If you are into the dark underground, you must have heard about Luna 13, an innovative and controversial Californian Black Metal/EDM duo. Having collected a few successes (a record deal with Cleopatra Records, a release that ended up #2 in Metal, winning two awards for the best electro/metal and being listed as one of the top 5 Black Metal bands you should know about by the Worldwide Underground), the duo has made a name for itself in the Metal scene. Members Lilith Bathory and Dr Luna (Doc Luna) challenged the boundaries of Black Metal to mix it with Bass Music, generating an unheard sound. Doc Luna, producer, and songwriter has a new achievement to add to the list of Luna 13’s successes, having gained an endorsement by KAT Percussion, a company leader in the production of electronic drums. This one half of the duo has a compelling story to tell, so let’s find out a bit more about him.
Doc Luna was a precocious musician. Growing up in Lake Havasu Arizona, he started playing the bass guitar as a 13-year-old kid, inspired by Death, Slayer, and Deicide. Just a year later, when he was still in middle school, he joined his first music project, a punk band called Age Of Chaos. Doc Luna in his freshman year in High School became the bass player for a few Death Metal bands as well. Dark music became a way of life.
Sophomore year brought a drastic change, as Doc Luna decided to move to Los Angeles to join Epic, a goth band lead by the late Gus Chambers, frontman of Grip Inc., featuring also Dave Lombardo from Slayer.
Doc Luna’s passion for music led him to live on the edge. Without a steady job, which would have distracted him from the band, he slept out of his car, literally always ready to get on the road and tour. On top of that, he was still too young to play clubs, an inconvenient he dealt with by asking a relative, who worked at the DMV, to change the date of birth on his driving license.
Despite Doc Luna’s strenuous efforts to balance his life as an adolescent and touring, the band Epic soon broke up after the guitar player became a Christian and renounced dark music. Still determined, he joined the band Kill The Gods, featuring Jan Kalicki, quite popular in Europe for being part of the goth band The Bolshoi. Doc Luna’s career with Kill The Gods seemed to be running smoothly, but some serious health concerns arose only two years later.
First diagnosed with a chronic fatigue syndrome, he later discovered he had a heart condition. He left the band and found his path in India, where he would travel to more than thirty times in less than a ten year’s span.
Doc Luna lived some life-changing spiritual experiences in India, as he started worshiping goddess Kali, living with Bhau Kalchuri, a Hindu guru and would also travel to Khajuraho, India to worship Kali with the Kalu tribe. This new spiritual approach led to a substantial musical change: Doc Luna discovered ambient music and how to use the power of dark sounscapes to meditate. He also learned how to play the Sitar and started composing ritual black ambient with a Korg synthesizer and self released 5 Black Ambient Ritual CD’s. These dark soundscapes and patterns would be the foundation for Luna 13’s peculiar style. Luna 13 evolved from adding Death Metal Drums with Ritual Black Ambient Music. The worship of the dark goddess Kali, and the subsequent artistic turn, helped Doc Luna come to terms with his health issues and live more consciously. His meditation on dark energy and death led to the foundation of Luna 13’s dark brand. With a few awards a record deal with Cleopatra Records and now an endorsement by KAT Percussions, we anticipate that Luna 13 will continue to spread their dark music and broaden their horizons.