Leeroy: A Musician’s Passion
June 27, 2011
Some people blaze through life with a passion and vivacity that touches everyone that they meet. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Leeroy from Lifer who exudes this quality even through text. I can’t thank him enough for taking the time out to do this interview and actually suggesting the idea in the first place. Hope you all enjoy reading this small snippet of his world.
What inspired you to play music?
My mum always played old rock records when I was a child so I grew up with it and love the sound of older bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Hawkwind, Thin Lizzy. Always loved the tones coming from the guitars and the big power beats from the drums...still till this day raises the hairs on the back of my neck.
Were you always into stoner, sludge and doom? If not, what turned you onto that style of music?
I was simply into the sounds and tones. That grew into liking and being a fan of heavy music. I like every kinda style so long as it's well executed and the delivery moves you. It must have passion behind it. I grew up listening to old classic rock and some sixties stuff and naturally found other styles eg: prog/punk/speed/thrash/hardcore/death/doom/experimental stuff, all have bands and tunes that I love and have my favorites from.
How did Acrimony come about and what lead to it disbanding?
Learning to play guitar with friends I grew up with and making a right din in sheds haha. Then one day it all started making sense and various bands where formed every week..hahaha. Until one band stuck and that became Acrimony. After years of playing with the same people and traveling around playing shows everywhere you can, the fun disappeared from it and it became tiring and more like a job, all the members wanted to explore other musical avenues so that's what we all did. Still all good friends to this day. There just was no passion left in Acrimony for us to deliver to people. If there's no passion.....don't do it.
I'm sure you've made some lasting friendships in the underground as well as some interesting one time encounters. What are some of the most memorable encounters you've had?
I could write a book for this question, but I won't [smile] Meeting quality people is always memorable. Some of my favorite times have been playing gigs along side Iron Monkey, love those lads R.I.P Johnny Morrow.
What occupied a large portion of your time after Acrimony? Any other talents or passions?
After Acrimony I became a father and I also played in Black Eye Riot. Music and family have always been my passions. I loved drawing when I was younger, been getting back into that as of late, my stick people are divine =) I like graphics and the things you can do with them design wise. Enjoying playing about with stuff like that. Designed two album covers and they look harsh hahaha. I like harsh. I ain't no master artist but it's good fun.
I read on Lifer's Myspace page that the members were raised in what is described as a ghost town and about some of the trials people experienced then. What was it like for you growing up in that kind of environment? Aside from what got you into music, what is another life defining experience from when you were growing up?
To be honest, I live about 80 miles away from the rest of Lifer, but yeah...the miners' strikes of the late 70's took it's toll on Wales. Lots of shops closing down and people becoming poorer all added to the frustration of unemployment due to coal mines being closed since coal was the main industry in Wales. There was a lot of angst in the valleys. Violence was rife. Growing up in those times would be life changing. The valleys are a much better place now. It's taken years but it's growing better. Lot less violence these days on the streets apart from the usual drunk idiots that have something to prove because they've lost their rugby ball or something daft like that.
Speaking of Lifer, how did the band's formation come about?
Lifer formed about three years before I joined. I've never asked but I'm guessing it formed over 666 gallons of beer as Ive known some of the lads for over 15 years.......and they are booze hounds =) Put it like this....if there was only one pint of shandy left before the pub ran dry...they'd wrestle you for it ! hahahaha
What's the main driving force behind the band's music and lyrics? Does it reflect the state of mind that you've reached at this point in your life?
The passion drives us, the love and the power of riffs. It's fun and times are good so it sure does reflect....as we're cursing out them demons and that ain't a bad thing in my book.
Do you guys have any new releases planned for fans and any last thoughts you want to share with them?
We have our debut album out now on House of Doom Records, which is a small D.I.Y label, entitled "Cursing Them Out" we also have t-shirts available. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries. We're also writing new material for an EP or 2nd album and playing everywhere that'll have us. Check us out, give us a listen, you never know...you may just like it ;] Blessed be and stay outta jail \m/