Interview with NIGHT DEMON
The Band: Night Demon
Answers by: Jarvis Leatherby (vocals, bass)
We have to wait a little for it but it truly worths every minute, because finally we got to talk to Mr. Jarvis Leatherby. I’ve got many interviews in my belt, but just a few times you can feel the passion, energy and determination that Jarvis put in every word. No wonder he is leading Night Demon and on board Cirith Ungol’s war vessel. Enjoy his new album “Darkness Remains” and this interview.
Hello Jarvis and congratulations for your second full-length album “Darkness Remains”
Thank you! It’s finally here, and we are ready to play these songs live!!!!!!!!!!!!
Since I discovered Night Demon in the KIT presenting the songs of your self-titled ep your popularity has grown steadily. Where is the secret in your opinion?
Consistency. Always do something for your band, everyday. Even if it’s something small, always do something. Don’t wait for things to happen to your career. You have to have a vision in mind, and do everything you can to implement those plans.
Night Demon is a band from Ventura (California), but if you don’t know it one might believe you are from Birminghan or London, the NWOBHM sound is very present in your compositions
Absolutely. It was our goal when we started to have that british influence. We absolutely love the NWOBHM seen and have been fans for two decades. It’s difficult to not write in that style, as it is part of our DNA.
Jarvis, if you still can remember it haha, of all the chances why you chose the path of the British heavy metal as the base of your sound?
Like I said, it’s just a natural thing. It’s what is closest to our hearts, and we have exposed this to many people who don’t even know that scene.
However, you don’t sound as another revival band, your music is fresh and powerful
I can agree with that. I think that we have also been influenced by other metal that has happened in the last 35 years after NWOBHM. That combination makes for a more original sound with NWOBHM roots.
Tours supporting acts as Diamond Head or Raven are another proof of your growth
Absolutely. It’s one thing to get the opportunity to meet your heroes and play with them, but to do business with them, live with them on the road, and become friends, is on a whole other level. We have been greced by these bands and it’s really been a dream come true.
This year you are releasing “Darkness Remains”, the confirmation that you star is shining bright and your previous efforts were not coincidence
I think it’s been a progression for us, but a very natural one at that. We want to provide a future for heavy metal when the godfathers are gone. We are not here to compete, but to inspire other young bands that have the hunger to really go for it and make the necessary sacrifices for heavy metal.
It could seem that your popularity is stronger in Europe but “Curse of the Damned” was voted the #1 album of 2015 by listeners of WCJU’s Metal on Metal radio show in Cleveland, Ohio…?
Yes, we actually have many fans in the U.S., and they are continuing to grow in rapid numbers. All of the touring we do out there helps a lot, and there are no signs of us slowing down in that area.
“Darkness Remains” has been more complicated to compose than “Curse of the Damned”?
I think so. We also had a lot less time to do it. Most of the Curse songs were written before we ever went on tour and shortly after the first EP was released.
Any significant difference between both releases in your opinion?
The production value is higher on Darkness Remains, and the guitar playing is a lot better, as we have added new member Armand John Anthony on guitar.
As your first album, you are releasing “Darkness Remains” through SPV, how do you feel with the guys?
They are the greatest guys at SPV/Steamhammer. They are fans of the band and love metal. They trust our vision and stand behind us 100% I can’t remember even one argument or strong disagreement we have had. That’s always a very good sign.
The cover artwork is a good clue of what we are gonna find insde this great “Darkness Remains”, 80s taste all the way…
ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hahaha. “Darkness Remains” shows a great load of astonishing riffs, solos and tempo changes, so sometimes you suspect that there are more than three guys in the band…
We do the best with the pieces we have. There are no rhythm guitar tracks under the solos on this album, and the guitar and bass do a lot of harmonies together. It has become our signature, for sure. It sounds more representative if how the band is live, and we don’t need anything more than what we have. Three is enough for Night Demon.
One of the “rules” in your songs is their duration, 3-4 minutes each, no time to loose and right to the throat…?
Exactly. Nothing pains me more than songs that are just way too long. It’s boring for me. Also with this format, the band can play many more songs in a live situation. I hate seeing some of my favorite bands play for two hours and I only get to hear thirteen songs.
The variety in the album is also guaranteed, fast and galloping tempos as Dawn Rider and more atmospheric ones as Darkness Remains which, by the way, delivers a fantastic guitar solo
We wanted to have some more diversity on the record, while still keeping the constant themes that Night Demon is known for. I feel we accomplished this, and I’m very satisfied with the results.
Great melodies are present throughout the record, what is more important in your opinion Jarvis, a great riff or a killer solo?
Hard to say. I think the vocal melody is sometimes more important, but everything usually starts with a good riff. Lyrics are also important for a lot of listeners. I also think that a guitar solo is also much like a vocal line. The melody must be there. It’s not about how fast you can play, but what are the right notes to play and when to play them.
You have confirmed already many tour dates around the globe, you don’t save efforts when it comes to take your songs to the stage…?
Not at all. Touring is the most important thing you can do for a heavy metal band. It’s important to play live, and play often. We are definitely a live band, and the fans appreciate the effort and energy we bring to the stage. We basically live on the road.
Amazing, “live on the road”, clear as water. Any place around where you feel more like at home?
I feel at home everywhere in the world. I really have to. Truth be told, I have no home anymore. I have no house to live in. I was throwing money away by paying rent and never being home, so I put all of my possessions in a storage unit, and now the world is my home. It is my commitment to heavy metal that keeps me alive.
Awesome! Looking at the future, it’s difficult to imagine Night Demon playing other thing than classic heavy metal, do you think this will ever change?
We will never change. We will grow and expand, but it will always rock hard!
Jarvis, you are living a great moment as a musician, even you are the current bassist of all time legend Cirith Ungol, how did it happen and how do you feel about it?
Yes, I feel it is one of my greatest accomplishments in life. Everyone said the band will never reunite, but I am the one who made it happen. I bothered thek for years, and the success of Night Demon really showed them that they could have another chance to make it all happen. The future looks bright and I am enjoying every single minute of it.
I do believe you!. Any chance to record a new album with Cirith Ungol?
Yes, we are working on new material at the moment.
Yeaaaah! The return of Cirith Ungol to the activity maybe is a sign that the scene is living a great moment, how do you see it?
I think so. Also the many new young bands that are coming out seem to be at a higher caliber than in recent years. We hope to keep this movement going for generations to come.
What are your plans for the future, Jarvis?
If I told you, I would have to kill you! HAHA! Let’s just say there’s no stopping now, and everyone can expect a lot of new groundbreaking things to happen.
Hahaha, awesome, man. Thank you very much for your attention Jarvis, you fucking rule! Have a great world tour! If you wish to add something…
Follow your dreams. No matter how old you are, or where you are in life. It’s a short life, and you only get one shot. You have nothing to lose by being true to yourself.