Mala Suerte: Mach 8 (Yes, we are truly becoming more and more like Spinal Tap!)

How many drummers did Spinal Tap have? Well, I know we’re getting close. Prior to playing a show back on January 18th our drummer, Tony, announced to us that he was quitting the band. I must admit that we were all rather surprised by his decision as we were getting close to wrapping up the writing process for the next full length. We didn’t really press him about his reasons for leaving and we parted ways on completely amiable terms. He even agreed to play the remaining few shows that we had already booked. I immediately started thinking about who I knew that would be an ideal fit and my thoughts kept going back to one person. After a few days I sent my old friend, Chris Chapa, a message through Facebook and he immediately responded very enthusiastically.

Several years ago Dave and I briefly jammed with Chris and our old friends, John Alaniz, Tony Degon, and Mike Fuentes in a post-Curse The Heavens metal project but due to the time-consuming nature of being in more than one band, Dave and I stepped down to concentrate solely on Mala Suerte. We had a great time jamming with those guys and I still hold them in the highest esteem. Mike, John, and Chris went on to form metal/hardcore unit, Sluggard and afterwards Chris played in local heavy rock outfit, More Fire. I used to check out both those bands on a fairly consistent basis and was always impressed by Chris’s ability, frenetic energy and absolutely heavy-handed style of battery. Shit, Chris even played on the very first Angkor Wat demo when he was but a wee lad. How’s that for some Texas Metal history?

Fast forward to present day: I knew Chris had moved back to town and had briefly spoken to him about possibly playing for a thrash side-project that Vincent and I have been planning with our old guitarist, Jeff Nettles, and he did seem interested. Though before we really had time to get that underway, Tony decided to leave the band. After that initial Facebook conversation Chris and I decided to get together and talk, and soon after we had our first full band rehearsal. Everything clicked and after just a few short weeks we played our first three shows with Chris – a three day Texas jaunt with Maligno and Las Cruces. Despite a few technical difficulties and miscues those shows proved to be pretty successful. I think we bonded with Chris fairly quickly and the audience reaction was extremely favorable.

We had less than a month to prepare ourselves and refine our set for our SXSW dates and Chris’s enthusiasm and work ethic proved to be critical. He worked very hard to nail down all his parts really well and I think it showed in all of our performances. We had a great time during the fest and we are thankful for all the praise and support that we received. The new material we are working on with Chris is sounding absolutely monstrous and powerful and it’s great to hear him finally be able to put his own unique stamp on the Mala Suerte sound. Check out our next shows on May 10th at Beerland and May 11th at The Dirty Dog and see for yourself. Huzzah!

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