Mitchell Luna has been shrieking like a banshee and roaring like a mutant Cookie Monster since he was a teenager. As the vocalist for cult 2000s metal and hardcore bands like tech-spazz outfit Tyranny of Shaw, goof-grind supergroup Animatronic Terror Noise, and purely pummeling Last Universalist, he developed his vocal chops at local shows and DIY jaunts around the country.
Since 2005, Luna has been the frontman for grindcore band Maruta. The group has managed to appeal to an international extreme metal audience that reaches far beyond South Florida. And the band's new full-length album, Forward Into Regression, is shaping up to rake in some serious end-of-the-year Best Of accolades from the metal press.
On the heels of touring the world and a wild show at Churchill's Pub this Saturday, Crossfade shot Luna some questions to pick the mind of one grindcore's current pillars.
Crossfade: What's up with Maruta?
Mitchell Luna: We decided to play one more Miami show before we go on tour again. Next weekend, we are playing two shows -- one in Chicago and one in Los Angeles alongside Phobia and Gridlink, Chang from Discordance Axis's new band. After that, we will be gone for five weeks next month, on tour in Europe with our friends Wormrot from Singapore.
The lineup for Saturday is stacked! Is it all grind? What went into composing the bill?
What's great about this show is that no two bands sound alike, with the exception of the distortion involved. There will be a mix of metal, punk, hardcore, grind, thrash, indie, etc. Varied shows don't happen too often, so I said, "Fuck it," and booked one. We are going to have the main and backstage running, unless we get pummeled by that tropical storm.
What is the state of grindcore in 2011? And what role does Maruta play in it?
A lot of good stuff is happening in grindcore as of late, even though grindcore is still percieved as being in the bottom of the "metal food chain."
Noisear put out a new record which floored me. New Wormrot, Rotten Sound, Weekend Nachos, Looking For An Answer. Tons of solid stuff. Our latest record, Forward Into Regression, came out this year as well. At this point of Maruta's existence, we have either toured or played with most bands that are still active within the grindcore scene. (No dice on Napalm death yet.) We are really just doing our thing: playing music we like and making new friends who share the same interests.
Is grind a retro genre or is it still being improved upon? Is there still variation to achieve?
I'd say everything at this point is a retro genre because it's been done a bunch of times. Originality is hard to come by.
We do tend to experiment a lot more than most grindcore bands by throwing in plenty of dissonant death metal-type riffs and doom parts. So I guess I can understand why bloggers and reviewers have said things like we venture into new territory.
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We are not a traditional grindcore band. But there's nothing wrong with being traditional. The only thing that matters is playing music that you have an emotional bond to. Play shit you like, worry about the rest later.
Maruta with Capsule, Knock Em Dead, The Panix, Kalakai, Secret Arms, Guerilleros de Nadie, and Super Mutant. Saturday, August 6. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and cover costs $5. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.