1999. She had a job as a flight attendant. She commuted by plane. She wanted out of the rat race. I think this band has a lot of that spirit of punk music we grew up with - Fugazi and stuff like that. I also think we have a lot of dark atmosphere and moodiness.

Westword: Whenever anyone writes about your band they often list the other projects of which some of you have been involved--some of the more prominent bands in underground music in Denver of recent years. Has this helped you in any way?

Doug: I think it has opened some doors because we know people. I don't want all the other bands to overshadow us.

Kit: I don't think we feel that the other bands we were a factor in this band. The contacts are great but beyond that I feel like the band is a new entity beyond our previous projects.

Hailey: I'm sure it makes people curious. Initially it probably pulled people out to our shows. I'm proud of everything we've ever done.

James: I think one of our goals in 2010 is to get out of Denver. We're well established here and we have a lot of friends and our friends are going to come to our shows and we're going to get a lot of feedback because of that. We'd like to play in front of strangers.

Hailey: It's exciting playing in front of new people.

James: Playing outside of Denver and getting exposure, hopefully the synchronicity of the universe will find us playing the right gigs and someone will talk about us to the right person who can pull it off. - Westword

"Bartender Blogs: Hornets and Snake Rattle Rattle Snake (plus bonus SRRS vid!)"

The smell of a thousand dead hornets decaying in the little space above my kitchen cabinets has left me in a thoughtful mood presently. The smell isn’t quite dead animal smell – it’s dead insect smell: an odor normally so minute that it would never register, but multiplied by a thousand, it reeks horribly.

The scary part was that before the exterminator came, I heard this faint noise in the kitchen above the cabinets that sounded like if you were to ball up a plastic grocery bag and let it re-expand next to your ear. To think I held my ear right up to the little crack where only a centimeter of wood veneer separated me from a thousand living hornets.

Consistency, Oscar Wilde said, is the last refuge of the unimaginative. The things we do can become so tedious at times – so incipient that we don’t even realize it. Then life puts hornets in your roof and you realize it’s time to stir things up a bit.

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake is stirring things up and I like it. Their songs are complex, tying together two percussionists, two guitars, a bass and keys it explores weaving rhythms and spacey riffs, but you won’t find the audience droning out and bobbing their heads – people are dancing. The mood in the music is driving, infectious, fun and it feels new.

It’s no wonder that the members all come from other great local bands (like Monofog, FYI). These are the imaginative doing something inconsistent just to see what happens. Bless them for it, and bless those damn hornets too for making life a little more interesting.

Keep drinking and rocking,
The Bartender

- DonnyBrook Writing Academy

"303 Magazine Interviews Snake Rattle Rattle Snake page 64"

See Page 64 - 303 Magazine

"Best New Band - 2010 Snake Rattle Rattle Snake"

Since its name suggests motion and lethal grace, it shouldn't be surprising that this band — which includes former members of Monofog, Red Cloud and Space Team Electra — would make music to match. Arch lyrics accompanying dynamic polyrhythms and hazily incandescent atmospheres combine in vibrantly fluid songs that are a marvel in blended contradictions. Frontwoman Hayley Helmericks cuts a figure both savage and sensitive while shifting between darkly melodic singing and forcefully declarative statements. Don't be surprised if this Snake stretches far from Denver over the course of the year: The act's talent more than measures up to its ambition. - Westword


Self Titled EP
Ornament 7" single



Denver’s Snake Rattle Rattle Snake create music steeped in the darkness, perpetually dodging the sunny sheen of pop tendencies in favor of the shadows. Singer Hayley Helmericks, guitarist Doug Spencer, guitarist/keyboardist Wilson Helmericks, bassist James Yardley and drummer Andrew Warner walk suredly down that partly cloudy street and the result is the band’s first full length album Sineater.

The record, the first release by Denver startup label The Greater Than Collective, is a black tapestry of pulsing, macabre rock n’ roll that feels as if it is being slowly slashed apart by bright head-nodding hooks---deconstructing the sinister underbelly only to sew it back together.

At its opening, guitars weave together playfully on “Hastily” and as the song progresses an ominous mood is brought on and carried through to such key tracks as “NOPD” and “Break the Same” with the help of growling bass and pounding drums. Helmericks’ skilled vocals are the powerful constant, providing a seamlessness as the album moves from the dance-floor-jungle “Kafka and the Milk” to the cooing, frightening calm of “Warning”.

Sineater was written, recorded and produced by Snake Rattle Rattle Snake themselves and its release is an important benchmark for a band that has already recieved several accolades. 303 Magazine and The Denver Post both named them “Band of the Year” in 2010 and weekly Westword dubbed them “Best Indie Rock” band in 2011.

In addition to recording a Daytrotter Session, playing the historic Red Rocks Ampitheatre and headlining many local venues, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake has shared the stage with notable national acts as The Rapture, The Dead Weather, Devotchka, Pink Mountaintops, Wovenhand and The Fresh and Onlys.