Monkey Fightin’ Snakes are a rock band from Toronto Canada
We formed in 2011.
Our sound is part “Grand Funk” part “Kings Of Leon” part “Wheezer” and part “Cream”.
Our members are:
Matthew Davies – Guitar, Dobro, Banjo, Ukelele, Pedal Steel, Lead Vocals and Songs
Dave Stoyles – Bass, Guitar, Button Box, Souzaphone, Trombone and Backing Vocals
Darren Atkinson – Drums, Percussion, Mayhem and Backing Vocals
Rich Best – Congas, Djembe, Extra Percussions
Once upon a time, the nephew of legendary Canadian author
Robertson Davies married Neil Young’s first cousin, Penny Young.
Those are Matthew’s parents. He’s been writing stories and songs his whole life.
In addition to being a straight ahead “Guitar – Bass – Drums” kind of band, we take our listeners on a journey with many dynamic highs and lows that feature our other acoustic instruments like Dobro, Button Box Accordion, and Trombone.
We played 20 shows in 2014 including a 7 show tour of Europe.
We are nice guys.
Matthew Davies has been around music and writing his whole life, starting to play at 5, writing his first song at 8, and joining his first band at 11. In 1976 his parents divorce sent him to live in California. In 1981 he returned to Canada, dropped out of high school, and began playing around Toronto in bars and seedy dives. “I never once played the ‘family connection card’ to try and get a gig” he said recently. “I would rather make it on my own merits”. After a couple of years of starving, Matthew went to college as a recording engineer. “I figured that at least I’d be around music that way, and it might lead to other things”. His hunch paid off when he was working as an audio engineer for television and film. “I was mixing an independent feature film, and there was a scene that really needed some music, but the composer hadn’t written any, so I did. When the producer came to our session, I played him the scene with the new score and he loved it. He asked if we could get the rights and I said ‘I have the rights…I wrote it’ and I’ve been writing music for a living pretty much since then.” Davies has never had a lesson, nor does he read music.
Monkey Fightin’ Snakes was formed in 2011 when Matthew Davies and Dave Stoyles started jamming. “I had been going through a really fertile period of song writing, and wanted to start working out the songs with some fresh ears… Dave is the nicest guy and although he didn’t play bass, he was so musical, and I knew we had something. Plus, he really liked single malt scotch, so…”
Dave had in fact been playing many different instruments for years…button box accordion, souzaphone, trombone, guitar and had even been the leader of the marching band at the University Of Western Ontario. Dave and Matthew played regularly for about 2 years, when by some grand design, they met drummer Darren Atkinson.
Darren, like Matthew and Dave, is a father, and had been arranging a play date for his and Matthew’s 6 year old sons. When Matthew’s wife Ginette met Darren, she said “Matthew, You’ve got to meet this guy.” Darren was the perfect fit, with his love of Bonham, Ringo, Nigel Olsson, and most notably, Keith Moon, he had the sound the duo had been after. In fact, there is a legendary, corroborated story of a young Darren playing the drums on Roger Daltrey’s lawn at 7 AM in an attempt to join The Who during the late 80’s. A seasoned professional, Darren put the back beat into the sound and, after watching the TV edit of “Snakes On A Plane”, Monkey Fightin’ Snakes was born.
Former member of the band include:
Daniel Szabo – Drums, Backing Vocals, Guitar
Eric Szabo – Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass