By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Anaheim’s My Machete have been making strikingly moody, nuanced indie rock for the better part of the past decade. Chemical bursts of energy propel the band’s repertoire, but they are also capable of slowing things down—“Endo Zendo Nintendo” slithers along a catchy riff reminiscent of Quinto Sol’s “Mi Vida Loca.” Though the quartet— Jessica Escobedo (vocals/bass), Jorge Chavira (drums/percussion), Kyle Medina (guitar) and David Flores (guitar)—have gigged in places such as the Echo and Alex’s Bar, My Machete’s loyal fan base prefers to regard them as the best-kept secret in Orange County. Before word gets out, we catch up with My Machete ahead of their show at Hogue Barmichaels.
OC Weekly: What does the name signify? Does it pay homage to any macheteros in the band’s extended family?
Jessica Escobedo: At the time we started putting the band together, there was an abundance of hardcore bands taking over Orange County. We knew the type of music we were putting out there was not necessarily of the “hardcore” sound. As an inside joke, we sort of chose the name My Machete to poke fun at the brutal sound of hardcore band names.
How would you describe the vibe My Machete create?
Escobedo: I always have difficulty answering questions like this. I really think it’s a pleasant coincidence the four of us can take everything we’ve ever learned or heard or appreciated about music, throw something out there, and just know where to go with it. It’s almost like we know how to communicate with one another through music, as cheesy as that sounds.
Kyle Medina: The sound we create often maintains a quirky sensibility that can be serious and epic at times, and soft and pretty at other times—sometimes within the same song.
Jorge, how does the complexity of the band’s arrangements play into your drumming? It sounds like you keep the pace frantic, with a lot of fills thrown into the mix to keep things interesting.
Jorge Chavira: Generally, I like playing fast and adding a lot of off-beats. There really aren’t any limitations as to what specific type of style or genre of music we can make. Just playing with the band gives me a blank canvas to paint a beautiful beat.
Though My Machete have been playing music together since 2003, the band are still really young—you’re all in your early 20s—and very humble. How do you think that plays into your approach to making music and putting yourselves out there?
Escobedo: The idea of why we play music is simple. The little joys we get from playing in front of anyone willing to listen are what get me stoked to play and perform. It’s a type of happiness I can get only when I play.
Chavira: We just try to play our best, regardless of our age. Although people do see us as “very young,” their minds are often changed after listening to us play.
A lot of the band members juggle the responsibilities of going to college with making music. Given that, what can we expect to see from My Machete in 2010? New recordings? More shows?
David Flores: You can expect our faces on a Wheaties box. Seriously though, you can expect a sharper Machete. We are working on writing new songs, developing our sound and recording new material.
Now where’d I put my . . .
My Machete at Hogue Barmichaels, 3950 Campus Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 261-2206; www.hoguebarmichaels.com. Fri., 7 p.m. $10. All ages.
Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and upcoming show dates for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to firstname.lastname@example.org.