Snakehealers PROFILE

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Formed: 2011
Hometown: Gainesville, FL
Upcoming Shows: 0

Snakehealers is the brainchild of Devon Stuart Vlasin and Chad Smith, both formerly of Gainesville’s outlaw country band The Takers. After the The Takers called it quits in late 2010, the two continued writing and sharing songs in Chad’s shaky, second-story apartment in Gainesville’s “student ghetto.” Once they polished enough of those CTJ’s, “certified tyte jams”, they decided it was time to add the pieces needed to create the entire vision. They were determined to be decisively particular in their selections as to not return to the pigeonholed pitfall that they were running from. The drummer was predetermined during a tour with Gainesville’s own Liquid Limbs. Devon and Limb’s drummer Chase Permann outlasted, ie outdrank, everyone else at an after party following a show in Athens and amongst a dune of soulless beer cans Devon asked Chase to be the drummer for his never produced solo album. Almost a year later the three began practicing at Chase’s band room at The Junkyard, a DIY spot and Chase’s residence, in eastside Gainesville. After a month of bass-less jam sessions it was time to fill the void. A list of potential pickers was formed and narrowed down based upon a basic set of guidelines: has to be a finger player, has to be able to sing back-ups, has to be able to hang, and has to be in no more than one other band. The list failed. A name kept coming up during the search, so they decided to go check out the guy’s band and bust a hang with him. He was relatively unfamiliar to all of them, but after the show and a little bar stool banter they invited him to the next practice. Mike Alligood was asked to join the band by the end of that practice. With the chessboard set up, the songs were played to an exponential degree. The collective idea was to not play a show until the songs were worked out to their fullest potential, demoed, reworked and everyone was comfortable with the results. Five months passed and it was time. However, there was a slight snag in the next step, the dreaded band name. Hundreds of names were kicked around, possibly thousands. Following a Youtube marathon of videos documenting southern Pentecostals, known as snakehandlers, Devon sent a text to the other dudes with one word, Snakehandlers. The next dilemma was procured following a Google search of that word. There were 10 other bands with that name. Chad suggested a combo of snakehandlers and faith healers, and all of the problems were vanquished. Collectively, once again, it was decided to play the first couple of shows out of town to road test the set and the songs. In April of 2011, they embarked on a three day run with fellow Gainesvillians The Future Now. Returning from the run, some of the songs were reworked again and some were cut completely. The first Gainesville show was anxiously booked for May 20, 2011. It was a success and born were Snakehealers.