“Out of all these bands, Viernes 13 is perhaps the best.” - OC Weekly
Viernes 13 were not always “the best” when this sextent formed in 1997. Like many successful bands, they had to pay their dues by playing shows for friends in backyards and basements. And they had to go through several line up changes and additions to get the chemistry right. For Viernes 13 the magic happened in 1999...or so they thought.
Founders, Mario Luna (guitar) and Jose Solis (bass) were high school friends who started jamming to Ska music. They quickly recognized what they were creating was different, energetic and catchy. They soon enlisted writer/poet Juan Pulido as their front man and Mikey Ornelas (drums) as their back bone. With everyone’s unique playing styles and interest for the Ska moment, these South Gate High School friends soon became a house hold name on the LA underground Ska scene. By the end of 1999 Viernes 13 released their first self-titled EP and they no longer had to play friends at backyard gigs. Instead Viernes 13 were booked into well known Hollywood venues such as the The Roxy and Whisky A Go-Go.
As the momentum was rising, their personal lives were beginning to grow as well. Original member Jose Solis decided to part ways with the band to start a family with his wife. Although one important member was leaving, Viernes 13 was gaining three new members that will evidently rank Viernes 13 up there with all the top Ska bands.
Now with Mike Lovett (sax), Ruben Durazo (trumbone), Abel Lemus (trumpet) as the horn section and new bass player Jessie Castro, Viernes 13 is a complete force and ready to take over the music industry!
After 2 years of writing and recording, Viernes 13 have finally completed their full length album Just Move! With a holster loaded with fans, merchandise, rocksteady songs and voted the Best Band of the Year 2001, the future of Viernes 13 looks very promising. Once you hear and see Viernes 13, “Just Move!” is what you will do!