Hard rock band out of DC, going by the name Thirteen, is making its way among the music industry. Perfectionist and band leader Daniel Mahanger is very passionate about his music and wants the world to know about it. As he should. Their music is unforgiving and hardcore, shameless and totally unabashed. I got to chat with him recently about everything going on with Thirteen and the music they are creating. See what he had to say…
-Tell me about your band, Thirteen, who are you? Why the name thirteen?
The band Thirteen originally started in 2011. We originally started as
a cover band. I (Daniel-guitar) started the band with my friend
drummer, Casey. I proposed the name “Thirteen” for the band after
playing a Halloween gig where I was dressed as Jason from Friday the
13th and into it I nailed the mask onto my guitar speaker cabinet.
After trying numerous times to get serious about moving forward in
the direction of recording an album I eventually threw in the towel
and said “fuck these guys”. I had hit my limit. I had wasted time going to
band practice to find band mates drunk and having not learned their
parts. I then had a come to Jesus with myself and decided that if
this album was going to happen it was going to be on me to make it happen.
I kept the name “Thirteen” because I came up with it and started
reaching out to musicians and producers until I found Rocco
(producer/bass), Rudiger (vocals), Savannah (vocals), and Devin
-Tell me about your latest single el Diablo. What inspired it?
El Diablo came about when I was drinking with my grandfather during
Christmas. He pulled out a bottle of wine called “Casillero Del
Diablo”. I was playing on a classical guitar. As we were drinking and
playing guitar, I began trying to figure out the guitar part for a song
off the Pulp Fiction soundtrack called “Surf Rider”. I ended up
stumbling on a guitar lick that became the main riff in “El Diablo”.
I named the song after the bottle we were drinking. The lyrics are
actually about a story he was telling me about when he was a younger
-How do you come up with the name of a song?
I won’t bullshit you…I try to pick names of songs that sound cool to
me. The song title gives you a preview of what the lyrics are going
to be about and I try to find some kind of phrase or word that has an
-What is your process like for writing?
The writing process involves me trying to crank out the best guitar
riffs I come up with. Once I get a good mix of parts that can be the
skeleton of the song I write a vocal melody. I show Rocco what I have
come up with. He puts together his proposed structure of the song.
I then start writing lyrics that fit with the vocal melody. Rocco and
Rudiger will work with me to tweak the lyrics and melodies until they
are perfect and then we start recording. The guitar solo is the last
part that is written and recorded.
-What is a live show like for you?
When we play a live show, the mindset is give 100% no matter how big or
small the crowd is. We take a lot of pride in what we are doing so
you would still get the best performance out of us even if were
playing a private show for you while you sit on your toilet. Ohh
forgot about one more thing…alcohol.
-What was the first cd/album/tape you ever bought?
First CD’s I bought were Duran Duran’s “The Wedding Album” with the song
Come Undone and the Bobby Brown CD with the song “Ain’t No One Humpin’
Around”. Not the coolest selection but I didn’t know my face from my
asshole back in 1994. Still have the receipt in the Duran Duran
-What song made you want to start a band?
Crazy Train! I was 13 (no pun) and at my best friend Rick’s house in
Dallas. He had been playing guitar for a few years and started
playing the riff to Crazy Train and also did some on the tapping
during the guitar solo. I was like “HOLY FUCK”, it was like watching
God play guitar. That was the moment I was hooked. Asked my mom to
buy me a guitar and became an Ozzy freak. I spent my high school days
not getting any ass because I was fixated on practicing to one day be
close to as good as Randy Rhoads, Ozzy’s guitar player.
-What’s the song you can’t stop listening to right now?
The new song we are working on. I listen to all the songs hundreds of times,
trying to improve and make them PERFECT.
-What’s next for you and your band? Any touring?
Goal is to knock out the rest of the album, get management to back us,
and start touring.