Rancho De La Luna

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Rancho De La Luna is a recording studio in Joshua Tree, California that was founded in 1993 by Fred Drake and David Catching. After Drake's death in 2002 to cancer, the studio was operated by David Catching and Drake's collaborators Anthony Scott Mason, Ted Quinn, Dean Chamberlain, Billy Bizeau and Fred Burke until 2004.[1] It has since doubled as Catching's home, where he has been known to cook for bands, as well as produce records.

The studio is cited as everything in it being "weird, but functional",[2] filled with idiosyncratic recording gear and a raw desert vibe curated by studio owner (and guitarist) Dave Catching.[3]

It is most well known for being the home of the Desert Sessions. (including sessions with Josh Homme, Alain Johannes, Natasha Schneider, Dean Ween, Twiggy Ramirez, Joey Castillo, Peter Stahl, Mario Lalli, Troy van Leeuwen, Nick Oliveri, Chris Goss, Ben Shepherd, Alfredo Hernandez, David Catching, Brian O'Connor, Jesse Hughes)[4][5][6][7]

According to Catching: "There is something about this studio. Everyone that's been here and recorded here feels it, so there is something to it. Maybe it's just all the love that's here from over the years. People do freak out about the drum room: they say it's the best drum sound they have gotten—even the engineers."[8]

Catching has talked about the special nature of the studio in multiple sources.[9][10] and due to the pastoral and unique location it is a favorite spot for tech gear spotlights. Many artists have talked about the relaxed and easy nature of the studio, citing the lack of distraction and easy availability of unique and interesting instruments as welcoming and unique.[11][12]

Alain Johannes Explains: "Everything is the opposite of a, quote-unquote, professional studio: ‘What is this – are you sure it’s a mic? It looks like a grenade…’ You plug it in… find out if it goes off.” [13]

Notable bands and artists to record at the Rancho De La Luna[edit]

Rancho De La Luna Mezcal[edit]

In 2018, David Catching and Bingo Richey released a signature brand of Mezcal named after the studio. Built, in part, off of the "massive consumption" of liquor at the studio for sessions.[15][16][17]

Rancho De La Luna in other media[edit]

The studio was also the focus of the fifth episode of the Foo Fighters Sonic Highways series [18]

Anthony Bourdain filmed an episode of No Reservations at the Rancho De La Luna.

The studio is also features heavily in the documentary American Valhalla, which chronicles the creation of the Post Pop Depression record by Iggy Pop and ensuing tour.[19][20]


  1. ^ "Rock's Not-So Secret Musical Hideaway: Rancho de la Luna". kcet.org. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Marshall Headphones On the Road Episode 6 - Rancho de la Luna". marshallheadphones.com/. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  3. ^ "After 16 years, Josh Homme rekindles the 'Desert Sessions': 'This will outlast everything I do'". latimes.com. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  4. ^ "The Last Stand of the Great Rock & Roll Mother*ckers: Every Blue Moon, Josh Homme and a few of planet earth's remaining rock & rollers descend upon Joshua Tree for the Desert Sessions and emerge with an album a week later. Introducing the latest iteration of one of the coolest enduring projects in music". gq.com. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Josh Homme – 'Desert Sessions, Vol. 11/12' review: reckless abandon from an all-rock-star cast". nme.com. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  6. ^ "After 16 years, Josh Homme rekindles the 'Desert Sessions': 'This will outlast everything I do'". latimes.com. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  7. ^ "The Big Read – Josh Homme's Desert Sessions: "I'm like a tour guide heading deep into the heart of bizarre"". nme.com. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  8. ^ "An Interview With Dave Catching". donutsmagazine.com. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Show Us Your Junk! Ep. 2: David Catching's Rancho De La Luna". earthquakerdevices.com. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Ep111: Dave Catching (Rancho De La Luna, Earthlings?, Eagles of Death Metal, Desert Sessions, Queens of the Stone Age)". radioneutron.com. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  11. ^ "As frontman with Queens Of The Stone Age, Josh Homme is arguably the biggest name in rock music. So how would he tackle a move into the producer's chair with British indie superstars Arctic Monkeys?". soundonsound.com. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  12. ^ ""Household Gods: David Pajo, Vern Rumsey and Conan Neutron" on The Shape of Rock 06-02-2020". wmse.org. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Alex Turner: "Making an Arctic Monkeys album is not an easy alchemy": Arctic Monkeys on their future, their past and working with Josh Homme". uncut.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  14. ^ http://www.stereogum.com/1791898/kurt-vile-talks-more-about-all-over-the-place-new-album-which-is-actually-titled-all-over-the-place/news/
  15. ^ "Rancho De La Luna Mezcal". ranchomezcal.com. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Want a piece of famed Joshua Tree recording studio Rancho de la Luna? Here's how to get it". desertsun.com. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  17. ^ "RANCHO DE LA LUNA MEZCAL: AN INTOXICATING NEW JAM FROM ROCK ICONS". filson.com. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Sonic Highways: Episode 5". hbo.com. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  19. ^ "American Valhalla". americanvalhalla.com. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Iggy Pop and Josh Homme are screening their 'American Valhalla' documentary online – watch it here: In a bid to make sure people stay at home, the pair will share the film that documented the creation of 2016's 'Post Pop Depression'". nme.com. Retrieved 14 June 2020.

External links[edit]