LEAF – interview

LEAF – interview

Interview with British band LEAF, a British melodic hard-grunge-rock act that has recently reformed with some new band members and are re-finding their creative side and inspiration. They state on their webpage “A real rock band – no backing tracks allowed!” And so here is a small chat with thm to hear about the newest compositions and plans for the future

Introduce your band, and describe your latest release:

We are Leaf UK a bunch of angry old men with a penchant for a massive riff, a hook from hell and lyrics that will make you wonder if we should get some serious intervention. Seriously, between us we have a rich history of music making between us, from punk to metal and back again. I am Colin, short, angsty vocalist and we have Jarad on guitar, an insanely heavy riffer, Mark on drums whose technicality is astounding (and he works us hard in rehearsals) and we have a new bass player who will be announced soon – a giant who makes me look even smaller.

Our new release is mould breaking – MMXXIII is a foray into releasing one song a month for twelve months. I just got sick of the record…wait for months…put out an album…wait for the feedback. Now it is constant, we have immediacy and respond to what is liked and hated. I think we may just carry on doing this – we have enough songs for the next 36 months, and the rate that we write at we will be good for the next decades!

What’s the hardest part about being a band in this day and age?

Making money, getting gigs, keeping up with the constant social media feeding frenzy? It is an absolute nightmare, but we do it because we love it. Our big problem is not being lumped in with other bands of our age. Some are great and we love them, others are too rooted in old-fashioned ideas and styles. We have a vibrancy and relevancy that should transcend age – the singer of Bathtub told me recently to stop playing ‘old people’s venues’, and we are looking now for alternative venues to mix it up with the kids!

When did you realise that your project had the potential to be much more than just a fun idea?

1992 when I first met Jarad. He is younger than me and I became the ‘leader’ of the direction of the band, but I have to say without the chemistry with him and his ‘lefty-ness’ I wouldn’t be so inspired. With Mark, we first got together in the 80’s and he was an utter inspiration, but back then he was wound tighter than a coiled spring.

Tell us about your latest release, why should we check it out?

As I have said MMXXII is a collection of songs, each with its only little story and we want you to join us on a journey. If you love original, grungy metal-punk that has been sideswiped by Motörhead then you are going to be into us and you will see how we develop as the year progresses.

How does a song typically come together for you?

I will come up with the seed of an idea, sometimes inspired by a Jarad riff or from a jam with Mark, or even just from utter, enveloping anger at the state of the world around me. I will take it to the boys and they develop it further – they are brutal critics, but we are so in tune with each other that it usually heads down a direction that we all love, with input from us all concentrating on writing the best song that we can at that moment (which is often…..).

How would you describe your sound to an unfamiliar reader?

Imagine the grit of the Pistols, bumping into the swagger of Soundgarden, with a little pop-punk sensibility and a nod to modern stuff like Turnstile and you may get close. Riff, riff, tune, melody, groove and catchiness that focuses on the song with very few solos (although Jarad is a great guitar player) and nothing to excess. Oh and dynamics, we love those.

What do you want listeners to take away from listening to your band?

We really want them to say “Jeez that was good, wonder where they are from” followed by the realisation that this modern rock is produced by people who care about what you need from a song -3 minutes of punch your fist in the air and a earworm that sneaks up on you days later.

Where would you really like to tour that you haven’t done so yet, and why?

I would love to tour Australia – down to Earth and gritty reality, washed down with beer and meat. They would love our simplicity and honesty, get into us, fight us, then buy us another brew. I look at Deez Nuts and see the links to AC/DC – real bands, real music. Japan would be cool though, because I am a big nerd underneath the cool exterior.

How would you say that the sound of your band has progressed over the years?

Age, wisdom and life in general has pushed us further away from those early influences. Let’s face it young bands are rarely the most original and borrow heavily from their heroes. We did borrow, but we have moved on so much and incorporate all sorts of sounds and styles these days. We dod not listen to the same music that we used to and do not listen to same music as each other very often – although Jarad has got me into Soul Glo, I got him into Idles and I got Mark into Turnstile (hee hee).

How excited are you for 2023, and what can fans expect from you?

2023 has got to be good. We are all revved up and ready to put out as much music as we can before we shuffle off this mortal coil. You can expect more intensity, more gigs, more Arrrgghhhh LEAF UK!


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