Rick Froberg (who would sometimes use the stage name Rick Farr or Rick Fork) formed Pitchfork with future Rocket From the Crypt mainman John Reis while the two of them were teens. As an aspiring visual artist and illustrator, Froberg provided most of the band's artwork, while Reis developed his studio skills by acting as producer on their records.
“[John was a] cool guy with cool friends. Had a band. [We met at] Mariner’s Point Anarchy Picnic, 1986. I think we both liked RKL and Mystic releases — Don’t No, Dr. Know, Rat Pack, Manifest Destiny. But I turned him on to Blood Lake. John taught me to dress well. I see him all the time. Hot Snakes just did a bunch of shows.”
After Pitchfork's demise in 1990, Froberg and Reis were joined by Mike Kennedy on bass and Mark Trombino on drums to form Drive Like Jehu. The band shared musical similarities with Pitchfork but also exhibited significant changes: Froberg would now play guitar as well as sing, adding a second guitar to Reis's lead. Kennedy and Trombino also brought with them a progressive rock influence from their previous band Night Soil Man. Trombino developed his studio skills by acting as producer and engineer for most of Drive Like Jehu's recordings, while Froberg acted as the band's artist and illustrator, creating artwork for their albums and merchandise.
Froberg and Reis also teamed up for Hot Snakes, who were active from 1999 to 2005 (as well as playing reunion shows in 2010 through 2013). The Hot Snakes tune “This Mystic Decade” can be heard on the soundtrack of the Grand Theft Auto V video game, released in Autumn 2013. After around twenty years as a San Diegan, including a stint with the band Thingy, Froberg relocated to Brooklyn, New York City, and cofounded Obits in 2006 with former Edsel guitarist Sorab Habibion.
Hot Snakes were playing reunion shows in 2010 through 2013, with their tune “This Mystic Decade” heard on the soundtrack of the Grand Theft Auto V video game, released in Autumn 2013. Froberg and Reis reunited Drive Like Jehu for a free all-ages performance at Spreckels Organ Pavilion on August 31, 2014, where resident organist Carol Williams opened with a solo set as well as playing with the band.
An unannounced Hot Snakes reunion performance took place January 30, 2017, at Bar Pink. Within a few weeks, Reis and friends were recording tracks at Singing Serpent studio for their first new album since 2004. In August 2017, they signed to Sub Pop Records and announced plans to release a new album and tour. In January 2018, Sub Pop reissued three Hot Snakes albums on colored vinyl and cassette, and another short tour was mounted that March. Their next album Jericho Sirens was preceded by a single for “Six Wave Hold-Down.”
In 2022, South Park's Trash Lamb Gallery hosted Froberg for Let My People Go: Art and Illustration 1988 to Present, an exhibition directly evolved from posters he made for the San Diego underground scene of the mid-’80s through the mid-’90s, of which he was such an integral part.
Rick Froberg passed away June 30, 2023.