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From Los Angeles, California comes VIERNES 13. They bring a mixture of ska, surf, and Rockabilly. Although Viernes 13 does not like to limit themselves on styles or label these are some of the styles and sounds they enjoy playing. Which in fact has no definition but breaks many genre of the music world. Such a diverse style of music will appeal to everyone.
VIERNES 13 began their musical careers early when Mario Luna (Co-Founder) and his long time High School Friend Jose Solis (Co-Founder) decided that it would be fun to jam out and play Ska, although Jose is no longer in the band he will always be part of VIERNES13. The band has seen many members but the heart and soul has always remained the same.
In 1999 VIERNES 13, new to the musical scene, shared many backyards & American Legion Halls stages with bands in different genres of music from Death Metal to Emo, introducing “The Metal heads” to ska. VIERNES 13 was in such popular demand, that they decided to record their first Self-titled EP. By the end of 1999 “VIERNES 13” became a household name in the SKA scene, trading back yards and Halls for World known Venues such as The Roxy Theater & The Whiskey a go-go in Hollywood.
Viernes 13 has shared stages with such bands as Royal Crown Revue & The Slackers, just to name a few.
Once Jose and Mario figured out that this could be a potential good thing, they started looking for members to complete their band. One day, while shooting pool at a local pool hall, J.P (Singer) was approached by Jose and Mario. Previously Jose had met J.P at a clothing store where J.P worked. Jose and Mario mention to JP that they liked his style and were considering asking him to be the front–man to their new project. JP, a writer at the time, thought this would be a good platform for his poetry, and said yes.
With the addition of a singer to their project, the band was still not complete. They then asked Juan if he knew a drummer. Juan remembered a guy that he went to High school with. Juan was interested guy to be in it”, said Juan. And he did. Mikey was a drummer for the South Gate High School Marching Band, where he learned the basics of drumming and music in General. The band still needed their horn section to achieve their style and sound that they wanted, that’s when Juan suggested to add a trumpet and a trombone player, that’s what brought Melvin Benitez in to the band, currently attending Huntington Park High School and where he played in the High School Marching band, and where he learned a lot of his musical skills, Melvin has always loves the ska sound so he immediately jumped on the opportunity to play in what could be a great sounding band,
Later more members where added to the band including Steve Kramer who replaced the current trumpet player. At the time Steve recently had just moved to California seeking a new life and a new career, Steve was not satisfied just being here in California; he had an urge for playing music. Because of his extensive knowledge in music attending and graduating from Michigan Tech University, where he was part of the “Pep Band”. Steve was seeking a band where he can play and show off his skills. He found Viernes 13 one day while surfing the net, Melvin saw a posting “Trumpet Player seeking band” from there Steve was part of the band, there was nothing missing from the band except maybe more winds, there was other guys that they knew would like to play with Viernes 13 that when Lil. Mike, Ruben, and Mark join the band, they gave Viernes 13 the “Big Band” sound to they always wanted.
Viernes 13 has since shared stage with many well known American bands such as The Slackers, Royal Crown Revue, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Manic Hispanic as well as Latin America Bands such as Las Victimas Del Doctor Cerebro, Inspector, and Tijuana NO, to only name a few. Viernes 13 is currently working on their first full length album with will include a new Rocksteady sound as well as the classic Viernes 13 sound everyone loves.