The end of an era.

For those of you who are privy to Mala Suerte’s inner circle and for many of the people involved in the local underground music scene this will probably be old news, so this is basically for everyone else. Several months ago, co-founding member and guitarist David Guerrero decided it was time for him to graciously make his exit from the band to concentrate on other areas of his life and to pursue other musical interests. I’m sure it was a difficult decision for him to make as this band was a big part of his life for over a decade, but this was something that had been brewing for quite some time. We certainly hated to see him go and I can assure you that there are no hard feelings between Dave and the rest of the band. He will always be our brother.

I must admit that even though I knew that his departure was an eventuality, I was still somewhat shocked. I think the idea that this band was going to come to an end was a bit more than I wanted to face, but I had always said that if either Dave or I were to quit, that would be the end of Mala Suerte. And so that was it. I toyed around with different scenarios about new projects and thought about just focusing on my visual art for a brief period but I never really came to a concrete decision.  Since I was now the only original member of the band remaining, Mike and John left the matter of whether or not the band would continue solely up to me. After discussing the matter with many close friends and after much encouragement from many individuals whose opinions I respect, I decided that my work with Mala Suerte was not yet done and that the band was to continue on. Just so we’re clear, I didn’t arrive at this conclusion very easily, as Dave’s distinct guitar sound and style was a key part of what made Mala Suerte the band that it is today, but it is our intention to continue to make music that honors the work and creativity that he has put into the band over the last decade and to build and expand upon the sound that we have thus far developed.

Although Dave’s departure from the band came months ago, I was hesitant to post any news about it until we had an idea about what we were going to do. We put the word out to our fellow musicians that we were in need of a new guitarist and talked to many people involved in the local underground scene and we had many people offer to fill in, but ultimately no one really felt right. Finally, a friend and guitarist from other area bands, Jeff Nettles, offered his services and after a couple of rehearsals we quickly realized that he was the man for the job. In addition to already being a fan of the band and being capable of playing  the doom-laden riff he is also very proficient at many other styles and I think he’ll bring a possibly even more metallic approach to the band.  Jeff’s also a pretty cool and easy going guy so we hope that everyone welcomes him with open arms.

That being said, David’s chapter of the band is not yet closed. In addition to an upcoming split 7″ record which will feature his songwriting and guitar playing contributions, we will also be recording a cover song of an obscure 90’s era Austin band called Butterscotch Tuna. Look for both of those to be out sometime this year on our own label, Illwill Recordings…and if we can ultimately coerce him to do more, you may not have heard the last of him yet. Those releases aside, we’ve got plans for more splits and exciting musical collaborations in the coming months, so now is an exciting time for growth and creativity here at the Mala Suerte camp. Stay tuned.

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