-First published on Discover Parkland–
A band that is set to release its first full-length album and go on a month long tour around the country has some roots in Parkland.
Steven Perez, the bassist and back-up vocalist of Says the Snake, used to live in an apartment on Garfield Street and graduated from Franklin Pierce High School in 2008.
Lead singer Sarah Furry and drummer Paco Ruiz started writing music and together formed the band in 2011. Perez joined the band close to a year and a half ago.
Although the band went through a bit of a setback when their lead guitarist had to quit for personal reasons, they now have found a stellar new guitarist—one of their own fans.
Evan Hansch started out as a devoted fan, going to the band’s first show. When the group found out he was a talented musician himself, they recruited him to be their lead guitarist.
“Evan may barely have money for food, but he still makes sure he has enough for a lesson,” Perez says of their new band mate.
Furry and Perez explain how Hansch has quickly become an integral part of the group. He has even started to contribute to song writing and has put his own twist on some of the lyrics.
“He just fits,” states Perez of their newest member. “It’s really the first band I’ve been a part of where we can just bounce ideas off of each other.”
The new 14-track album, Make Amends, drops on June 28, the same day Says the Snake kicks off their tour. Furry explains the album is a way of, “Purging negativity from the past.”
Perez nods enthusiastically in agreement and adds, “We’re a fairly socially aware band… we don’t like to write about the same stuff.”
Furry explains how even though some of their lyrics may seem cynical or negative, they really aim to bring issues to the forefront and talk about them through their music.
“Peace, love, and understanding,” Perez says about the band’s message.
Furry notes that something that sets this group apart from others is its lack of genre conformity.
“We aren’t really image-conscious… we’re not trying to fit into any niche,” she states. “And we’re not willing to sacrifice authenticity,” Perez chimes in.
The lack of a specific genre has the band trying out new styles that range anywhere from jazz to metal.
But no matter how the band changes shape in the future, they hope to always stay genuine and true to their own style.
Asserts Furry, “[This] might be our success and might be our downfall… it’s really just up to whoever decides to love us and whoever decides to hate us.”
It’s clear that the band members interact seamlessly and get along well. Perez and Furry explain how the two of them, “Speak the same language,” when it comes to writing music.
Their lyrics are very intentional and they are more like poetry than just stringing words together on a page.
But more than writing songs, the band has an infectious energy that radiates from them. A side conversation between Perez and Furry highlights their compatibility.
“I like your lows… they remind me of a gorilla fighting a rhino inside of a whale,” Perez says of Furry’s incredible vocal range.
So what makes for a successful show?
“Gaining one fan for life,” Furry states without hesitation. “Oh, and tremendous amounts of sweat.”
Although he smiles in agreement, Perez has a slightly different take on it. “I think if I hurt myself it’s a good show… that was a big problem the first year, I kept running into her,” he laughs.
“I try to treat every performance like it’s my last,” Perez states.
The group frequents El Corazon in Seattle and they recall some of their best shows there. Before the opportunity arose to go on tour, the band played with some big names in the industry.
Hands Like Houses, My Ticket Home, and Butcher babies are just a few on the long list. They’ve also opened for Mark Tremonti, who played guitar for Creed.
The group kicks off their tour the same day their album drops. On June 28th they will begin traveling all over with shows from Montana to Colorado, all the way to Texas and all the way back up the west coast.
When he is not making music or working his day job, Perez paints in his spare time. He even designed the album artwork for their first CD. The entire group is going to get the album cover tattooed on their bodies.
In order to raise funds to help pay for the cost of the album, the band has started a Kickstarter. Although there’s only about a week left to donate, the band hopes that the funding will come through.
Although originally opposed to asking for help with funding the album, Perez and his band members realized that the kickstarter, “Coincided with our message, which is connection to people.”
For only five dollars you can get your face in the album. “It’s a way to be humbled and show how appreciative we are,” Perez states.
The excitement radiates off the band members as they talk with enthusiasm about their music. And one thing is clear, this is not just a passing phase, it’s their lifelong passion.
The cohesiveness of the group and their shared love for music is evident, and their message of positivity is something they hope to share with their audience.
Furry explains, “There’s always a positive to a negative… I think that’s something everyone should live by.”