By Andrew Catania
Leather, the solo band of Chastain singer Leather Leone, released its new album, “II,” on April 13 in the U.S. through Divebomb Records and in Europe through High Roller Records.
Where did you meet your band members?
LL: I met the band and decided to work with them in 2016. We did some shows and got home in the spring of 2017. We started writing for the new album, and it took 7-8 months from start to finish. We shopped the record to the label. I’ve been sitting on this for a while. The album was ready last summer.
These are band members you’ve never worked with before?
LL: I had the privilege of going down to South America and co-headlining with Rob Rock, and we use the same band except for Vinnie Tex, and I just fell in love with them. They’re young and spirited and not jaded, and they want to play. So I looked at Rodrigo one night, and I said, you realize that this is my band. So that’s where I met them in 2016.
Musicians my age, most are jaded and pissed off because they didn’t make it, didn’t make any money. I didn’t want to deal with that. I just wanted to make music.
Do you have any plans with David T Chastain to release any music in the future?
LL: I thought we were done after, For Those Who Dare. But did we ever have any plans to do Surrender To No One? I don’t see anything in the future, but you never know.
He’s very busy running his label. I know he’s releasing a bunch of his Southern Gentlemen music. There are no plans at this time. LLB, the Leather Leone Band, is my priority now.
How has the reception been for your new album?
LL: It has been overwhelming. I was talking to Vinnie, my guitar player. I am so I’m flabbergasted because I was wondering, people know me, they know me from Chastain, and so I was going, are they going to like it? They love it!
Has your voice changed for this album?
LL: My voice has dropped. I’m so fucking excited. Mike Varney told me that when I did Sledge Leather project in 201, he said to me, “Well, your balls have finally dropped.” I have always wanted to sing in these keys. Those Chastain records, oh my God, I can’t listen to the freaking keys anymore. So my voice dropped. I’m probably definitely not an octave but maybe half an octave, it’s a lot lower. This is what I want to do. I wish to be recorded like I’m sitting right in front of you with an acoustic guitar and I want you to hear the spit, listen to me pop and here me the out of key.
I want it to be real. That’s what I tried to do on this record. I had some good days. I hit some not so good days. If you’ll notice I left some squeaks in. I haven’t recorded in a real studio in it seems like a hundred and 27 years. To be in a real studio was unbelievable.
Will we see out on tour in the US?
LL: I got to tell you, I live in northern California, and I know James Hetfield. I see him a lot, and I was talking to him when I was starting to get back in the game in 2012,-2013. He told me even bands like Metallica have to buy our their tours ahead of time. Of course, they make their money back as big as they are. It’s brutal out here.
My management is now Grim Reapers management. We’re going to start a North American tour, which I just found out a couple of weeks ago. Our first show is September 25th. We’re going to try and do 45-50 shows with Steve then come home and rest. From there were going to Europe. I hope to see old and new fans alike on the road!
For more information on the Leather Leone Band go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/leatherleoneband/