Date: December 28, 2022
Name of podcast: Backstage Pass Radio
Episode title and number: S3: E19: Leather Leone - We Are The Chosen
Artist Bio -
Leather Leone needs no introduction. She has forged her unique place in metal history a long time ago. After being scouted by Mike Varney (President of Shrapnel records), Leather emerged in the early 1980s as a pioneer of the power metal vocals with the band Chastain. After releasing five celebrated metal records with the band during that period, Leather re-emerged again in the 2000s alongside David T. Chastain to release two critically acclaimed albums, “Surrender to no One” and “We bleed Metal”.
In the last few years, Leather has allowed her creative urges to match and expand her loyal international fanbase, resulting in widely successful South American and European tours, and in the release of “Leather II” in 2018.
Anchored in her strong writing partnership with lead guitarist Vinnie Tex, and against a backdrop of unexpected Covid-19 lockdowns, the creation of a new album became Leather’s focus from early 2020.
The long-awaited “We Are The Chosen” came to light in the Autumn of 2021 at Hertz Studios in Poland (Behemoth, Vader, Hate), undoubtedly containing ten of Leather’s most ambitious material yet. All the songs were written, produced and recorded by Leather Leone and Vinnie Tex, except the drums recorded by Braulio Drumond and keyboard orchestration by Douglas Pinella. The album was mixed and mastered by Woitek and Slawek Wieslawski. The cover art was created by Marcelo Vasco (Slayer, Dee Snider, Kreator, Testament).
With her trademark boldness, Leather traverses several musical decades effortlessly, instilling the new album with the straight-from-the-furnace steel that metal legends are made of. If anything, “We Are The Chosen”, tells us that Leather is here, she is the real deal, and she is ready for more!
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Leather Leone Mixdown Master
Tue, Dec 27, 2022 11:41AM • 44:28
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Randy Hulsey, Leather Leone
Randy Hulsey 00:00
It is gonna be a metal kind of show today. Randy Halsey here with backstage pass radio. My guest today is a metal vocalist that has been rocking the horn throwing metal heads for over 40 years. She is a female pioneer in the metal music scene. So stick around and I will introduce you to leather Leone when we return. This is backstage pass radio, the podcast that's designed for the music junkie with a thirst for musical knowledge. Hi, this is Adam Gordon. And I want to thank you all for joining us today. Make sure you like subscribe and turn the alerts on for this and all upcoming podcasts. And now here's your host of backstage pass radio Randy Halsey. Lather Hello,
Leather Leone 00:51
Hi, Randy. So nice to see you Mike. How are you?
Randy Hulsey 00:53
Likewise, you're all decked out in your black I love it. Good to see you. Finally, I wanted to maybe give a a quick shout out to John for setting this up for us. So he's I'm working with John multiple multiple artists. So we have a little relationship thing go and so John's Great. Great to work with. Yeah, yeah. Well, I'm excited to have you here today and exciting times for you right now you have a new record out congrats. And we will definitely chat more about the new record shortly but I wanted to find out. What got you hooked on the genre. What got you into metal music? I want to know more about that.
Leather Leone 01:40
Ronnie James Dio, I was a late bloomer metal. I moved out to California in the early 80s. And I was in I was singing but I had been doing, you know, hearts have been guitars. Zeppelin's and then I went to audition for Ruta girl and then I actually did any Wilson's version of rock'n'roll, okay. And they said to me, Do you know who Bon Scott is? And I said, I do this and try to sing like that. But within that year, within a few months, I heard holy diver. Oh yeah. It was over for me because I always knew I used to try to sing like Joplin I used to try to sing the the AC DC, but I could never do it but I knew my insides wanted to show and I heard do I'm like that was it? So I stayed in the studio for probably seven eight months to learn because it came kind of naturally for me, but I had to learn how to hone it. Yeah, Ronnie James Dio Randy James.
Randy Hulsey 02:40
Yeah. So would you say it's it's interesting. You talk about Bon Scott and singers like that? Does the metal or the do side of you vocally come out? Better? Is that more in your wheelhouse than trying to sound kinda like the gravel throated Janis Joplin or? Or Bon Scott?
Leather Leone 03:00
Yes. Yes, I think it does. And it's interesting. We said gravel throated. I, you know, because I listened to really extreme music. I listened to Lamb of God and archenemy so when people say great, it's like, I'm not an aggressive singer at all. But yeah, my voice really wanted to go there. It was finally, finally what my body was meant to do. But But listen, it took me a while. It took me a while to hone it in and look, I think, you know,
Randy Hulsey 03:28
I had to work at it. Yeah. So it sounds like you kind of came from more, maybe of a classic rock and roll kind of style and then got into the metal maybe in the later years. Is that a fair?
Leather Leone 03:43
Absolutely. I'm from upstate New York, which by the way, I'm on my way there to see mama. But it was a Fleetwood Mac's and the Boston's in the Elton John's in the fog had a roof Speedwagon was like one of the first shows I went to, but I have to tell you, my father didn't let me go to concerts like I couldn't go see Ozzy or Alice Cooper. But my father let me go see Blue Oyster Cult really? And I snuck in at that soundcheck and when I heard that, frickin bass sound, the bass drum sound. Yeah, I do come from the classic arena rock. Sure, absolutely. But I was a young kid, you know? Absolutely, man. Of course, moving to San Francisco. Boom, me in the face. You know, I used to rehearse across from Metallica before they got signed testament I get thrown into that. And I'm like, this is where I belong.
Randy Hulsey 04:33
I'm sure you have stories. Super, super cool. I would say that in a I guess. It's changed over the years but in a male dominated genre, like metal. It's not too often that I should rephrase it like well, I already kind of said it but it's it's more common now to see females fronting metal bands. But yeah, I suppose It's more widespread now than it was, you know, 20 years ago, right? But if you weren't singing metal, is there? Would it be the classic kind of the classic arena rock genre that you think you would be singing? Or do you think it would be another genre altogether?
Leather Leone 05:19
I would have found something else because I needed more aggression when I learned how to sing and how to use my voice. Because I went to college for musical theater and I say college loosely. I knew that I needed more aggression. I needed power. And ah, yeah, in classic rock never did it for me. So I don't know what else was there that I mean, remember, when I came out that was aggressive what I was doing so I'm doing I, it's really hard to answer that where I would have gone where it would have
Randy Hulsey 05:48
been sure. Were you were at a young age. Were you the kid bouncing off the walls? Or the kid bouncing? Yeah,
Leather Leone 05:56
yeah, it is. I was never good. At singing. I was just, I was always the one that would be the show off and mature, really small, Catholic. Small, I was just the one that would get up and go look at me and look at me. I went to a Catholic church, of course, classic Italian Catholic. I'm sitting here that had a really cool 1030 Maths core choir really, really cool. We sent like Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac, and I just, yeah, it was just I just had the balls to do it. I didn't do it well, but I can remember, one of the first times I sent a verse of Stairway to Heaven. And again, I couldn't do it. But I can remember looking at people looking at me going Yeah, yeah. And then when I heard Roddy going back full circle, what he did to my insides. I'm like, I have to find a way to do that. Because I knew it was in me, I had to find a way to do it.
Randy Hulsey 06:50
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I was gonna ask you, you know, as an artist myself, you know, we feed off of a crowd we fell off and we we, we vibe when when the audience is into what we're doing. There's an energy that you get, would you say that? where you're at, from a vocalist standpoint, does that fulfill you? You know that? Does that get the aggression out? Does that do everything for you that you need it to do? Are you still look for more? Okay, so
Leather Leone 07:22
you I look at on that stage and it's over the communication. Whether I'm having a bad night whether I have no monitors. Yeah. As you say as an artist. It is the whole vibe to be is Ronnie do just said in his documentary to be a messenger and bring it to all of you and you share it back? Sure. Yeah, it's the only place I just I just feel okay, then I could just sit there. And not even saying I could just sit there and look at all of you. So absolutely. I feed off all your energy. Yeah, absolutely. You are everything. Absolutely.
Randy Hulsey 07:58
I see and feel the the passion that you have for the art. So it shows. And I'm sure you know that it shows but let's see back in the 80s if we walked back in time a little bit you performed when I was 12. When you were 12? Yeah. 1112 Somewhere in there. Right? You were performing with? I believe it was rude girl and Chasteen and had some success with both. Was it with rude girl that you it was you were offered the multi year contract? Was it rude girl?
Leather Leone 08:36
Yes. Yes, Rudel. It's interesting. Now when I looked at because I was just young and dumb. We are being courted by CBS how we Klein who ended up being a huge Madonna person. Sandy Perlman from Sabbath, Michelle, Sabbath lawyer, and we're they're all hanging around at our shows. But I didn't really get it. But yes, we were offered some crazy thing like everybody, everyone was back then some seven year deal. Which it seems so exciting at the time. And of course, it didn't work out. And I look back now and go Holy shit, thank God. But yeah, I would give a lot of attention again, as you say. And I never thought about I thought this conversation is adorable. You didn't think about okay, we were one of the few females. So I guess it was kind of this crazy thing that happened and I was not doing sex like, you know, the other chicks that were coming out. But yes, it was CVS supposedly a seven year deal. And ship.
Randy Hulsey 09:37
Well, the I think it you said but I don't think you actually said it came right out and said it but I think that bands split before anything was released. Is that Is that correct?
Leather Leone 09:48
Let me tell you. This is a thing just like you and I just did an interview. You and I were both here seven minutes early. I have a thing about time. It drives me crazy. You go to Los Angeles and you have Four o'clock appointment they show up at 420 Oh, I can't do it. I can't even like frickin time. Yes. So I can remember we had a an appointment with our lawyer on whatever street it was whatever I was there in town with my pen ready to sign with the rest of my band. 20 minutes, 25 minutes a half hour. They were nowhere to be found. Of course, it was pre cellphone. But anyway, they didn't show up. They show up 45 minutes later, and I was like, I'm done. I'm done the lack of respect. And you know, I think the powers that be were taking care of me because it was something that I shouldn't have done. So yeah. And then I went home and I called Mike varney.
Randy Hulsey 10:36
Yeah. Well, we mentioned pre hitting the record button. We talked about going down a rabbit hole with things right. And I promised that I won't go down a rabbit hole. But I concur with you. There is no to me. There's nothing more disrespectful than being late. If you know, I would rather be an hour early than five minutes late to anything.
Leather Leone 11:00
Yeah, it's an airport three hours early. Love it. It's our frickin time, man. Yeah. Even with my mother, my mother says she's gonna be it's just something it's a bug that I have in my ass. So you aren't there at four o'clock. I'm gone. I had an interview the other day talking about red zone 402. I was gone. And they were like, what's up? Because we said four o'clock? Yes. It's, it's something crazy inside
Randy Hulsey 11:23
of me. Well, we know. Well, it's not a bad trait. And it's probably a part of an OCD trade too. But But no, I love that trait about you and about people in general that respect other people's time and get started when you're supposed to get started. Right. Thank you. I appreciate Yeah, and I believe let's see there were was there about five records released with Chasteen back in the mid to late 80s. Does that sound right to you?
Leather Leone 11:53
I'm sorry. I would have to count Mr. Evolution ruler seven. Voice of the cult for those who dare and then
Randy Hulsey 12:00
yeah, so five, six, something like that. Yeah. And it was interesting to me to read that, you know, some of the chest stain members consisted of different members of some of the bigger name bands that the Alice Cooper's the King Diamond, who were some of these players, leather.
Leather Leone 12:18
We had a joke we had a joke because we discovered for jury what it was like 17 Oh,
Randy Hulsey 12:22
from Cinderella, is that right? Yeah. Yeah,
Leather Leone 12:25
we did Mr. release, and even before we get to tour, he this band called me Okay, bye, bye. And then when he was kin married, he was like, hey, Cooper, call me Okay. Bye. Bye. It was kind of this joke we had and then we use Pat O'Brien for a while. It's like, sorry, Cannibal Corpse called the Okay. Bye bye.
Randy Hulsey 12:43
So everybody just went and did their own thing, right.
Leather Leone 12:46
Oh, God bless them. I'm glad that we were there as a platform for them. But yeah, we use a lot of and Larry how of course much of it's just rumors. But yeah, we had a lot of that. It was fun.
Randy Hulsey 12:55
What's up, you know what Fred quarry is up to these days. It seems like I stumbled across him on
Leather Leone 13:03
I like a TV pieces like emo pieces for advertising. He's doing like, TV production stuff. I just talked to him the other day. He has a studio down in LA. He's very busy.
Randy Hulsey 13:16
Very cool. It's cool to see what some of the old rockers and I don't when I say old. I'm not talking about an age just from the old school. You know, kind of when when you and I were coming up in the 80s in the late 70s. It's cool to see kind of some of the things that they're doing.
Leather Leone 13:32
They would at least tour but no sure. He makes music. He makes a TV music and I think he I know he's really into hockey. And I think he's doing some like hockey throw most of it but he's very busy musically. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 13:43
Awesome. Now after some solo records that you had released, I think it was you know, in the 80s there was a sabbatical that was taken from rock share with the listeners a little bit how an artist walks away from the industry.
Leather Leone 14:02
Let me tell you, let me tell you how an artist walks away. They can walk away when there's no one interested in what they are, who they are, what they want to be. An artist walks away who doesn't want to compromise an artist who walks away who doesn't want to take off from other fucking clothes, do pop music. That's an artist that walks away. It was heartbreaking to me but it was really enlightening. I actually had tried to get into more aggressive bands at that time everyone kind of haha funny funny. In when I talk to wonderful people like you. I didn't really have a lot of fight back then. I can basically be a lazy person. I didn't have anyone behind me it was me myself and I which no excuse, but I kind of said You know, I'm so proud of what I've done. Frick. I'm in the I'm in the middle of history books. Okay, let's see later. So I just walked away. I mean, a lot of people asked me the question about oh, you know, did you feel all this tension or backlash because you're a woman? No, I never did because I narcissistically knew I was too goddamn good. As soon as I did a soundcheck you can't mess with me. I can sing. But at that time, I realized that without David Chastain I really wasn't a priority. And that was okay. It was okay with me. So yeah, I walked away.
Randy Hulsey 15:17
I don't want to put words in your mouth and I want to make sure that I understood you. But was the industry asking you to compromise and what you were wanting to do at that time? Or did
Leather Leone 15:28
I'm so interested in letter as letter? Okay? They
Randy Hulsey 15:31
weren't they were okay. So I follow you now they want you to be you know, the have the sexy this or that or whatever.
Leather Leone 15:37
I always thought I was bigger than I was. I was like, wow, really? Okay. So it was a real slap in the face, but it was okay. It's not what was me it was really okay. I kind of had that personality. Okay, if I'm not what you want. Okay, I'll go find something else. Um, and I think, I don't know, I guess it's just something that I needed to do. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 15:56
And this sabbatical, you know, I say that kind of little timing loosely. Absolutely. This This wasn't like a two year walk away. This was like, multiple decades, right? What what do you do when you when you're a rock and roll person? That's how you kind of make your living and you walk away? What are you doing during this time off to
Leather Leone 16:18
do Randy, I do two things. I do metal music and animals. I started working with pit bulls. I'm a huge triple advocate. And that took up my whole life. The pit bulls are always underdogs, like the middle people. So I just went into animal medicine and started collecting pitbulls. And I just went away it took up all my
Randy Hulsey 16:35
time. It's funny that you say pit bulls, because right before I walked into the studio here, my wife and I were talking about gifts for Christmas. And she sent this thing and to the whole family. And it said, I don't know who drew my name for Christmas, but it was a book. I can't remember the name of it, but it's a photographer. That takes pictures, amazing pictures of pitbulls and puts these little sweeping flowers. Yes, yes, yes, yes, she
Leather Leone 17:06
said. But I collect all that stuff. And I can't think of the name either.
Randy Hulsey 17:09
So in our family, not in my home we have we have an American Bully, but my daughter and her husband have two pit bulls. So we have that in common too. We're on time and we love pit bulls. So see, see, we're starting. We're trending. We're trending here, right?
Leather Leone 17:24
That's your amazing, you're amazing. They are and they taught me a lot. Because there's no bad dogs. It's just bad owners. So like I said it took up all my time.
Randy Hulsey 17:32
Terriers. Yeah, you did that you did the dog saying you at some point in time you say I'm coming back. Why were you compelled? What What was the thing that said, it's time to get back into the game.
Leather Leone 17:47
When we lost Ronnie do okay. I went down to his whatever festivities, whatever the funeral and stuff. And he's very first lines. It's fucking amazing. And I walked out to get away from everyone in the sun was it just sort of beautiful there. And I can remember thinking to myself, while loser. That's the only thing that I can kind of do. The powers that be is what I call whatever. This is a gift that they have given me the talent they have given me and I'm doing shit with it. So that was it. From that Dan, I started moving forward. And then I met Scott Warren is his keyboard player, Jimmy Bain before we lost him. And I was blessed enough to run into his whole family. And that's what I made the sledge leather record with. So it was it was the the loss of Ronnie I. Yeah, it just it just floored me like everybody else. But I felt that I owed that to your so that's why I came back.
Randy Hulsey 18:44
Yeah. What an amazing talent. And I mentioned to you earlier that I had a really, really long conversation with Tony Carey, and Tony Carey was actually the keyboard player in rainbow when Ronnie James Dio was with him. And it was it was we had a long conversation about cancer. And we talked you know, Tony was diagnosed with cancer. And it was this was back in. Oh, gosh, I'm not even going to try to attempt the date. But it was it was it was okay. He is but it was bladder cancer. And it was kind of along the same lines of, you know, the whole stomach cancer that that Ronnie succumb to right. And it's so amazing that Tony had written a record called Lucky us. And I'm sure he talks about, you know, different people his story but, you know, like with Ronnie, he wasn't as lucky as Tony was right. And it's so funny because that kind of that kind of cancer. There's the success rate of surviving. It is so low. It's so low. Yes. And so that was a big loss for sure. And some some people survive it and some people don't but you'd mentioned in your statement just a second ago about the sledge leather project. Like that was like somewhere around the 2010 2011 2010 I
Leather Leone 20:06
think I got it together and 11 Okay, because, you know, I hadn't seen in a really long time and it just like went and made another chested with Justin record 2013. So you know, I've really been out of the game for a while if I'm not going to be able to sing properly anymore. I'm not doing it. So I went, I went in and out of studios of for a while just recording destroyed many a CD. So yeah, that's how it came about instinct letter was a really weird, bizarre project. When I listen to it. It's so off the wall. It's just an opportunity that I had just grabbed it to do it. And I'm very thankful that I did. Because you know, it got me involved with the do family again, it made me feel really good. But that was 2011 Yes,
Randy Hulsey 20:44
sometimes we do weird things or have have weird things in our life happened. But I think they're all for a reason. Like, it's just a stepping stone to something else sometimes. Right?
Leather Leone 20:54
I knew I knew. Because I used to say to you why do you call this a project? Because I mean, I just knew this is just a stepping stone. And again, yeah,
Randy Hulsey 21:02
sometimes you just get that gut that it's not a career move. But it's it's it's going to be on to the next thing very soon. Yeah. Well, you began work with a new band in Brazil sometime around, I think it was the 2017 timeframe. Is this educate me please? Is this the band that you're currently working with? Or was that a past thing?
Leather Leone 21:27
No, let me tell you. We had a promoter that called that chest in in 2014 detour. He's done. He threw the promoter onto me for something went to Brazil was 2014. He just threw he threw a band together. For me. I did a couple of weekends. And just in songs. It was amazing. Okay, let's sit in touch with this promoter. 2016 Rob rock from impella Terrier is going to go down there and do it. He needs to open the bed. Oh, I go down. We use the same band. They do that a lot in Brazil, a lot of singers go down there and they put the bands together. Everybody shares events, blah, blah, blah. So I took bits and pieces of that band. That were my touring band. It's interesting. I am the band. It's like, where's the band is? I'm the band. I hire people as I need them. Sure. But yeah, that's that was my touring band. And the touring band actually did a letter to we all did that together, which I changed that immediately because it didn't work out for me. So right now, again, when I was on the road with Rob rock, I had one guitar player he had to there was a guy named Vinnie Tex. And I just watched him every night and I really became friends with him and and he didn't know anything about me, which was just beautiful. And then he got introduced to shockwaves. And he would kind of really just melted together musically. So then he became part of my band. We did the Raven tour. I think we did some Grim Reaper shows blah, blah, blah. And then COVID hits right in actually before COVID hit my musical life was in massive chaos. Everything split. Everybody walked away from me. But Vinnie tech stayed with me. And we decided, hey, let's just write a record because he really, he's not a shredder and really just wanted to do melody and he fell in love with my voice. And then COVID did hit so you know, we just wrote we wrote on the iPad that I'm talking to you on. So Vinnie texts and I are definitely the consumption of leather and I hire people as I need them.
Randy Hulsey 23:21
I got you. So is it safe to say that right now? Other than Vinnie, there's really no permanent members in the band. Okay, gotcha. Yeah.
Leather Leone 23:31
I've always wanted it that way I wanted to be in again, I learned this from leather too. And this is the premise of disrupted we take back control. My whole musical career in career use loosely. There's always been somebody else in charge, and I can look okay, I figured they obviously have my best interests at heart. And I'm grateful for all of it. Yeah, I'm not being a bitch about it at all. But you know what, as I get older, and it's not happening, why I think it should happen. So I want to do it my way. So absolutely. It's the record. So I'm doing it myself.
Randy Hulsey 24:02
Well, you know what, whether it's i I've said it a million times we there's no rewind button on life, right. And you you have to be okay with your conscience and how you've done things along the way. Because when you're when you're 80 years old, and you look back and you say, Oh, well, shit, I should have done this, or I should have done that. You have to be okay with that.
Leather Leone 24:24
It wasn't some big horrible pissed up relationship. But it was like, You know what? I think I need to do this a different way. I'm going to do it. Yeah. No. The confidence to do it. Yeah. I never knew that. I couldn't do it. So letting other musicians talk to me. And it's like, oh, just keep going, man, because it could hit you at 20. It could hit you 50 Some days. It's gonna wait for it. It's coming. It's coming.
Randy Hulsey 24:47
That's right. I agree. And I've heard you mention the well, just to step back about Vinny B and kind of you and Vinny be in the Corps. I just recently had an interview with Graham bonnet who was also former rainbow singer. Right? And and Graham and Bethany and Conrad are kind of the core of the Graham bonnet man. My mind quickly went back to my interview with Graham, when you said dads were the core, and then we just kind of fill it in where we need and how we need kind of
Leather Leone 25:19
too many cooks in the kitchen. And you can see by my personality, I'm everywhere.
Randy Hulsey 25:24
much noise there's too much.
Leather Leone 25:25
Too much. Yeah, people saying that this is what you should do. No, it's not what I should do. I need to be quiet. Figure it out myself. Right?
Randy Hulsey 25:32
Well, and there's an old acronym kiss, right. Keep it simple, stupid, right. And that's kind of what? That's what, that's what you're talking about. Just let me thank and let's keep it simple. I don't need a bunch of people.
Leather Leone 25:44
I didn't I didn't. I didn't know that was necessary. I didn't know.
Randy Hulsey 25:48
Yeah, well, every day is a learning experience. That's right. I heard you mentioned that you'd ultimately like to move to South America. Is there any truth to that?
Leather Leone 26:01
Yes. I mean, I know Vinnie, like why do you want to leave the US there's something more hungry, more mental and more. I live in our country's modern, and I go to these places, and they're so old and historical, the architecture. You know, I've been here my whole life, I want to go I want to go somewhere else. I want to be where, you know, if I was down there, it could be playing all the time. I could. It's just a different vibe. It's more mental life down there. And I was really struck for First of all, when I got off the plane in Brazil in 2014. It just, it's so magical. And the frickin Voodoo is everywhere. It's dark. And it's just, it's great in that cool, mystical, mysterious. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 26:42
it hit it hits you in different ways. And you just know sometimes like, this is kind of where I'm meant to be. Or at least I need to give it a try.
Leather Leone 26:51
I mean, the night sky in Brazil and the clubs, it's just magic down there.
Randy Hulsey 26:56
Well, you know, I think in Europe, people listen to music differently than they do here in the United States. The crowds are
Leather Leone 27:03
different. Europe reminds me of what I felt the 80s it's not it's a way of life than
Randy Hulsey 27:09
a way of
Leather Leone 27:11
life. And it's not like that here anymore. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 27:13
I had a great interview with nibs, Carter, the bass player for Saxon and they still you know, they're still metal gods, you know, and people just love Saxon and I even have some local friends that are in a an outfit called HAL Starr and when they go to Germany and whatnot. You know, what's funny is so so Larry Larry Merrigan, the the lead guitarist for hell star. I think he's been with hell star for 40 years now. Right? Yeah. And so So Larry, he lives locally right here by me. And he was here in my studio. And I asked him the other day. Hey, have you ever heard of leather Leonis? Like, Oh, absolutely. I said, that was a dumb question. I should have known all you metal heads stick together
Leather Leone 27:57
with him a few years ago somewhere, but it's interesting. You say that about sex. And I have to tell you, I've never been to sex and fan. Some reason they opened for Motorhead or something I had the opportunity saying God to meet let me before he passed. Here, the warfield. It's like a 2000 seater in the city here in San Francisco. Six and Shrek and blew me away. Holy shit. I was like best.
Randy Hulsey 28:20
Where are you been? All my life? Right. Yeah. Interesting. And you you mentioned you know, we mentioned Saxon and Motorhead and whatnot. Over the years, you've been fortunate enough, and I'm sure they've been fortunate enough to share the stage with such acts like you know, if I remember correctly, Exodus Megadeth. Would you say that these bands inspired your style? Or not so much? Or was it just a Ronnie James Dio thing for you? Know, the
Leather Leone 28:55
only thing that inspired me about these bands is that I know how hard they work. Okay. No, no, what? Again, their hard work inspired me but no, because I blew it didn't matter who I was opening up for I blew it. No, no, no, no, Ronnie, Ronnie, and I ragged run out of credit, but it's Ronnie. It's Dr. Dickinson and tape. I met Jeff many times. He's frickin amazing. He was playing during the city pre COVID. And I was hanging out with him at the restaurant. He's like drinking red wine and smoking. And then he goes on stage and just rips. I've never been near Dickinson. I don't you know, I don't get inspired by a lot of people. It's just I want to be them. But I know that I'm good enough to be them. So they definitely fueled my fire that way. And you know, we're talking back in the day, you know, a little girl show opening up for Megadeth Exodus. I get everything thrown in nice pitch. Wow. It was great. No, I loved it. I was like, Bring it on. Right. It was a great training ground for me. It's amazing. It made me better. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 29:58
It's amazing. How shall Low minded people can be like, you know, they they judge you as Oh, you're you're a chick. You can't do this right kind of mentality.
Leather Leone 30:09
It never really bothered me. I mean, people ask me that question all the time. It's like you kid you cannot see me. It doesn't matter. It's so uninteresting what's in between our legs. Who gives a fuck? Microphone. Hello. You're asking I'd love to tell you. I do have to tell you, Ruth, you're sort of getting off his press and stuff. And when we were talking to CBS, we did Megadeth I knew Blackie from Moscow. But we broke up Randy. We were supposed to open up for Slayer. it and I'm like, I'm gonna get fucking killed. That would never happen, but that was sternum Ogami and fucking killed. Wow, it was okay. It was okay. Yeah, it was great. It was great.
Randy Hulsey 30:50
So awesome. You released an LP this year under the name leather. And the record is called we are the chosen and I'd like to share a quick clip of the song off the new record with the listeners and then we'll come back and chat about it sound like a plan?
Leather Leone 31:08
Randy Hulsey 31:08
sure standby. Right that was the title cut off of the record with the same name, leather, great song with lots of energy. I love it. And I remember seeing your video on YouTube. It was kind of the promo clip for we are the chosen and your your attitude and your energy is infectious. I love that. So kudos to you. Yeah. So, in general, what inspires you to write? Is it just different things on different days? Or is there any one thing that jumps out at you when you write talk to the listeners a little bit about inspiration for songs in general,
Leather Leone 32:36
what inspires me is nature in the occult and witchcraft and mystical stuff. And I wish that we were all powerful, and I wish that I could be a witch and I wish that there were dragons and fairies and I was so disappointed in my unlike when I found that there was no Santa Claus. I'm inspired by magic. That's why I love durante so much. Like, I'm going to speak to them and just kind of walk out into the into the world in the dark and just steal an eye like, in again, the perfect dichotomy I'm Catholic, so good and evil is, is everyone in metal says anyway. And of course, it's the way you feel that way. I had bad days I had shitty days. When I basically like to write about more. I don't want to say negative but more. I'm a realist. I know the way life is yes. I just look around. I just look around and take it from life. But it's really about magic and what I wish the world really was.
Randy Hulsey 33:29
Absolutely I agree. What inspired the song we are the chosen specifically, can you talk to the listeners a little bit about the song?
Leather Leone 33:39
I can because again, I am infatuated. My whole body is induced with Ronnie James Dio, and the conversations that I had with him and in the type of feeling that he portrayed through metal music. And I just think, again, it was back to when we lost him when I was sitting with cemetery. I think that I was blessed enough. I'm a messenger. I'm here to present it to the family. We're all metal heads. We're the chosen, we live this life. We believe in it. We thrive on it. We just live it. We're the chosen. It's just I love all of you. We are the chosen people. That's all one big family. Yeah. And I'm here to to push it.
Randy Hulsey 34:22
I love that. I love to hear the stories behind the songs and what inspired him. I've always been the junkie like that from opening an album in wanting to read the liner notes.
Leather Leone 34:32
I've been around for so long, that and I've never really broke that big so for people to have any frickin interest in me. Oh my God works. We're the chosen we are the people you know, we're the chosen.
Randy Hulsey 34:45
Well, I'm here with you. I have interested Well, I think frickin
Leather Leone 34:49
metal would have frickin metal heads were the underdogs were chosen to be together. I love it.
Randy Hulsey 34:54
I love it. And I think there's been some some big news that just came down out that your record was making searches on the NAC see charts. And I believe that we are the chosen debuted at like number 18 on that job right? How exciting. Fucking.
Leather Leone 35:14
Yeah, I just heard it from the label. Yeah. And the video just hit like 120,000 views. I
Randy Hulsey 35:20
mean, so cool.
Leather Leone 35:21
It's insane. Yeah, it's because of all of you it is so cool. But I think I think there's still a need out there not a need but a want for traditional metal, whatever it's called. And there's a big circle that goes around it right now. It's extreme metal, which I love. But I think it's just, you know, the circle is going backwards right now. And I don't know, if people are just ready for pizza, metal music, people love metal music. I just do metal. That's all
Randy Hulsey 35:44
right. Well, I've always said if I can turn on 10 new people to leathers music, then my job is done. Right? Nine or 10. That's it just nine or 10. But that's nine or 10 that you didn't have yesterday, which is a good thing.
Leather Leone 35:58
And again, I'm so blessed because I had Cheston. But to me this music is so different. It's finally my music. So it's really, really inspiring. It's frickin incredible.
Randy Hulsey 36:07
Thank you. Yes, thank you for the music and the art. The record was recorded, if I'm not mistaken in hertz studio, which is nowhere close to where you live in California. share with the listeners. Why? I was going to like open it up to artists in general, but specifically for you what why this studio? How did you choose this studio?
Leather Leone 36:34
It's crazy when somebody says it's me. But we were touring. When we did leather to and Vinnie and I decided we wanted to redo some of the vocals for two. We weren't near Poland he had a relationship with hertz studios because of he comes from extreme metal. So he calls up the brothers Hey, we need Yeah, come on. They were interested at the time of doing some more melodic metal. I went to that place. Oh my god, I haven't been in a real studio brother since ruler of the Wasteland. You stay upstairs. It's so magic. I mean, dude, beat him with Vader. Eight. Forget all these extreme metal bands. I mean, the metal just permeates from the walls. And they are so amazing. They are so pure. And I've never had people care about my vocals and be as a person so much. I mean, the guy would go, Hey, can you sing this a little dirtier? Absolutely. It was just such a feeling. I walked in there and I knew that I was home. I never want to be anywhere else. They're just Oh, it's just it's such a metal. It's just a metal house. And as far as finances, though, it was the same. It's insane here in the States, you knew that it was not any more money for me to fly to Poland to record and to record here in the States. Wow. It just it's so intense, sir. I love them so much. I can't wait to go back. I can't read it. It was funny. I didn't want to leave with it. We were there for three or four weeks. And I said, Can I just stay here in the studio every day. And it's in the middle of nowhere. And it's just it's smart studio. It's so magnificent. You're just closed off in this bubble of creativity. Wow,
Randy Hulsey 38:08
amazing. So you can really get into the whole vibe and the ambiance.
Leather Leone 38:14
Again, I've never had this much time to do a record again. The Chessy records were like, Okay, you have to do the vocals in 16 hours. I mean, I took my time I did a song every day. I mean, it was just it was just amazing. And they I think they're the first engineers to ever they recorded me the way I really am. It was so important to me to get away from the 80s wind tunnel. Just to have real professional production it was a really big deal to me. And I from the beginning I was saying to Vinnie and everyone I want fricken Lamb of God drums I want Extreme Metal drums you can find a way to get this done. And they did I mean they're gonna hurt studios everyone it's amazing.
Randy Hulsey 38:53
Wow, it's amazing now in your promotional video for we are the chosen when you're in the studio, is that was that in hertz studio. Okay, very cool. Yeah, I dig it. Yeah. Well, I was by the board making believe I knew what I was doing. Yeah. You look great. This button, right. I don't know what these buttons do. But I look really cool doing it. Right. Exactly. Well, that's sometimes the perception is everything. You know. Talk to me a little more about animal rescue and what you're doing these days with animal rescue and how many pups Do you have these days? Sure.
Leather Leone 39:36
I don't have any more because, you know, I traveled so much and unfortunately a lot of the pits that I have dealt with are in bad shape so they don't last very long and it's it's really heavy, heavy. I met my first Pitbull in I found the dog across the street after I stopped touring like 91 This little pit bull and he was really aggressive and need a lot of work and I just fell in love. So basically what I do is I just basically I just give money right now I try to help people that are rescuing them, you know, you can call me and I'll go and help pick up the dog because they're just, they're just, they're just an abused animal. But I just basically really support them now and I was actually just saying to a friend of mine, it's because I'm a woman and by myself, I like her but a big ass dog appears mean, but you know, that hurt me? Sure. So sometimes I think about it, but the end of their life became really too hard for me. So I really just support everybody else.
Randy Hulsey 40:29
Yeah, that's what I do. I get it. They're such a misunderstood breed, I believe and before we, before we owned one of the breed, you know, I think, you know, people are mad and are they're usually the ones that make the dogs I mean,
Leather Leone 40:44
there's no bad dogs, it's bad people and unfortunately terriers are a breed that is they just want to please people so they're extremely easy to turn. Yeah. Yeah, it's heartbreaking with the whole you know, I'm a vegan the whole animal thing in our society is just frickin disgusting. So, I mean, I could go on and on but so I do metal music, which is what I do.
Randy Hulsey 41:05
What is coming up for leather as it relates to tour I know you just released new music but are you working on Yanni
Leather Leone 41:16
wants to tour let her Tora Tora, Tora, Tora, Tora, Tora, Tora. I'm talking to people every day about it. And you know, there's a backlog from COVID. They're trying to make up for all the insurance money lesson to me. That is my goal. I need to get out on the road. I'm trying to involve myself in a package. I will do it it's going to take some time. And again, there's kind of that stigma that only got my chest saying so that's why I'm so happy to all of you. Thank you so much for helping this record do so well. Because this is him without chest and so I'm really fighting but but I'll do. Absolutely. That's gonna fucking stop me. I'm done with the Doors closing.
Randy Hulsey 41:51
Yeah, good. That's a great attitude to have. Because when you don't have that attitude, that's when the door shut. Right. So
Leather Leone 41:58
yeah, I just have to be positive and understand. It's all about patience. And I'm, I'm not a patient person. COVID taught me right. Yeah, I can relax. I mean, look at the record that Vinnie and I did. So I have to learn to relax.
Randy Hulsey 42:09
Yeah, yeah, you'll give yourself a heart attack if you don't, right. We don't we don't need that. So that's right. Yeah, you have a point. You have a point? Where can the listeners find you on social media?
Leather Leone 42:24
Go to LeBron leone.com. My Facebook is there my Instagram is there. I think it's level we already official on Twitter, but good celebrity on the.com. Everything is there is great new website, by the way. Awesome.
Randy Hulsey 42:36
Well, leather, listen, it's been a delight to chat with you. And it's been a nice change for me as it relates to music genre. I'm a rock guy, too. I don't get too deep into the metal stuff. But I love to hear the stories. And my mind is like a sponge. I'm open to all kinds of music and I love what you're doing. And I love the record. I've listened to it probably three or four times I tried to do that with all my artists, you know that I'm going to talk to just to get more familiar with the, with the records. But thanks so much for being on the show. It's been a it's been a treat for me. And as always, I asked the listeners to like, share and subscribe to the podcast. Of course. Also make sure to follow leather on all her social media outlets including the website at WWW dot leatherleaf ony l e o n e.com. You can follow backstage pass radio on Facebook at backstage pass radio podcast on Instagram at backstage pass radio, Twitter at backstage pass PC, and on the website at backstage pass. radio.com. Thank you guys for tuning in. Make sure you take care of one another and we'll see you right back here on the next episode of backstage pass radio. Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoyed today's episode of backstage pass radio. Make sure to follow Randy on Facebook and Instagram at Randy Halsey music and on Twitter at our Halsey music. Also, make sure to like, subscribe and turn on alerts for upcoming podcasts. If you enjoyed the podcast, make sure to share the link with a friend and tell them backstage pass radio is the best show on the web for everything music. We'll see you next time right here on backstage pass radio