Salt Lake City, UT
Tycoon Machete is a psychedelic hillbilly grunge band out of Salt Lake City. It’s an exotic collection involving slide banjo, custom made “banjzouki”, synthesizers, 1942 National lap steel, metal drums, savant bass playing, horror movie visuals, and samples kicked out with a home organ pedals fused to a midi controller. John (“Barefoot”) Whipple (vocals, banjos, guitars and whatnot) conceived the project with longtime collaborator James Perry decades ago as an audio response to the encroaching darkness of post-Millennial America. They put out one album, “Plug and Play Messiah” and tried to promote it by going to the Sundance Film Festival and doing coke with a Rolling Stones reporter in some Park City bathroom (Do people do coke anywhere else?). Nothing came of it so Whipple moved into a truck and planted trees in New Mexico. James ran away with a Goth band and toured Europe. Whipple traveled for years playing vagabond roots across the US and Europe. In 2014, he finally abandoned his ambition of moving to Oostende and reunited with James in Salt Lake. Longtime friend and collaborator Sean McCarthy joined them on keys. Sean charted a separate path performing with Utah legends Starmy and Redd Tape. Like Whipple, he shares a flair for solitary misadventures including riding the rails to Elko Nevada and an attempted hike up the Continental Divide. Salt Lake artist, Erin Stout, started by mimicking bass for a video but pretending to be in the band wasn’t good enough for her. She started performing with a saw and the band recognized her amazing instincts so it was decided that she needed a bass. A deal was made with both Satan and a local guitar shop. They procured a Gibson SG bass weighing exactly 6.66 pounds for the price of $666. Tycoon Machete released their first album with the new lineup, Wedding Cake, just weeks before the Great Plague. Like every band, all their gigs were canceled and they retreated into their homes. The band kept rehearsing and exploring new ideas. Erin and Whipple started a web series, “Sunday Churchin’”, which was intent on lifting people’s spirits by being absolutely ridiculous. In 2021, the band was able to reemerge and have since become busier than ever. They plan to release a new album in the winter of 21-22 and continue to melt faces or whatever horrible things people say good bands do.