Leaf – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: What type of artist are you?

L: We are a beautiful melange of rock from the last 30 years. Hard-edged, melodic and rifftastic. Think Pearl Jam meets Turnstile, bumping into Pantera whilst staring at AC/DC doing a Nine Inch Nails Cover. We are not a young band with some crush on the latest sensation and have so many influences that a single description would not do us justice. Where would the record store stick us? Nestling between Metal and Hard Rock, with the occasional single chucked in the punk section. We all listen to different stuff which helps.


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

L: Original incarnation was in 1992. We had beautiful long hair (and dreads!), the skinny midriff and hollow-cheeked beauty that would make Palaye Royale jealous. Talent scouts wanted us to be the ‘UK Pearl Jam’.  The usual lure of women and brighter lights caused internal friction. It was a mistake for Colin to try out for the Wildhearts and that was the final straw for the band and we imploded. Between us we have had many, many experiences both professional and not so.  I dabbled in the library music biz, made some money, did session work for the BBC etc (surprising as I don’t have much instrumental talent) and the rest of the band trod the circuits in multiple bands (Goya and Electus). Roll on 25-30 years and I got an itch. Jarad scratched it again. Dan joined and built a foundation and Mark joined after the original drummer couldn’t commit, (Mark and I go way back) and magic started to gush forth.  We are older and wiser now, all the crap is behind us in the past and the songs are raw, real and actually mean something – we don’t do songs about goblins and dragons!


PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

L: Musically? A whole host of influences. Mark is Mr Muso, appreciating a wide range of stuff and has the 2nd biggest CD collection in the world. He constantly says ‘check this out’. Jarad is a meathead and loves riffy, grindy, nasty stuff like Cannibal Corpse, Anthrax or Avenged Sevenfold. Dan is a thoughtful soul (think Candlebox, Rival Sons etc) with the biggest CD collection in the world, and I (Colin) like stuff that is a bit gnarly and modern, think Cleopatrick, the Chats, Reignwolf and Idles. I don’t buy CDs anymore – I’m too busy buying guitars. I am the ultimate track/YouTube hopper and listen to 30 seconds then skip getting excited about finding another new band which I then forget about for 5 months until I bump into them YouTube hopping. I think I have singlehandedly ruined the album concept.

Non-musical is a difficult one. We hate politicians, and liars. I am a pathological truth teller. Jonathon Pie – he is a good non-musical influence. If you haven’t listened to him rant at some political idiot, you have missed out. I think some of my songs are that sort of angst tuned into melody and fat riffs.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

L: Dreams are for people to get the opportunity to listen to us and say “Damn, they are good”. Play the music to more people, to hear them sing our hooks and bang their heads to the chug. You know, not world domination, maybe continental ascendancy followed by the ability to make music every day without the mundane crap of life getting in the way. Goals in the short term are to travel further, play some bigger support slots and get onto some festivals next year. Before we die, because we are getting old.


PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?

L: Most of the times I (Colin) write the stems and demo a tune. I take it to the lads, who rip it apart, criticise me, make me cry and then we end up with a decent tune …that we rework again. Or we just pick a monster Jarad riff and jam it to death. They are about life and getting people to wake up and understand. I used to write about escapism, but it got up and went somewhere, so now I just get angry, frustrated and bored and try to touch a raw nerve in the audience – with some humour though, we are not afraid to take the piss out of ourselves.


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

L: Like any small, struggling band, as many social media channels that we can manage. We work with promoters whenever we can. I have to say that other bands always love us and pass our name on to venues – we are pretty good at stepping in at the last minute. Anyone need a good band? Cheap?


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

L: Mark, Dan and Jarad hate it. I don’t care about my music being on any platform, downloaded for free or whatever. I just want to be listened to and adored.


PD:  What song do you wish you’d written and why?

L: I Wanna Be Your Dog by Lord Iggy and the Stooges, because that would have meant we were around in our natural era of excess and would now be relaxing in massive mansions having survived a maelstrom of madness. Or Down Payment Blues, by AC/DC. The lyrics are sublime “patches on the patches, of my old blue jeans, well they used to be blue, when they used to be new, when they used to be clean” Ahhh. We are the filter tips in the storm drain.


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

L: Modern metal and its super quantized drums and super-technical soloing with zero feel. It all sounds the same – nuts I am sounding like my Dad. We get riled by absolute idiots lying louder than someone else and being believed. We also hate it when junk that is read on FB is touted as legitimate and the truth. “Big Baz says it on FB so it must be true.”  Jarad hates taxes and people owing him money, but is extremely moral and is unlikely to kill you. He thinks that I am unhinged and reckons I might.


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

L: Ha ha, as a band, we are proud every time a single person comes and says that song/gig etc was great. Bands like us as people, but some are intimidated by our tightness and our dedication to the song but the crowd always appreciate us. Personally? Hearing one of my tunes at a Dallas Stars Ice Hockey match, played between AC/DC and Guns and Roses was a message that I should get back into playing again.


PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

L: We have 5 tracks waiting to be released produced by a fantastic young guy called Jonny Price (you can have a sneaky listen if you want?). They are fantastic. We have so many other tunes, we work on new material constantly and we are going back into the studio in December. We thought we had better record some more before we die of old age.


PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from? 

L: We have a 4 track EP Black and White on all major music platforms and through Bandcamp and a 5 track Live Demo (no backing tracks or timing stuff on that!). The demo is getting junked and rerecorded so will disappear soon. Dan has CD copies that you can get direct from him (via contact on the website) of all material, well he would, wouldn’t he? And he will send you a free sticker.

Leaf links:
Band/Artist location – Stoke On Trent, UK
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