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A Dirty Dozen with LUNA13 – October 2020

| 21 October 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Friday the 13th of November brings the long-awaited new album from dark lord duo LUNA13 who will release their latest unholy collection of songs God.Dis through new label, COP International (the home Stabbing Westward, Deathline International and Suicide Queen). Today, LUNA13 also gives a tease of the record with new single “Cursing The Sky” and its accompanying and highly graphic music video premiering via Outburn Magazine. “Cursing The Sky” is a perfect example of LUNA13’s forceful Black/Bass/Metal style that has some hailing the act as “the bass music scene’s Slayer.” With elements of electronica, black metal and industrial rock, one of the band’s curious hallmarks is crossing over from electronica to metal without the use of any guitars. Dr. Luna, the duo’s demented musical maestro creates the voluminous sound solely with synthesizers and distortion pedals by wrapping heavy distortion around sub-bass. Frontwoman Lilith Bathory further brings the spectacle with brutal vocals and trance-inducing dance moves behind her devil horns.” We get guitarist Doc and Lilith to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

Photo credit: Abraham Preciado

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Doc: One of the more interesting things about LUNA13 is that we are solid electronic music and many people are shocked when they hear us to find out we don’t use guitars at all. We create dark heavy music using saw and acid bass. Our upcoming album God.Dis out November 13 is unique to other releases because I feel our objective of merging Black Metal and Bass Music is more apparent here than on other releases. The goal of LUNA13 is achieved here. You can tell on this release that we are bass music while keeping the Black Metal edge, and my drum programming on this release is brutal. The concept of LUNA13 is not an easy task because we are merging two genres that really don’t like each other. Yet I think in our current age of music, being original is more important than falling into a click.

Lilith: Our newest album, God.Dis is a bit different in the sense that it has bits of the current times in it, yet with the same style as before. People who have never heard us before often get surprised that we don’t use any stringed instruments. There’s also always the fun of trying to figure out which one of us wrote the lyrics, depending on the song. Personally I tend to try to add various meanings behind the way I flow my words. For example from the song “Sacrificial Lamb,” there’s “ghosts of Hell at family dinners, séance truth from oppressed matter, haunted history” and that has a lot to do with the BLM protests. To find the truth, you have to listen to their stories and face the hell that has been created through systemic racism. That particular song is mostly about the events and experiences of 2020. We have never done that with a song before.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Doc: I grew up in a sheltered Christian town in Arizona and dark music would come to us late, even years after its release. I remember where I was when I heard Metallica for the first time. I told my mom that I wanted a bass guitar that very day and started playing bass in elementary school. I also turned my entire elementary school onto Metallica. I was playing bass in punk and metal bands by the time I was in junior high. I have been a bass musician (bass guitar and bass music) almost my entire life.

Lilith: I’ve been into music since before I could hold an instrument. My dad was a school band teacher and musician himself. It was a part of everyday life. I played various instruments, was in the California State Honor Band as a clarinet player in grade school. What inspired me to be a vocalist was when I first heard metal music. The moment that I would say it really set in was walking home from school with my headphones in with Otep on. Metal music and music like it wasn’t allowed at home so I would sneak away what I could because it was like massage therapy for my brain. Walking while rocking out and hearing a powerful female voice among other reasons was really healing, empowering, and I thought that I would love doing it too, yet didn’t know if I could at the time. It wasn’t until I found that Doc was still looking for a vocal samplist/ dancer that I finally saw an open door that I felt I should give it a shot and see if I could. The first time being on stage was the best, most at home, most amazing feeling I’ve ever had.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Doc: Oddly enough I was a Black Metal elitist for years. If you would have told me in high school that I would be in a super dark electronic project I would have thought you were an idiot. Yet I saw The Prodigy live in London and it was the heaviest sound I had heard live. I thought while watching them “what if I did a Black Metal version of this?” The metal scene was saturated and that show gave the green light to LUNA13. I took courses on electronic music and death metal drum programming that week and the rest is history.

Lilith: Narrowing it down to one is almost impossible. I’d have to say that Otep and Marilyn Manson had some of the most impactful moments in shaping me as an artist. I’ll never forget being in a “psychiatric hold” (5150) for the cuts on my arms as a teen, which lasted more than 72 hours and they didn’t let us outside. There was one other person there who looked goth like me and we were all bored and miserable, yet this person found Manson’s song “Beautiful People,” on the radio and we instantly had a moment of both relief and bonding as we headbanged until the nurse took the radio away. Otep definitely had the strongest effect. That music was exactly what I couldn’t find before and spoke to so much of what I had gone through from a voice I could identify with in many ways. Heck I even got a “Perfectly Flawed” tattoo on my back to celebrate after I had quit self-harm.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Doc: Metallica, Lustmord, Ministry, Possessed and Celtic Frost.

Lilith: 45 Grave, Queen, Otep, The Distillers, Garbage, Marilyn Manson, Mudvayne… Although I know I went over and could name so many more.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Doc: I would choose Celtic Frost. Tom Gabriel Fischer likes to add female energy to his music and I think Celtic Frost/LUNA13 would do something amazing!

Lilith: Again I can think of many, yet I think In This Moment would most likely mesh well and could be fun. We do have quite a bit in common artistically.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Doc: Black/Bass/Metal is an honest tag for us. We have been called a cross between Bassnectar and Slayer. I really don’t like the popular dubstep sound. I do on the other hand love the dark jungle bass music scene. There is some super dark drum and bass out there. I am not a fan of the modern dubstep world and on occasions some comparisons are made while crossing a reference to a metal band. We have been called a cross between Bassnectar and Slayer and Skrillex and Pantera a few times.

Lilith: I would describe it as a new, electronic, witchy way of enjoying a different metal sound. I don’t remember a comparison that stood out that I would disagree with all that much. Everyone has different ways of describing something new to them.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Doc: We do collaborate on home duties. We create music in a very different way than most other bands. I constantly have songs going through my head, so I often will complete a song musically and then give the track to Lilith to create vocals. I spend days at a time working on songs that go through my head. I love her additions to LUNA13 as we come from two different decades, I am a spawn of the ‘80s and she is a spawn of the ‘90s so she adds an awesome spin on things and modernizes our sound a bit.

Lilith: I’m often the one cooking because I like it and I’m always hungry. Doc is always cool with getting the drinks. When it comes to singalong stuff, I’d say our cats Astaroth, Maggie and Nefertiti are most likely to belt out into songs of boisterous meows for any reason at all.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Doc: For me that is the band Possessed. We actually opened for them at The Whisky in Los Angeles and they are the coolest band ever. I love everything about them. They have been around since the ‘80s and they just released their best album ever and they are still hungry. They are peaking now and that makes them different than any band that’s been around since the ‘80s.

Lilith: Anytime I go to a drag event. Yet the most recent time I was starstruck was actually by an actor named Peter Stormare. We were performing with Possessed that night and he was hanging out enjoying the shows and when he said something along the lines of “cool set” (I don’t remember the exact words) I went all happy gibberish. The Devil approved ha.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Doc: I already have two careers. LUNA13 is the main business and I run a very successful occult business on the side. Yet make no mistake about it, LUNA13 is the goal and my life passion but there is no financial pressure on LUNA13, which means we do this because we love to do this. I am a genuine artist and will create music til death. We are not a band saying things like ‘we do this for our fans!’ I create music for my own personal therapy and an expression of my shadow self. LUNA13 is my spiritual path so plan on hearing LUNA13 til the day I die. I hope people like what we do so we can continue to expand on it, but I create music for myself.

Lilith: The best part is the feeling that comes from the whole experience. Everything from the cool staff, music supply stores, the shows—from pre-show all the way to the end of the night when you are so happily exhausted that you just fall asleep anywhere still half in your gear. I love making the music, writing lyrics, feeling the energy of the show and the fans on stage, everything. If I absolutely couldn’t do music anymore I would get back to the medical/science field. To apply engineering to make space travel and health related machines safer and more efficient. In my free time I love working with animal rescues and planet saving initiatives.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Doc: Hysterically I just told Lilith, I really like 100% Rocks’ questions. Yet LUNA13 is unique and I really don’t mind the same simpler questions. I feel a music project like ours does well by explaining basic questions. That could change in time but right now I am good with the irritating ones too.

Lilith: Possibly why I add burlesque hints to my performance. My answer is that it is one of the most body-positive art forms for all people. Mixed with the elements of strength and feminism in order to give a visual arts protest towards outdated views of how women “should” or “shouldn’t be.” I’m not really tired of the question, but funny enough I get asked all the time if my horns are made up of my hair. I often laugh because with a Mohawk I really don’t have enough hair to do that.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Doc: Yes! In the early days of LUNA13 when I was solo and taking courses on drum programming and production, I released four albums under the name LUNA13 that have nothing to do with our current sound. I finally perfected the vision on LUNA13 in 2017 after Lilith joined. All releases pre-2017 were me learning to create the music we do now. I should have waited til I felt I was creating my vision at 100% before releasing material.

Lilith: The one thing that I want a “do-over” for is the response to the pandemic in our country. If it had been handled properly, then there wouldn’t be so many lives lost and so many artists struggling to work or keep venues.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Doc: I had an incredibly tragic upbringing from watching friends die in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and dealing with major family crisis’s including suicides and such. Metal became everything. The album Beyond the Gates by Possessed and Celtic Frost’s Into the Pandemonium allowed me to channel my emotion into something. Those albums tie for me.

Lilith: Any of Nina Simone’s albums. Her voice, soul, and mind are earthshaking, moving in all the best ways.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Doc: This has been hard for us. We were just getting ready for ‘our turn.’ We opened for Doyle, Mushroomhead, Possessed, ICP, 45 Grave, Skinlab, just booked a show opening for Insomnium and headlined a couple Metal festivals. We were just starting to hit. It looks like we are going to have to start from scratch again but we are getting amazing help from our label COP International to stay relevant as we go through this dark time.

Lilith: Performing live, on the stage, no matter how many people were there. Even the nights where even just one or two people were rocking out. The feeling of community moments during shows is what I miss the most.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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