Written by Colin, lead singer and guitarist from Leaf UK
A song that made you want to make music?
Highway to Hell. OMG the opening chords, the sound of the guitar, alive and vibrant. Bon is the icing on the cake. It made me sit up and take notice and I knew from that moment that this was my thing.
Best rider you’ve had?
Yorkshire tea bags, scotch eggs and Imodium. We like a brew (and a bevvy tbh), a snack is always appreciated and Jarad has constant grief with his bowels. Better to be safe than sorry.
Craziest moment you’ve had in the band?
Crazy? We are too old for crazy, however we do comic very well. Mark is pure comedy and has experienced a few Spinal Tap-esque moments trying to find his way to the stage (It took 10 minutes in one place…), but he is at the back…and he is a drummer! I don’t think we will get booked as a comedy act, but it does show that we are self-effacing, down to earth and enjoy life! Pints of beer tipped over heads? Threatened onstage? Fight mid set? Like I said, anything can happen, but thankfully as we have aged, we have calmed down a bit!
Deepest lyric one of your songs features?
Everything that I sing usually comes from deep within and is usually a cathartic release or an inward navel gaze. Not for me the gush of love, the fantasy of goblins and dragons. I quite likethis bit from Butterfingers “You think I’m a saviour, I react with a smile, But I’m lining you up for target practice and I don’t give a damn about anybody but me.” I like it because the band stops and I whisper the last bit giving the audience a peek into my inner horribleness.
Easiest song you wrote?
Breathing. I made up the main riff on the spot, the band joined in. Jarad and I traded heavy riffs, we arranged on the spot. I went home, worked on the lyrics and hey presto, a song in an hour. Banging!
Favourite song in your set?
Dispruptor. 2 minutes and 15 seconds of pointy angst with a cracking splash cymbal in the middle that makes me chuckle every time.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
The good Lord Iggy Pop. An absolute hero and Bon Scott and Lemmy are dead so we can’t have them.
Hardest thing about being in a band?
Maintaining a relationship built on trust and not arguing. It is like having 3 marriages on the go at once. To be honest, it is far easier with age and experience. This band is our release from all of the crap going on around us.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
I used to be on Dick and Dom in the Bungalow. That was anarchy and very rock and roll.
Jokes you have in the band?
Mark is the comedian and has the most amazing array of impersonations and funny voices. He has us in stitches and will sometimes sing his backing vocals in one of those voices. I have choked on my own spit laughing so much.
Key to writing a song?
The inspiration can come from anywhere and we do not have a formula, key is that we don’t settle for ‘that will do’. We rework and revisit songs all the time and only add it to the set when we are all happy with all the parts and when it makes us all think ‘Ahh, that’s good’.
Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?
As Leaf we have only played in the UK up to now so not very far….however we are prepared to travel anywhere!!!
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
I have had the privilege to have played with a myriad musicians. Each and every single one of them has inspired me in some small way. I have to say that the three guys in Leaf UK do it for me. I don’t need a million notes, the latest kit or chops, just the right stuff played in the right way to support the song…tis all about the song.
New band you’d recommend?
Riskee and the Ridicule from Kent. They are not that ‘new’ but massively under appreciated. They can be as heavy as hell, but still have a ripping tune. Hey, that sounds a bit like us!
Opening for this band would be ideal?
Guns ‘n’ Roses. We would make a mint and show that we have songs that equal theirs for catchiness.
Place you’d most like to tour?
Scandinavia. They are bonkers for metal, the air is clean and the scenery between venues would be cracking.
Quote you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Life is a tale told by idiots, full of bluff and bluster but ultimately leading to nothing. I don’t have faith and I am quite happy that we shall return to dust, however I would like people to listen to our tunes first!
Reason for the title of your recent release?
MMXXIII. Simply 2023, where we are releasing one track a month for twelve months. We thought we would try something different, and it means that people see us metamorphosing as we release, rather than a samey sounding set of songs released in a lump.
See us live at?
We have dates in in our hometown, Birmingham, Manchester and others coming up with the intention of playing more whenever and wherever we can.
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
Not wholly no. We do not like the artifice that permeates a lot of stuff today, like beat correction, autotune etc., but we do like the fact that we can access so much music so easily these days. It is a pity that the streaming services are sucking artists dry – not much money at the bottom end…
Not really, but we do have some stuff like mugs and phone covers. Beats the same old T-shirts and hoodies stuff. Although we do those as well.
Variations you’d like to do on any of your songs?
We are going to rehearse acoustically over the next few months so that we can just do some cozy little winter gigs in tiny little venues. It will have the added bonus of saving what is left of our hearing.
What do your fans mean to you?
We totally appreciate the effort that people have to put into being ‘fans’. Money is tight, the environment is collapsing around us, but we need you and love you.
X-rays or any treatments needed for band related injuries?
Nothing cool and funky. I needed a plaster on a cut sustained from falling into the drumkit. I didn’t breathe enough and gave it the big lungs and fainted. Rock hard.
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?
Mine or Mark’s. I will have checked my hair fifteen times and he will have put his keys down somewhere…
Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band?
A chimp. Lively, entertaining with an uncanny ability to appeal to your humanity.