Archive for Austin

Speedealer’s Choice

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2016 by backstabbath

Speedealer flyerThose of you that were into the heavy rock scene in the 90s and early 00s may remember the aggressively pummeling and relentlessly driving musical muscle of Speedealer. The band that originally formed in Lubbock, Texas under the moniker, REO Speedealer, only to be later forced to shorten it due to a cease-and-desist order served to them by REO Speedwagon, toured and played continuously during that time, logging in dates with Motorhead, Gwar, Neurosis, Fu Manchu, Zeke, Voivod, Fear, Morbid Angel, and Corrosion of Conformity, to name a few. The first incarnation of the band consisted of Jeff Hirshberg on vocals, Chris Brown on drums, Rodney Skelton on bass, and James Follis on guitar. The group went through numerous line-up changes throughout the followSpeedealer-Bleeding years until 1997 when they finally settled on a solidified roster of Jeff Hirshberg on vocals/guitar, Eric Alan Schmidt on guitar, and Harden Harrison on drums, although, as far as I can tell, there seemed to be quite the revolving door of bassists even then.

Mala Suerte was initially asked to play this show many months back when North Carolina’s Irata asked us to join them on the bill. As a matter of fact, it was so long ago that I’d forgotten that we’d even agreed to do it until I was reminded by The Lost Well owner, Marcello Murphy. He informed me that Speedealer had also been added to the bill which, of course, piqued my interest immediately. “How many years has it been since they’ve actually even played live, and who is still in the band?” I wondered. I couldn’t find much information regarding the matter on their Facebook page or anywhere else online so I decided to send a message to Eric Alan Schmidt and see if he could enlighten me a little bit. He immediately responded. Apparently, Jeff Hirshberg opted out of further speed dealings in favor of more “intellectual pursuits”. TheDealer's Choice remaining members of the last functioning line-up, augmented by a vocal battery courtesy of  Daniel Barron of The Swingin’ Dicks, have been performing live as “Dealer’s Choice” and this is basically what we’ll be getting on Friday night. As Eric put it, in a nutshell, “Our plan and hopes are to share and celebrate the  ass-kickin’, shit down your throat music and show that was Speedealer”. And celebrate we will, this Friday, July 15th, though, I’m still not entirely sure why they’re billed as Speedealer now as opposed to Dealer’s Choice. It’s a minor quibble, I know, and I’m looking forward to a vastly entertaining show and evening.

For our part, Mala Suerte, is certainly looking forward to this show as well, as we haven’t played live since our last show in March during SXSW. This will also be our first show with John Petri back behind the drum kit since late January. Local doom destroyers, Destroyer of Light, will be opening the show after just returning from a month-long tour of the West Coast, while North Carolina’s volume abusers, Irata, will be filling out the bill directly after us and just before Speedealer. We hope you all decide to join in on the festive madness.

New Years Salutations

Posted in Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , on January 6, 2014 by backstabbath

Huzzah!We had a great time at Friday night’s show at Red 7. The Well, Skycrawler, and Sex Chamber all delivered the metallic goods and despite the less than ideal weather an abundant crowd showed up and rocked with us. Thank you all for helping us ring in the new year. Huzzah!

Heavy Comes To Free Week

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2013 by backstabbath

free week We’re currently in the middle of recording the follow up to “The Shadow Tradition” but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have time to bring our brand of beatific bludgeoning to local aficionados of heavy music as we take part in this year’s Free Week festivities. This year Red 7 will be hosting a showcase which in all probability will be Free Week’s heaviest bill, as we join Skycrawler, The Well, and Sex Chamber in purveying perpetual poundings of powerfully ponderous proportions. And did I mention that this is free? So now all you thrifty thrill-seekers (i.e. cheap bastards) have no excuse. In lieu of paying a cover charge, you’ll now have some extra cash to spend on a few extra PBR tallboys or to buy that poodle-haired girl at the bar an extra drink or two…or, hell, maybe even spend some money on merchandise and show us how much you really love us. Or not. We’ll love you all anyway.

No, thank you.

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2013 by backstabbath

No thank you.While many, if not most of you, will be stuffed to the point of being comatose while celebrating this yearly day of thanks (or as I like to call it, the day of acknowledging the  genocide of indigenous people), rather than being thankful and full of turkey and dressing, we’ll be spiteful and full of piss and vinegar as we prepare for a post-Hatesgiving onslaught of sonic rage and thrashing violence. We’ll be joined by our bitter brethren in The Blood Royale in lambasting this bloated and rotting corpse of liberty. Newcomers, Terminal Voltage, which features ex-members of Black Spr11-29-13 alternate flyering, Blunt Force Trauma, and Condemned Unit will be bringing their freshly fashioned ire to the stage with their first-ever live detonation, and local miscreants, Prions, ignite the sparks of indignation.

So after you’ve reveled in the spirit of gluttony and followed that up with the ultimate in capitalist consumerism on Black Friday, come join us later in the evening at Beerland and burn off some of that excess fat and release some of the inner rage you’ve accumulated from fighting over creature comforts and electronic playthings at your local big box store. For this we will be thankful.

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

Posted in Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by backstabbath

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!

The Tex-Mex Doom Triumvirate (Maligno, Mala Suerte, and Las Cruces join forces)

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2012 by backstabbath

Monterrey’s premier doom rockers, Maligno, are gearing up for their first US jaunt with shows in McAllen (Nov. 15th), San Antonio (Nov. 16th), Austin (Nov. 17th), and Houston (Nov. 18th), and joining them for three of the four dates are Austin’s masters of misery, Mala Suerte, and San Antonio’s doom icons, Las Cruces. While Mexico has never been known as a hotbed for doom metal, Maligno, which formed in 2004,  has been at the forefront of the Mexican metal and hard rock scenes, racking up stadium shows and festival appearances alongside such luminaries as Slayer, Iron Maiden, Cathedral, Metallica, Testament, and Guns N’ Roses. Their sound was forged from the purest elements of metal’s origins, especially evident in their razor-sharp Sabbath-inspired riffing and traditional melodic sound. Even though much of Maligno’s music could be easily considered doom, there is enough deviation stylistically and tempo-wise, with many flat-out rocking moments and plenty of shades of light and dark sprinkled throughout, and the precision of their delivery and the melody of their vocals adds a touch of class and refinement which I think will go a long way in opening up further inroads within the heavy music community.

It amazes me when I talk to people in this town that claim to like doom when I mention the name Las Cruces and I simply get a shrug and a look of complete of bewilderment, especially considering the fact that they are this state’s second longest running doom band, with the sole exception being the legendary Solitude Aeturnus. But I guess with all things retro being in vogue now it should come as no surprise to me that only the hippest (i.e., the lamest) bands are the ones that are being thrust into the limelight. Whatever the case may be, those of you that have truly followed the evolution of our beloved slow and low, morose and mighty metal scene will need no introduction to the undeniable merits of their deliciously leaden groove. Las Cruces has thus far released three full studio albums, two of which–1998s Ringmaster and 2010s Dusk–are as good as any release by any other doom band here or overseas. The band has seen many trying and turbulent times, with many line-up changes and setbacks, but it is a tribute to their tenacity that they keep bringing the doom despite the adversity. Perhaps this is what makes their sound seem so immediate and authentic? I for one am glad they are keeping the torch aflame through the darkness!

Once again, I feel rather ridiculous about waxing poetic about the band for which I’ve shredded my vocal cords and decimated my hearing for for the better part of the last 15 years, and, besides by now, you’d think we’d be old enough to know better. Unfortunately for you that is definitely not the case. Hard-headed bastards die hard. Trends be damned.

As I type this, post-2 AM Friday morning, Maligno will have just wrapped up their first US gig in McAllen, TX and will be heading to San Antonio presumably after all proclivities have been entertained and vices celebrated, and will be joining up with Las CrucesMala Suerte and Bay Of Pigs for a show at The Nightrocker.  The Tex-Mex Doom Trio will then be heading to Austin right into the thick of Formula 1 madness for a gig at The 29th ST. Ballroom. Austin’s excellent doom/psych trio, The Well will be offering support. Finally, we’ll finish off the weekend at Rudyard’s in Houston along with Project Armageddon.

I’m looking forward to seeing the guys in Maligno again, as it has been quite some time since we’ve ventured down to Mexico to play with them, and I hope to get better acquainted with the fine folks of The Well, Project Armageddon, and Bay Of Pigs. Hopefully we’ll also see some of you at the shows. Doom till the tomb!

A Hell Broth of Sonic Sorcery, or The Incestuous Nature of The Capitol City’s Metal Scene

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by backstabbath

Tomorrow night we’ll be playing at the Taj Mahal of Austin’s live music venues: Headhunters. This place is definitely not for the claustrophobic or faint of heart and even less so on this particular evening, as eight different bands of metallic bent will be piling into this cavernous club with the full intent of out-heavying all other contenders on the bill. If cramped quarters, drunken revelry and maximum volume aren’t your thing,  you are well advised to steer clear. For those of you who can deal with the extremely cozy quarters and ear-splitting volume then checking out this bill just may prove to be worthwhile, as quite the eclectic array of ponderously leaden sounds will be on display. Everything from doom, thrash, death, crust, psych, traditional metal and even some good ol’ hardcore will be represented at some point before the last riff has been played and final shot of liquor has been consumed.

For the uninitiated I’ll give a few brief thoughts regarding the bands on the bill.

Whenever someone asks me about The Blood Royale I always want to say they sound like Motorhead meets Discharge. I’ve never really listened to Discharge so what the hell do I know? I do know that The Blood Royale are oppresively heavy and infectiously catchy and they put on a hell of a show. They play regionally constantly so all of you locals probably know this already.

Curse The Heavens mix up epic metallic compositions with the filth-ridden angst that comes from their old-school hardcore origins and produce a sound that, to my ears, is quite unlike anything else in the Capitol City. These guys have been slogging it out in the trenches here for quite some time to very little fanfare. They deserve your attention and support.

The Well are quite possibly the band most likely to have a derisive eye cast in their direction from the most “cult” and “true” of the metal faithful in attendance, but I also suspect that they may also win over quite a few converts and provide a much needed breath of fresh air to the nights heavier-than-thou proceedings. Don’t get me wrong, because there is plenty of heft and weight to their Pentagram-inspired delivery and the dueling vocals of guitarist, Ian Graham, and bassist, Lisa Alley, are an especially nice touch. Check out their version of Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam”.

Aside from old-school death I am not really much of a fan of this genre anymore, especially with regards to the modern ultra-technical bands that dominate today’s scene. For my money, Entombed, Autopsy, Asphyx, and Bolt Thrower are where it’s at.  That being said, I did enjoy Demontuary the last time I saw them at The Scoot Inn. They played a tight and technical set that was not without catchy hooks. They certainly had the most memorable onstage moment of the night when their Satan-praising lead vocalist quit the band mid-set and threw his beer at their guitarist for proclaiming that “Satan sucks”. Very metal indeed.

I have yet to catch the remaining acts live so I don’t have too much to say, but what the hell…

According to what I’ve read and heard about Witches Mark, they produce a stylistic mix of traditional metal and only the “purest” of its sub-genres . I recently heard their cover of  “Solitude” by Candlemass and I must say that it was not too shabby. I am looking forward to catching them in action

The Cruxiter Facebook page describes them as being “Traditional Hard Rock/Heavy Metal From Texas USA”. Fair enough. I have also heard good things about them from very reliable sources so get down early enough to catch their set. They go on at 9:30.

The ridiculous band name of the evening award goes to (drum roll, please)….ASS! I showed the flyer to a co-worker and she thought the name was cool, so maybe it’s just me. I was, after all, a member of a band called Bukakke at one point fer chrissakes, so who am I to judge? I hated that band name too, by the way. Apparently ASS is a crossover thrash band from College Station. I was weened on the stuff so I will certainly give them a go. Hopefully it’s not the trite party thrash that all the kiddies have their skinny jeans all in a bunch over. We shall have to wait and see…

If you are reading this blog then you more than likely already know what Mala Suerte sounds like so I’ll leave it at that.

After making the above flyer for this show and looking and the bands on the bill I got to thinking about all the performing bands that have shared or do share band members. The Blood Royale’s drummer, John Petri, played drums for Mala Suerte for many years up until about a year ago and he and their guitarist, Tim Corken, played togther and moved from Iowa while playing in a noisy metal/rock outfit called Gutbucket. Additionally, their lead-guitarist, JT Smith, also shares duties in local trio Dixie Witch and Houston’s The Drunks. As mentioned above, our guitarist, David Guerrero, and I were also in a band with Tim and John called Bukakke. We played quite a few shows and even recorded a rough 4 song EP which unfortunately, due in part to shoddy recording quality and the band’s implosion, never saw the light of day. Dave and I also jammed briefly with guitarist John Alaniz and drummer Tony Degon in a pre-Curse The Heavens incarnation. A few songs were written but no live shows or recording ever came to fruition.
Witches Mark stick-man, Scott Palmer, also manned the drum stool for Demontuary and he, together with Demontuary guitarist, Steve Perez, were also in two other metal ensembles together, namely Of The Fallen and Hollow Point. Witches Mark’s  bassist, Andy Gonzalez, will be performing double duty as he also handles the low end in show openers Cruxiter as well. I’m not exactly sure what this says about the state of the Austin metal scene. Are we a bunch of prolific fuckers that have too much creativity to let out, or are we just an incestuous bunch of bickering bastards that just can’t seem to get along with one another? As is usually the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Either way, I think the metal scene is certainly starting to pick up some steam and is beginning to produce bands of a more varied and diverse nature than ever before.

Anyway, if you see me at the show come and say hello. I’ll be the thirsty guy at the bar. Prost!