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"I know, I know." He said when prodded about the tattoo. "Now it's like Stockton, but I don't care."
Cobra High arrived in Fresno fresh from a disastrous non-show at Jerry's Pizza in Bakersfield where, due to a series of miscommunications and missteps by a local promoter, the band didn't even get to play. After several hours of sitting on the front steps of Bakersfield's infamous pizza parlor/rock venue, Cobra High decided they had done enough waiting around. They cruised up 99 for their next gig: The 548, one of Fresno's many backyard garage venues.
"We've reached the hard part of the tour here," said Schwartz, referring to the group's foray into the Central Valley and away from established tour routes through LA and SF. "But this gig [at the 548] is actually turning out to be pretty good. It beats sitting around Bakersfield getting stared at by guys with neck tattoos."
Currently based in Seattle, the band could quickly become indie darlings based on looks alone: cool tattoos, artfully ripped jeans, and skateboarding injuries.
"We took up skating again," said Schwartz. "It's hard ... We're going to San Luis Obispo tomorrow to skate some ditch."
Famous asked bassist and San Luis Obispo native, Colin Roper, what's up with the ditch. In the middle of a cell phone call, he covered the phone with his left hand, paused and mumbled, "It's cool."
Referring, presumably, to the ditch.
Drummer Marty Lund limped around the cozy 548 backyard, spending the duration of the opening act's set lurching from garage, to bathroom, to the 12 pack of Bud Light artfully hidden behind the bass drum. He somehow hurt is ankle while skating in San Jose.
"The people that look at it keep telling me horror stories. That I tore a ligament or something."
Famous asked to take a look at the injury.
"No. It's pretty gross."
What sets Cobra High's music apart from the herd of other next big things is the keyboard collection- four of them, one for each member of the band.
Justin Schwartz pounds away on a vintage Juno synthesizer throughout the entire show, punctuating each retro sounding blast with wild punches towards the sky.
While it might seem odd for rock shows of this caliber to take place on a quiet suburban corner, it didn't phase Cobra High.
Nobody in the neighborhood knew it, but they were in for a big block party.
Midway through the set, a couple walked in from the street, child in tow. Curious and a bit unnerved at first, they approached tentatively, but in no time at all Cobra High had won them over. Middle-aged booties were swaying back and forth. The man waved his index finger towards the sky as if it were covered in a giant foam number "1" glove. Heads bobbed as the hum of distorted amplifiers spread across the block.
The woman yelled over the 4-piece tumult of distorted keyboards, guitar riffs, bass lines, and snare fills, "They're good."
"They're good. The band is good, but I like the drummer. The drummer is stone cold."
Famous couldn't help but shake its booty and wave our big number one in agreement. Cobra High is stone cold.
Cobra High's webpage can be found at www.cobrahigh.org