The Snakes were formed by Whitesnake guitarists Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody, exclusively performing Whitesnake songs. Initially, the project was called 'Saints and Sinners' and was to feature other former Whitesnake band mates including, bassist Neil Murray and drummer Cozy Powell plus American vocalist John West but this never materialised. During August 1998, the Once Bitten album was released in Japan on the Pony Canyon label. Former Vagabond vocalist Jørn Lande was drafted in and TNT guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø produced the band. TNT's touring keyboard player Dag Stokke engineered the album. A live album Live in Europe was released in December 1998, with recordings of live performances of Whitesnake songs.