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Band: The Machetes

Members: Scott Conrad, guitar and vocals; Shea Saman, drums; Sean Saman, bass; Glen Charron, guitar

Who we talked to: Conrad, aka Scotty Five-O

How did the band get together? I was originally looking for an already existing band, Slow Andy, and I had contacted Shea. From there, things had fallen apart with the old band, and Shea mentioned his brother played bass and he had another friend (Charron) who was a very good guitar player. So we just got together and knocked around a couple of songs, and it just worked out. We decided to go forward with it. We've been performing together since late August.

Where did the name come from? We were just throwing around band names, trying to figure out what best suited our style. We just came across The Machetes, which was pretty generic, but it was catchy and memorable enough that we figured it would be a better name than any.

Can you describe your sound and style? We (play) very aggressive, old-school punk rock, along the lines of Bouncing Souls, Dropkick Murphys, Street Dogs and stuff like that.

What are the band's influences? Everybody has different influences. When I started playing guitar, I was very influenced by '80s hard rock and '90s grunge. From there, I kind of went back to my roots . . . to punk rock like the Misfits, the Sex Pistols and bands like that. (Charron) has been a kind of punk-rock-a-billy guy. Sean, the bass player, is very eclectic. He grew up learning punk bass lines . . . and then he got into bands like Mogwai and Tool and more complicated and intricate stuff. Shea has been playing drums for a really long time and is influenced from classic rock on up. He was previously in a psychedelic band, so he had a lot of that experience, too.

What local places do you like to play? There (are) a lot of bars in the York area that we really like. We like The Depot. We like the new Smalls since they've opened up (in York). We're experienced with them in Harrisburg, so we know the crew very well. Club 19's a good venue. We will be performing at Brenn's Pub . . . and also (at) the WaterWay (Raw Bar & Grill) in the Blue Room. There are a lot of different venues in York that are just excellent for live music, and we're just glad to be a part of it.

How do you guys feel about the York music scene? Back with my previous band, it was getting really hard. A lot venues weren't doing things. It used to be Murph's Other Bar. Then they sold and became The Depot. When that shut down, that completely killed the scene. The WaterWay wasn't doing bands for quite some time. It seemed like York was just dying off, so that's why we focused a lot on Harrisburg. From there, pretty much everything in Harrisburg has since shut down and . . . York is a hot bed for (original music) now. It's just amazing that York has completely opened up to live original music.

Like any local groups? We're really good friends with Chuggernaut. . . (and) Render. We've also played with Silent Resolve (and) Paper Tongue. There's just so many to mention. It seems within the original music scene, especially with the more sub-genre punk and things of that nature, all the bands are pretty close. We all support each other, and that's the only way the scene can survive.

If you could run the music industry for a day, what would you do? I would like to see more people open to original music. Basically, the cover bands are acting as a live jukebox. One thing that is an amazing tool that I think a lot of bands should utilize . . . is MySpace. It's a free way to get your music out to a lot of people. It's a great way to network.

- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF

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