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Biography

Centred originally around the core of ex-WHITESNAKE guitarists MICKY MOODY and BERNIE MARSDEN. THE SNAKES performed numerous club shows playing exclusively WHITESNAKE material. The guitar pairing had initially been working up a proposed band titled SAINTS AND SINNERS with erstwhile WHITESNAKE and BLACK SABBATH refugees bassist Neil Murray and COZY POWELL plus American vocalist John West. Powell's own solo album with West put an end to this venture.

For the 'Once Bitten' album, released only in Japan, three Norwegians, including ex-VAGABOND vocalist JORN LANDE, were drafted in and production duties were handled by TNT guitarist Ronnie Le Tekro. TNT's keyboard player Dan Stokke engineered the album.

By 1999 the band had evolved into COMPANY OF SNAKES with the guitar duo joined by ex WHITESNAKE and BLACK SABBATH bassist Neil Murray and former RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH and WHITESNAKE keyboard player Don Airey. The new band was fronted by none other than erstwhile BAD COMPANY singer ROBERT HART.

The band put in a high profile showing at the gargantuan annual German Wacken festical with former MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and STATETROOPER vocalist Gary Barden at the helm. However, the resulting live album would see new Swedish vocalist Stefan Berggren, of the suitably titled SNAKES IN PARADISE, re-recording the vocal parts for the resulting live album.

Airey opted out in June to pursue activities with ULI JON ROTH on a more permanent basis (subsequently to join DEEP PURPLE) and in his stead came Josh Phillips as COMPANY OF SNAKES got to grips with a further studio album. The keyboard position would then find itself in the hands of Adam Wakeman, son of legendary YES maestro RICK WAKEMAN.

Murray, Marsden and Moody, also been known to gig as THE MAJESTICAIRES, founded M3 in March of 2003, a union with former BLACK SABBATH frontman TONY MARTIN. This new unit, which included Josh Phillips, previously with BIG COUNTRY, and Jimmy Copley of the PAUL RODGERS band, was assembled primarily to perform classic WHITESNAKE songs on the European tour circuit.

That same year Berggren made a return to the scene fronting up RAZORBACK, a collaboration with the industrious guitarist ROLF MUNKES, having credits with EMPIRE, VANIZE and MAJESTY, ex-SHYLOCK guitarist Chris Heun and the erstwhile VANIZE rhythm section of bassist Marcus Bielenberg and drummer Pierre Fienhold.

Lande went on to operate ARK with the YNGWIE MALMSTEEN band musicians bassist Randy Coven, also of HOLY MOTHER, keyboard player Mats Olausson and drummer John Maculuso (also of TNT) together with former CONCEPTION guitarist Tøre Ostby. JORN LANDE also found time to cut a solo album in 2000 as well as performing lead vocals for MILLENIUM. By November Lande was announced as the new vocalist for YNGWIE MALMSTEEN's touring band. He would come to the fore internationally fronting MASTERPLAN.

In mid 2004 Stefan Berggren reunited with his erstwhile COMPANY OF SNAKES colleagues Moody and Marsden to front up live gigs for their M3 project. In 2005 ROBERT HART announced the formation of THE JONES GANG, a high profile band union with drummer Kenny Jones of THE WHO, SMALL FACES and THE LAW along with FOREIGNER, BAD COMPANY and PETER FRAMPTON band bassist Rick Wills.

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