An Interview with
Drummer of Status Quo
that took place on Wednesday June 18th 2014.
Interview by Glenn Milligan.
Glenn: Hi it’s Glenn, how are you doing?
Leon: I’m good, how are you?
Glenn: I’m good. First off how was Donington (at the Download Festival, headlining the 2nd stage on Saturday night)? Tell me all about that because that must have been pretty amazing.
Leon: Oh it was incredible. It was an important gig for me because I went to my first ever gig in 1988 when it was ‘Monsters Of Rock’. I was 8 years old at the time. It was (Iron) Maiden headlining then it was Kiss, David Lee Roth, Megadeth, Guns ‘N’ Roses and Helloween. From that day onwards I decided I wanted to be a musician and play drums in a band so it’s kind of come full circle. Ending up headlining Donington on the second stage is just completely amazing and it was everything it was cracked up to be, you know, just really, really good fun. Everyone was going mental. There was crowd-surfing, mosh-pits – the whole lot – absolutely amazing.
Glenn: Cool. How did it compare to your usual Quo gig? Did you find it was more like crazy kids and allsorts going off?
Leon: I don’t think there were many Quo fans in the audience. It did start with the ‘Quo-wow-wow-wow-wow’ chant but they probably joined in with the hard-core fans when they heard it but it was definitely a non-Quo audience. They were just up for a party and some good fun and just to go crazy and that’s what they did. They’d been drinking all day and I think Linkin Park were on the main stage. So if you weren’t into that then I suppose we were a little bit different for them to enjoy and have some fun. It was just brilliant.
Glenn: Cool. Did you find that they were going crazy for songs like ‘Rocking All Over The World’ or ‘Caroline’? A few songs that they knew rather than the songs that are more for the Quo fans or was it pretty much just a party all the way through?
Leon: It was pretty much a party all the way through. I think there was like a little quieter point where we did a couple of newer tracks, we did ‘The Oriental’ and…
Glenn: ‘Creeping Up On You’?
Leon: Yeah ‘Creeping Up On You’. That was the only point where everyone took a little breather. But before that and after it they were going mental. The ‘Proposing’ medley and (I don’t know if many people know the songs within that) but because they are all up-tempo rockers and catchy as well, they all seemed to join in and you could see people sort of miming the lyrics when they didn’t know what they were and just enjoying it. It was cool.
Glenn: I guess it was good for the other guys as well because they’ve not played or even headlined it since 1982 as well.
Leon: Oh really?
Leon: Right, I didn’t know that. I think for me because I am quite new to the band at this sort of level of gigging, it was really exciting but I think for those guys it was just another gig.
Leon: They’ve been there and done that before and bigger and better, you know, but for me it was quite a special occasion. Actually, everyone was buzzing after it as well. They did enjoy it.
Glenn: Do you get treated much like the new boy then?
Leon: No not really. They don’t treat me like that. It’s more about my age rather than being the new boy. They are all old enough to be my dad. (We laugh). It’s more like a bit of fun that way but it’s all in good jest and a good laugh.
(Photograph taken by Danny Clifford)
Glenn: Yeah I you worked with Francis previous didn’t you?
Leon: Yeah I’ve worked with Francis for about seven years now on his solo stuff and I was in a band that he managed at one point too. That’s how I first got introduced to him. So I’ve had a lot to do with him over the past few years.
Glenn: Yeah that’s cool. It doesn’t make it intimidating then does it? It’s not like meeting Francis and Rick for the first time and think, ‘Oh sh*t, I’m with Status Quo’, you’ve come in gradual haven’t you?
Leon: Yeah I’ve come in gradual but when I went to the first rehearsal I did meet everyone else pretty much for the first time but you know, you’ve just gotta get on with it rather than get too bogged down in it because if you start thinking too much and think, ‘Oh I’m in Status Quo’ then you are more likely to mess it up. You’ve just gotta go there and be professional and think, ‘Right this is my next job, playing drums, I’m going to be the best I can be’ then I think that’s the best way to approach it. If you think about it too much then you’re more likely to get too emotional about it and mess it up I suppose. Having said that, there are times when I’m sitting there and I see Rick & Francis jamming or whatever and it’s like, ‘Yep’. (We laugh). It’s quite a special thing, you know?
Glenn: Yeah, you see Francis on stage, he like widdles around on the guitar, my mate Al who comes to the shows with me, he says, “He’s doing his Les Dawson bit again where he goes off in his little tangent and chucks his notes in and that’.
Leon: Oh yeah yeah (laughing).
Glenn: It’s really funny to watch him sometimes.
Leon: Oh yeah, we have a good laugh. Really good fun on stage and all the smiles you see are all genuine. It’s not a performance. We are actually taking the micky out of each other. If anyone plays the wrong note we kind of make it be known and stuff and it’s just a bit of fun.
Glenn: Yeah I caught you at Doncaster (Racecourse) and I was really impressed. You fitted in no problem at all.
Leon: Yeah because I’ve had a year to play with ‘em now. I was a little bit nervy to begin with but I’m settled into it now and this years gigs have all been really good but that one in particular was a really good gig actually. I’m not sure why but we just all nailed it that night.
Glenn: Yeah it was a beautiful day and night as well.
Leon: Yeah I think that’s right. The quality of the band also depends on the sort of environment and if the audience is going crazy then you feed of that as well and because everyone was going mental and there was a few drunk people in there, all day betting on the horses and stuff it’s kind of a nice party vibe and we fed off that. It was just one of those gigs. Like some gigs you play and you go, “That was alright” and some gigs are like, “Yeah that was brilliant”. That was one of them ones that was just really, really good. Same with ‘Download’, that turned out to be one of the best.
Glenn: That’s awesome. What got you into playing drums?
Leon: Well my dad is a musician. He was a guitarist and lead vocalist back in the late 70’s – about ’78, late 70’s, early 80’s he was gigging like 5 nights a week. He used to support a lot of the old bands back in the day. My Dad and my mum used to take me and my brother to all the gigs. They wouldn’t palm us off on the grandparents or with their friends, we’d go to the gigs and I heard I used to be in a cot by the side of the stage. I basically grew up around music.
My dad also has this immense vinyl collection and apparently from the age of about three or four I used to sit there with my headphones on playing loads of different records and that was everything from Black Sabbath and Deep Purple through to Queen and the full Beatles back catalogue. I completely loved it and I was used to being around musicians all the time so music was the natural way to go.
I remember, I think it was 1983, my dad had a record which was some kind of Metal collection and I remember Iron Maiden being on there and Dio was on there and Saxon, Manowar – all those kind of bands. It was ‘The Trooper’ that came on and I remember just falling in love with it and being like, ‘wow this is amazing’. Then a couple of years later they did the ‘Live After Death’ album and I bought a Double A-Side single from it which was ‘Run To The Hills’ and Phantom Of The Opera’ and I just became a massive fan even down to liking the artwork. Then in 1988 when I went to that gig… I asked my dad to take me and he was like, “Yeah no problem, let’s go”, and just him and me went and that was the day I was like, ‘Right, I just wanna play drums now’. They bought me a drum kit before that and I was banging around and I was getting quite good and I started having lessons and it just developed from there really.
Glenn: So what was the first ever drum kit you got?
Leon: I remember it was a white Premier – it was called a Premier Royale. It was from the local drum shop and it was far too big for me. I couldn’t reach the pedals. It was a five-piece kit - one cymbal, hi-hat and that’s what I learnt on, all the way until I was about 18. Then I got a Yamaha kit after that. There was a drum kit before the Premier kit that was a child’s drum kit. A bass drum, a tom and a snare drum and I used to bang around on that. It was almost like a bit of a toy but it had real skins on it and that was something that was bought for my brother initially but he never used to play and I started banging around on it from aged 3 or 4.
Glenn: What songs really got you going that you used to like playing to?
Leon: It was ‘Maiden from day one. I would count them as the band that got me into music really or got me into wanting to be a musician. It was the ‘Live After Death’ album in particular and then the ‘Killers’ album, which I had on cassette and bought it Spain, I remember that I used to play along with those . Oh and Black Sabbath albums, like the first two, ‘Black Sabbath’ & ‘Paranoid’. I had ‘Deep Purple – In Rock’; there was a song called ‘Rat Salad’ and I used to try and emulate the solo. It was the right-left foot drum fill. It wasn’t until a little bit later I got into The Beatles and started moving away from the metal stuff and getting into the pop and rock genres. My dad’s quite into The Eagles as well so I was listening to that. I used to play along to everything really. I liked everything. I wasn’t like, “I’m only Metal” or I’m only whatever, I played along with anything. Then when I started getting lessons later on down the line in my early teens I got into every other style – Funk and Soul and Motown, Latin, Jazz. Then I went through my Death Metal stage and started to get into the double-bass drums at about 14. I’ve been through everything and still my record collection is really eclectic. I just love music. If it’s good then I like it.
Glenn: So of course you aren’t just listening to it for the band but you are listening to it for the style of drums as well aren’t you especially if it’s Death Metal because some of that stuff is so intricate as hell and some of it has got triggers and that…
Leon: Oh yeah. I was with a band called ‘Soul drain’ when I was 14 and we were influenced by the bands that were around at the time – it was Cynic, Atheist and Death so it was technical but there weren’t any drum triggers then. I was trying to learn their trade and get my left foot to catch up with my right foot. Then I got really into Dream Theater, into my prog, It was more precise and more about odd time signatures. You listen to Dream Theater and it brings you back again – going back to bands like Rush, Yes and Gentle Giant and all them bands.
Glenn: Cool. So a bit of everything really?
Leon: Yeah, everything! If it’s good, I love it. I suppose I’ve always been that way.
Glenn: What led you into the big league and meeting Francis?
Leon: Well there’s a bit of a story about that. I was at a wedding and it must have been about 7 years ago, a summer wedding for one of my good friends. I live in London but I’m from the Manchester area originally. So I was up there at the wedding and it was about 11 O Clock at night and I was really drunk, you know, I’d done the wine, all the champagne – all that kinda stuff and I got a call from my mate who I went to Uni’ with and he was like, “Leon, there’s a gig coming up on Monday and we need a drummer urgently but rehearsals are tomorrow (Sunday) do you want to do it?”, and I was like, “Ohhh”, a bit drunk and that, “Oh I dunno”, so I said, “Alright then, I’ll do it”.
So I went home straight away and my mate sent me the tracks, put them on a cd, stuck it in the car, drove all the way down to London and learnt all the songs in the car as I was driving down, went to the rehearsal and then did the gig on the Monday in Glasgow – it was about 5,000 people and it was for a band called Macara. We toured the week during in which I found out that Francis was managing the band. I was like “Oh okay, that’s interesting, that’s quite cool”. Then after that tour they’d recorded 9 tracks on the album and they wanted me to do the last three tracks and it ended up being at Francis’s studio. So I went and recorded there and he used to pop his head in and he’d watch me play and go, “well done, that’s really good”, and I said, “Oh thanks, that’s cool”.
Then we supported Status Quo. We did Holkham Hall and some of those stately home gigs. He would always come in and say, “Well played young man, that was really good”. Then he did his solo album ‘One Step At A Time’ an I got a call randomly one day and it was from Greg Jackman who was the Producer. He said, “Francis is doing a solo album and he’d really like you to play on it”, and I was like, “Oh right amazing”, so I went and recorded the album and obviously he was there quite a lot of the time and I got to know him quite well and then it came to the tour, he asked me to do the tour and we just clicked – we got on really well. I seemed quite quiet and quite trustworthy to him and I think he likes that about me. I wasn’t acting like a fan or anything like that. When Matt Letley left, that’s when I got the call. That’s the way it worked really over knowing him 6 or 7 years.
Glenn: Cool. What was it like in the studio? What was it like working on the ‘One Step At A Time’ album?
Leon: It’s weird because the way they were working at that time was to put down a programmed drumbeat and then everything was recorded on top. So when I went in, I replaced the programmed drums with real drums. Everything had been recorded already so I was playing along with the finished tracks sticking the drums on. It was great because I also got on with Greg Jackman who’s the Producer and another reason that I was involved in Francis’s album. I think he had an influence saying, “Let’s work with Leon”, probably because I’m chilled out and not a pain in the *rs*. I always try to be professional. Yeah it was great, I did all 10 tracks in three days. I’d not heard them before so it was a matter of going in there, listening to a track, getting the structure down and then recording it. Francis was on the outskirts putting his ideas in. They were very open to my little bits and bobs and stuff as well. So that was good. It’s kinda the same with ‘Quo because we are recording this new album at the moment. It’s a similar working process really but it’s a different kind of album, which I can really get my teeth into.
Glenn: Yeah I was going to ask you about it but I didn’t think you’d actually be allowed to say anything about it yet.
Leon: No. It’s a bit of a surprise. It’s going to be a nice surprise. It’s going to be something very different but something that I think people will love.
Glenn: Cool. There were rumours that the Frantic Four were going to do something but I guess that was just a rumour on the Internet.
Leon: No they’re not recording. That’s a definite. They’re not.
Glenn: I’d sooner find out from one of you guys to see if that was happening or not.
Leon: Yeah. I think it’s come from interviews with different band members but Rick & Francis are the bosses and what they say goes. Yeah they won’t be recording and that’s it.
Glenn: Yeah, got ya. What were your favourite songs on the ‘One Step At A Time’ album and why?
Leon: I like ‘Tallulah’s Waiting’ which is actually the nearest to a Quo song that there is on that album and it’s got the typical Quo shuffle. But I remember that song in particular, that sealed the deal I think with Francis. I remember walking into the studio and it was the first song I recorded, I did it in one take and he came into the drum room and said, “What you doing next year? We’re going out on tour in September 2010?”, and I was like, “Oh right, I’m in”. That song was fun to play because it’s a shuffle. Even now my favourite tunes in the Quo set are ‘Roll Over Lay Dawn’ and ‘Hold You Back’ – very bluesy, rocky, shuffle. Tallulah’s Waiting was one of the highlights and I really liked the song that we didn’t play live which was a bit like The Eagles and it’s the last track on the album, ‘If You Believe’. It’s a countrified 6/8 sort of thing, really nice to play and a really nice tempo. I enjoyed recording that one as well.
Glenn: I thought it was nice when he totally re-did ‘Caroline’ as well and it’s more like a country song.
Leon: Yeah, well originally Caroline was supposed to be a shuffle but they were messing around with it in rehearsals way back when and they started playing it straight and then stuck with that. I think Francis wanted to try and record it in the original shuffle way and doing his solo album was a way of getting the original version down.
Glenn: What’s he like to work with?
Leon: He’s the nicest bloke I’ve ever met. Really professional – highly professional, but everything is always very humorous. You very rarely have a serious conversation. It’s all done with a bit of humour and fun and that’s the best way because it’s always a nice atmosphere. He’s a very loyal person. He’s so famous so I’m sure he’s had dodgy people trying to be his friend over the years. There’s not a bad bone in his body – a top bloke.
Glenn: I remember my buddy, Alan, he met him at the Isle of Cowes and he was sat outside the tour bus in his deck-chair reading a book or something and he goes, “Oh no, bloody fans again!’. Anyway, they got talking and he picked up his young kid Heidi and he had a picture with both of them. Alan was saying he was a really nice guy he was.
Leon: Oh yeah. He’d never turn down a photo or an autograph or anything like that. It’s always you know, if people want to speak to him he’ll talk to them. He is a really down to earth guy.
Glenn: That’s awesome. How was the ‘One Step At A Time Tour’ for you. When you did it we came to the show that you did in Sheffield and the venue got switched to the ballroom instead of the hall.
Leon: Oh yeah. I remember that being really good actually. It was really busy wasn’t it?
Leon: You could see right to the back and they had to move it it to the bigger venue didn’t they?
Leon: Because more people turned up than expected or something. Yeah I remember that being a really good gig. It was 2010. I remember from that gig hat security tried to get rid of someone and Francis said, “No, leave him alone!” or something like that to security. I remember that from that gig. It was quite full and there was no barrier was there?
Glenn: None at all.
Leon: Yeah I remember the security guy grabbing someone who was taking photos and Francis was like, “No leave him alone, let him take photos”. That’s what I remember that from that gig. I remember it being quite big and we had good fun. That whole tour was good.
Glenn: What would you say goes through your mind before, during and after a show?
Leon: Before a show from the morning, your adrenaline is really high and you’re in gig mode for the day. Everything’s timed so you have a time for your lunch, a time for your dinner, a time to get changed and then you go on stage. I suppose when you are on a series of maybe three or four gigs before a day off, your adrenaline is always really high and you are thinking about the day ahead. We don’t drink before we play – no one ever drinks before a show. Just before we are about to go on stage, is when I am at my most nervous and then as soon as I step behind the kit all my nerves just drop and then we do thegig and during the gig all you are thinking about is the playing and buzzing off the other band members and buzzing off the audience. When you’ve finished, you get onto the tour bus and your adrenaline goes boom and you reflect on the gig and talk about if it was a good one or a bad one or whatever.
What I do find is when I come back home after a time away, is I’m completely knackered and I don’t think it’s a physical thing, I think it’s more your adrenaline is so high for three or four days that you get home and it drops and I end up sleeping for like 15 hours and stuff like that. That can be after you’ve done three gigs or can be after you’ve done a five week tour. Your adrenaline drops because you’ve always got that intensity of thinking about the next gig. Even on a day off you’re thinking about the next day. So that’s kinda how it works really as far as the feeling if it but you always feel that little bit of nerves just before you go on.
Glenn: You get into your zone, like into an autopilot. Right, I’m here, I’m doing it and I’m buzzing and sorted.
Leon: Yeah that’s it. You just go for it and I always try and play hard and heavy and play from the heart. You feed off the audience, you see all smiles and people crowd surfing and you buzz and feed off that. We feed off each other as well. You just go for it and enjoy it. Have some fun. The audience want to have fun as well.
Glenn: Are there any good road stories that you can recollect now that you are allowed to talk about?
Leon: The only thing I can remember is that they hid the tour bus from me. We get picked up from our houses and then meet the tour bus at a certain place and there was one day where there was an incident on the 406 and rather than taking 40 minutes to get to the tour bus it took three hours because we hit heavy traffic. When we got to the coach park and the bus wasn’t there I got a text saying, ‘We’ve gone – we couldn’t wait for you’ and they were heading out to Europe or something. Then they appeared from around the corner and they’d hidden behind the Shell garage. I was laughing about it but my driver was really angry because his job was to get me there on time so he didn’t find the funny side of it. I couldn’t care less. I thought it was hilarious. (We laugh). Well yeah that’s only story – they hid the bus from me and made me think that they’d gone without me.
Glenn: That’s classic. I must ask you away from the stage, what is your favourite Quo album and what are your favourite Quo songs?
Leon: Well I’ve got to be honest with you, I think one of the reasons I was asked to join the band is that I’ve never been a massive fan of them. Not that I didn’t like ‘em, I’ve just never gone down that avenue if you know what I mean? So I knew as many songs as probably a person going to see the band for the first time knows, the hits.
But since I’ve been in the band obviously, I’ve had to learn a lot more and I’ve also gone back and listened to quite a few of the old albums. As far as live, I love playing ‘Roll Over Lay Down’. It’s just something about it. It’s such a nice groove and feel to it and I love playing ‘Rain’ as well. They are just really good rocking tunes and also I like playing ‘The Oriental’ because it’s something a little bit different. It’s not your straight rock and it’s not your shuffle.
I went back and listened to ‘Piledriver’ recently, mainly because of the whole beer thing. I think that album is amazing. I listened to a few others but that one stood out for me. The quality of some of the tracks and some of the ones that no one knows are really nice chilling tracks as well.
The guys didn’t want a Quo fan drumming for them. They wanted someone that was going to be a good drummer rather than someone that was going to be in awe of them.
Glenn: That makes sense.
Leon: Yeah definitely.
Glenn: If you could put any particular songs that you’ve liked over the time of listening to Quo in the set, what would you personally put in that set and why?
Leon: I’d put a song off of ‘Piledriver’ in. I’d put ‘Oh Baby’ in. I think that’s a brilliant song. It’s another different one.
Glenn: It’s brilliant yeah.
Leon: It’s really good. It’s got loads of vocal harmonies in it.
Glenn: I’ve got a couple of them. ‘Accident Prone’ which is amazing that was used for the closing credits of the ‘Hello Quo’ DVD and one from ‘Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon’ called ‘Daughter’.
Leon: Yeah I’ve not heard them. I’ll go and check them out.
Glenn: What do you like to do outside of music and the band in general?
Leon: Well (laughs) I’m a massive muso geek so most of the things I do outside of music is music. I play in quite a lot of other bands. When I’m not touring with Quo I play with lots of other people. I also collect records and I go to a lot of gigs (we laugh). Music is my life basically. But on top of that I am a massive F1 fan – I love Formula 1 and I’ve got a real interest in aeroplanes, I’m hoping to get my PPL Pilots licence in the next couple of years.
Leon: I like my food – food and wine. (We laugh). I love and like all different kinds of cultures and different food types and all different wines and all that kind of stuff. I get a lot of pleasure out of that.
Glenn: What are you most proud of so far?
Leon: I think ‘Download’ is my proudest moment without a doubt. There was so much expectation and when you have so much expectation there’s a chance that it might be crap but it was what I expected it to be and even better. People going mental. It was circle pits and so many people coming over the barrier and all that and we played really well – we played spot on. Everything just went right so that’s gotta be a career highlight for me.
Glenn: I bet Rick Parfitt was in his absolute element wasn’t he?
Leon: Oh yeah, he loved it. He was acting cool about it. Before he was like, ‘Oh you know, it’s just another gig. Same gig we are going to do next week and same gig we did last night”. But he was loving it and he said so afterwards.
Glenn: What’s Rick like? Is he another down to earth cool guy as well? He comes across like that.
Leon: Rick is the funniest person I’ve ever met in my whole life.
Leon: Yeah. He is just hilarious. He is a really, really funny person – naturally. He’s like a comedian. Out of all of ‘em, he’s the one that’s the Rock Star. He’s the one that looks cool. He turns heads wherever we go. It must be to do with his long, blonde hair. ‘Bring Me The Horizon’ – they were opposite us backstage in the dressing room and as soon as he walked in they were all just like… like their jaws dropped… ‘It’s Parfitt’. You’d think it’d just be girls but it’s guys as well. They see him and they just kind of melt and go (whispers) ‘It’s Rick Parfitt’. Rick, he’s always immaculate and he’s got these bright white trainers on and his perfectly ironed jeans and all that and everyone’s just stares at him and follows him around. He’s got that star quality about him. But as far as on the tour bus, we have a drink and whatever and he’s just a really funny, really hilarious guy. He’s the kind of person that knows how to tell a story and make it funny at the end. Out of all of them he’s the last person that got to know because he’s got this persona about him as a Rock Star but after a year, I know him as well as the other guys.
Glenn: Awesome. That’s really cool. Do you have a favourite kit that you like to play?
Leon: My own kit actually which is on our B rig – it’s a Spaun kit made by a small American company and the drums are put together in the DW factory. It’s just got such a nice sound. That’s on our B rig which we only meet up with maybe twice a year but they didn’t want it on the A rig in case it gets bashed around too much. But that’s my favourite kit. The Gary Noonan kit is also really nice. It’s very good to play and I use it on 95% of the gigs on the A-Rig. Since I’ve joined the Quo there’s been a few different deals come in. I used to be a Zildjan man but the Quo are endorsed by Paiste so I’ve been using their cymbals for both rigs. They’re amazing – really good for the rock stuff. I’ll hit anything though, you know? You can get a good sound out of anything if you play it properly with feel but on the professional stage the two kits sound great. I do love my Spawn kit because it’s got a really warm nice tone to it.
Glenn: That’s cool. What would you like to say to your new fans now they’ve seen you and they are gonna read this interview?
Leon: What I’d say is, if they haven’t been to see the current Quo in the past year, I think they’ll find it a lot different to what it was before. Taking the ‘Frantic Four’ out of the equation. I think I was asked to come in, 1. Because I was younger, 2. Because I’ve maybe got a lot more energy and I’m just hungry for playing the gigs and enjoying it. With that added energy it’s kinda given the rest of the guys a little kick up the bum and they’re now enjoying it as well. They’ve said that to me, not because it’s me but because they’ve got some young blood in and someone that’s enjoying it. I think maybe my predecessor was just going through the motions in a job whereas for me it’s all exciting and it’s fun and I give it my all at every gig. They’re feeding off that and they’re enjoying it as well. I’m probably not as precise as Matt because Matt was like a session drummer – very clinical whereas I’m a bit more ‘feel the groove’ and just go for it and just rock out I suppose. But I’ve always described myself as someone in between (John) Coghlan & Matt (Letley) because Matt’s very clinical and got nice chops. Coghlan’s got the attitude and feel and I’m sort of somewhere in between that. So I’d say to anyone who hasn’t seen the band recently, I think they would enjoy it. I know it’s got a lot more energy and and more soul to it now.
Glenn: Nice. Would you say there are any particular songs that are the toughest ones to play live with the band so far?
Leon: ‘Roll Over Lay Down’ is the hardest song for me but is also my favourite song but that’s probably why, because it’s a challenge. There’s a massive build up in it, which comes out of the quiet section, and it builds into the final verse. Basically it’s really hard to play as a drummer where you’ve got the triplets going in both hands at the same time on the snare and on the floor tom but you’ve gotta hit it at full pelt and that’s the hardest part of the set to nail it, be precise and put the full hardness into the hits as well. The Medley is quite gruelling as well, the Proposing Medley because you’re playing non-stop for over 12 minutes without any let up.
Glenn: That must have took some learning that through the tempo of it and coming in at the right time because the guys make it look so easy.
Leon: It wasn’t too bad actually. That’s another one of my strengths as a musician is I’m a really quick learner. I didn’t have any audition or anything like that. It was just a matter of going into rehearsals and running the set three times I think and then we did the first gig. I just learnt it note for note and the learning of it wasn’t too bad to be honest.
Glenn: Right that’s awesome. We’ve gone through some amazing stuff in this interview and I’m really impressed.
Leon: Oh cool. Excellent.
Glenn: Thanks again, it’s been an absolute pleasure. You take care.
Leon: And you.
Glenn: Enjoy. Happy Rockin’. See you later man, bye.
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A big thank you to Ilona Sawicka @ Duroc Media for setting up the Interview