The ever-evolving world of Mala Suerte.

What can I say? At this point, I might as well proclaim that this band has become somewhat like Spinal Tap with regards to line-up shifts. It has been almost two years since my last post and a lot has changed here at the MS camp, for sure. After the departure of founding guitarist, David Guerrero, and the recruitment of new axe-man, Jeff Nettles, we got busy with the seemingly difficult work of writing new material. We did manage to actually write one entire new song before things came to a head, or hit a wall, and after a gig with Eyehategod in San Antonio in December of 2010 we parted ways with long-time drummer and friend, John Petri. Incidentally, for those of you who are interested, John is doing well and keeping busy with one of Austin’s finest metal acts, The Blood Royale. Do yourself a favor and check them out here in town, as they play locally quite often.

Not long after John’s departure I remember calling Dave up to see how he was doing and to catch up a bit. Upon mentioning the current state of band affairs I remember him saying something like, “So, do you want me to write some riffs, or what?”

Soon after, I met up with Dave at a local watering hole and he gave me a CD with several new tracks that he’d been working on. Upon leaving, I popped it into the CD player of my truck and almost immediately after hearing the very first track of dark, acoustic, psych/folk I was almost brought to tears. This piece basically summed up all the negativity and sadness that had been consuming me and was exactly where my mind was at musically and emotionally. That pretty much sealed the deal and Dave was back in the band. Much excitement and creativity quickly ensued and writing music with two guitarists for the first time proved to be very exciting and fruitful, and allowed us to reinforce our sonic arsenal. Before we were even ready to start playing live again we were asked to play the opening slot for Saint Vitus here in Austin at Red 7 on Dec. 11th 2011. We didn’t have a drummer at this point but I damn sure didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of opening up for one of my all-time favorite bands. After asking everyone that I thought would be a suitable fit, to no avail, I had almost given up hope. Then at the last-minute, one of my old friends, Tony Brownlow, offered his services and as it turned out ended being the perfect addition to the band. After intensive rehearsals we had a sufficient set complete with mostly new material which we even complemented with one of our old thrash blasts that we hadn’t played live in several years. The show with Vitus was a resounding success, yet before the night was over, Jeff informed me that he was going to be taking a sabbatical in Mississippi for an undetermined amount of time, and so, once again, after only one show, we were left as a four piece unit.

We were determined to keep going and we really liked the sound of the two guitar format but didn’t have anyone in mind as a replacement for Jeff. Not long after, on a drunken night, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Vincent Pina, offered to step in on rhythm guitar until Jeff’s return. I didn’t really put much weight in his offer, as is so often the case with inebriated conversations at 4 AM, I figured it may have been just the alcohol talking, but he mentioned it to me again soon after and the all-crushing boulder of doom was rolling once again. Vincent hadn’t played guitar for quite a number of years (local heshers may recall his contributions in local bands, Evilution and Debauchery) but it didn’t take him long to get his chops back. His groovier rhythmic style of writing was quickly put to use in one of our newest songs which runs the gamut stylistically, incorporating everything from doom, psych, thrash and death. Currently, we are hard at work on a variety of new material and hope to have a new EP out in the very near future. In the meantime, you can catch the latest incarnation of Mala Suerte live at The Dirty Dog here in Austin on January 21st.

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