It's the holiday season and John Reis is in the giving mood, so rather than performing only as part of the headlining act Sunday at Alex's Bar in Long Beach with his group Hot Snakes, the guitarist is also opening the show with his band the Night Marchers. This doubling-up might not sound like such a big deal, but the matinee marks just the second time in his career – which includes stints in Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, the Sultans and Pitchfork – when he'll have played in two bands on the same stage. Reis isn't concerned about tiring during Hot Snakes' set and says he's looking forward to performing back-to-back.
Visually speaking, there isn't much difference between Hot Snakes and the Night Marchers. Reis plays guitar in Hot Snakes with singer/guitarist Rick Froberg, bassist Gar Wood and drummers Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba, and sings and plays guitar in the Night Marchers with Wood (who switches to guitar), Kourkounis and bassist Tommy Kitsos. Sonically, however, Hot Snakes favor primitive, bashing rhythms and down-strummed cacophony while the Night Marchers deploy a straight-ahead, barf-it-out brand of rock'n'roll that would please both Bo Diddley and the Real Kids.
"It's going to be harder for Jason,” Reis says, "but it'll be easier for everyone else. We play chronologically, so I don't know what we're going to do.”