Trial by Strat

Machete hangs on through all the indie hassles

The band's break into the club and bar circuit came in 1997 at Rose's in Miami Beach. Machete had shown up for Wednesday's open-mike night. The club owners were so impressed, they asked the group to play regular monthly shows. It was most likely at this bar that Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra, owner of South Beach studios and a local punk/noise guru, saw Machete perform. "Rat Bastard invited us to make ourselves at home in his studio in South Beach, so we did," says Gracer.

The group recorded seven songs and burned them onto recordable CDs. "We only made like ten copies of them, and we just gave them to our parents," says Berkey with a snicker. Two songs actually did make it out to the public via Spy-fi Records. Machete's "Obstacle Course" and "3 H.P." made up one half of a split seven-inch with Sparkchamber, Artigas's band at the time. Released in 1997, this now out-of-print record remains Machete's only official release.

The following year Garcia parted with the band and King filled in. Soon after, recording for Machete's followup to the seven-inch began. "It's actually become a little ridiculous," King says about the recording delays, "but it's been a problem with time availability for the studio and for us, and we've had numerous problems with the DAT tapes breaking in the middle of mixing -- just a lot of fluky things that have set us back a little bit, and it's really hard when things like that happen, but luckily it's done and mailed away for mixing. It should be ready to show in about a month or so, depending on how quick we can get the artwork pieced together."

Steve Satterwhite


8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 13. Call 305-347-7400 for cover and details.
The Ice Palace, 59 NW 14 St.

"I wouldn't bet money on it, to be honest with you," adds Gracer. "It seems like this album's been cursed. Every time the next step was going to happen, something takes us three steps backwards. I think the project was hexed."

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