No need to introduce Leather Leone, it’s great to have her back with her solo project LEATHER, as it’s great to have a few words with one of the icons of Heavy Metal of all time. She began her singing career by joining up with guitar wunderkind David T. Chastain and listening to Leather’s new album seems time has totally frozen, her voice still rules.
Hi Leone, next April you are presenting your second album under the project Leather, it seems you are in full activity mode?
I am back in the game slowly but surely. I have found my band I am banging down every door.
Your first solo effort was Shock Waves in 1989. What did you make resurrect this project after so many years
The loss of Ronnie Dio changed my life’s course. It made me reevaluate everything about my musical life. It didn’t happen right away, but 6 years later a door opened. I marched in.
The musicians involved in this new record have nothing to do with those almost 30 years ago, except for yourself of course. How did you recruit the people? Satisfied with their job?
Rodrigo Scelza (management), Vinnie Tex, Thiago Velasquez, Braulio Drumond are my family, my band. I met Rodrigo in 2014 when he had asked Chastain to tour Brasil. He said no, but I was introduced to him. Our relationship started then. I was lucky enough to be part of the Rob Rock tour in Spring 2016. That is where I found them. We were using the same band with the exception of guitar player Vinnie Tex. After listening to them one night, I told Rodrigo this was my new chapter. He agreed….We began. And yes. I am more than satisfied.
“II” is the title of your new solo album, it means it is in some way musically related with Shock Waves
It just made sense. It is the 2nd real record I have done under my name. And when I think about it, I am # 2 in a lot of my life stories. I am extremely comfortable there…lol
You have chosen the path of a classic sound for your new album “II”, but at the same time it sounds powerful and modern
Thank you. I strive to always make powerful music, and this band is my force. We didn’t necessarily plan the sound. Although Rodrigo did have an idea of what he wanted me to do, but honestly it just happened. Vinnie, Rodrigo and I really just had a great working relationship which took off once we found our wings.
Although “II” can be described as heavy metal I like that every song has something different, some of there more speed oriented, others more heavy or mid paced…
I agree. I enjoy that aspect of “Leather II” also. Again we just let it happen naturally. Our stars were definitely aligned….
What is a constant throughout the album is that Leather Leone’s voice seems almost the same as 30 years ago. How do you keep the voice stream? Healthy customs? A good DNA?
I have to work at it. I drink a lot of water, I run. I try to sleep…. And as my mother says to me god has blessed you!!!! I am also so inspired by “the boys” which is what you are hearing.
How long did you work in the album? The songs are all brand new or had something in reserve from years ago
We started working on it this past summer. All the material is brand new.
All in all, this a very consistent album, far from the typical one that can be named an “all for the money”, this is an honest work
Lol, if I did music for money I would stopped before I began. This is a record of love and the passion we have to express ourselves along with the Metal family around the world. This band thrives on playing music together.
The album cover artwork is also the classic picture from the 80s showing who is in charge here hehe
The artwork was done by Jobert Mello at Sledgehammer Graphix. The photos done by Luciana Pereira dos Santos in Brasil. They did a great job conveying our vision.
Leather Leone is a name that has grown together with Chastain’s career, I could not understand one without the other
Its time. I am grateful for all the great music Chastain wrote that led me here, but I can and will stand on my own. It was inevitable when I met Rodrigo I would get back in the game.
Do you miss something from the 80s? Any story you would like to rescue from the old days?
It was a great time. I worked my ass off to be part of the Metal scene.. So decadent and loud!! But I don’t live in the past. My future with the Leather band is much more interesting…
After many years out of Chastain you recorded Surrender to No one in 2013, what happened in the middle?
I got into animal medicine and Pit Bull rescue. I am still involved on both. I have been blessed to do the 2 passions in my life. Music and animals.
In 2015 arrived We Bleed Metal, are you preparing a new album with David at the moment?
There are no plans at this moment to do another Chastain record.
You are considered one of the best voices of heavy metal, that put more pressure on your plans or you do what you prefer at any moment?
Thank you! No, it doesn’t put anymore pressure on me than what I put on myself. I strive to get better with every note I sing. Vinnie Tex, (my guitar player) kicked my ass recording this record! So I have my work cut out for me!!!!!!
As the Metal star you are I would like to address you one question that has been a dabate for many years already: what will happen with Metal when big names as Leather Leone, David T. Chastain, Rob Halford, etc retire?
Not sure it will ever happen for any of the aboved mentioned musicians…lol Metal is alive and well no matter who it is.
Cheers for that. Are you ready to tour with your solo project? Any dates confirmed so far?
Yes!!!! We are confirmed for “The Power of the Night Fest” in July in Cypress. There are many conversations going on…we will see. We will tour this year… We are so ready…..
Cypress, lucky guys… Thank you very much and congratulations for your career and great moment