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U-13 is a metal/heavy punk band founded about the time of June 2006 in Riga, Latvia, but its roots can be found already in the beginning of January, when only God knows out of which forest of Jelgava came out a lad called Edward Schinke called Martins Straube and suggested, that finally something has to be done. The first activities began in February 2006 when in the pub "Zelta Pile" ("The Golden Duck") they discussed about, how to play so that the Latvian folk would be fond of them. I can mention that the discussions were carried on all month in various pubs. Both individuals came to the conclusion that they've got to play punk. The plans grew in grandeur with every pint and stretched from the Ural Mountains to the Crimea. But it turns out that there are neither instruments nor songs. So the pub "Alus Bars" ("Beer Pub", doh) was the place where the decision was made to get Martins a guitar. This deal was sealed only in May. Until then Martins had persuaded another bottle companion – the drummer Oleg 'Haļava'. Practically the first rehearsal was carried out in March, in the studio of Oleg, where the foundations of the band's future were laid with... That's right – another few pints of the orange drink called beer. "Женщина Моя" can be counted as the first tune of the band which had been dwelling in Martins' nicotine filled brain since the age of 16. So the band was formed:
Martins – vocals, guitar
Edward "Vecais Vilks" Schinke – bass
Oleg – drums
It was June, since the guitar had been bought wherewith active rehearsing began, which wasn't possible until then, because Martins used to play on loaned guitars. The notion came that the band hasn't got any name which was solved with a calm reply of mister Schinke that the band's name shall be – U-13. That was followed with the first strong tune - "Renģēdāji" and others. The sound became heavier, which is Martins' responsibility - his taste of heavy music, and that was annoying to Edward, who thanks to countless wild nights had earned the nickname – Vecais Vilks (Old Wolf). Yet the first fans from the own circle of friends began to show favorable emotions. Acknowledgement became bigger, thereby the walks to the gas station, which was located 100 metres from the studio, became more frequent. So did the visits of the cleaner and as a result of all of this, a dark Monday morning came and Oleg had to leave the premises.
None of the members of U-13 sat still, and so in the course of 2 weeks a new place for the studio was found. By the way – not so far from the old one, though, the good old gas station wasn't so well accessible now. The band put down its roots in the new place, time went on, new songs were worked on, which were mostly created by Martin and Oleg, while the Wolf was sent to get alcoholic refreshments. Still, Edward was kinda sad about the loss of the gas station, became more apathetic about the band, until in one nice evening he didn't show up at the rehearsal, but sent a SMS from his computer, that only one rib is broken, and that his cell phone is lost, which interestingly accepts calls to this day.
So in Martins' name day boozing in first of November, U-13 had to play without its spiritual father. The wait for the new bass player wasn't long, because a lovely being called Jana showed up with a bass player experience of one year. She was a complete opposite to the Old Wolf, because she didn't really like going to the gas station, may be only to get "Chupa-Chups". Came to the rehearsals in time, did her best, but Martin and Oleg felt that the band hasn't got the alacrity it had in the beginning. Plus, if Wolf was targeting the Urals and the Crimea, then this young lady saw the whole Western Europe and beyond at her feet. The point being, she wanted to teach Martins to think english, but this idea wasn't really supported by "Сектор газа" fan Oleg.
Year 2007 came. In result of unsurpassable differences, U-13 decided to friendly to part from Jana in friendly ways, because, well, you just can't brutally tell a good human being to go **** herself. Andthey are still on good terms. From how much is known, she has found herself in some black metal band. The first half of '07 was full of uncertainty, because a bass player was missing which could fill the gap. Depression carried on until June, until when Rihards 'Pundurs' Paškausks, brought fresh air to the band in the form of rocking pentatonic leads. The band grew muscles, because know it has a lead guitarist with great perspective, who adds his two cents even to old U-13 tunes. U-13 had to borrow "Broken Finger" bassist Ruslan to play for them, including the bands first show in Ikskile, until a short time later came an inspiring bassist called Olegs Ludvigs. U-13 then recorded a single - Renģēdāji (single) featuring two songs. A few months later a gig at a club named Depo, in which Oleg, the drummer got pissdrunk, was a catastrophe. The next day, Oleg announced that he is leaving the band, so now, Martins is the last original member of U-13. Still, no reason for panicing, because at the same day U-13 got the replacement - Edgars Ondruks. U-13 now is:
Martins Straube - rythm guitar, vocals
Rihards "Pundurs" Paskausks - lead guitar, PR
Olegs Ludvigs - bass guitar
Edgar Ondruks - drums
Then came the year 2008, both Olegs got fed up, and they were replaced by drummer Edgars Ondruks and bass player Andrejs Solovjevs, and Pundurs decided to try out his skills on playing hard rock. Even without a lead guitarist, the band became serious and constructive. Only in June is the band back on track and a wonder happens - Raimonds Lagimovs has included "Renģēdāji" in his CD "Latvijas punk/hc 5", and this presentation is followed by many clubs in Riga and in other places. The culmination was playing with noone other than Dzelzs Vilks on one stage in the "Halloween Rock Party" in Līgatne. 2009. comes with a positive breeze - Pundurs in spite of the economical crisis and with nostalgia tears in the eyes returns to U-13. The band is now recording their first full-lenght debut album. The current lineup is:
Mārtiņš - vocals, rythm guitar
Edgars - drums
Andrejs - bass
Pundurs - lead guitar