Thursday, July 23, 2015


This is the second part of the interview with Leather Leone, who explains a bit about her early days in the 80s when she was getting started in the music industry.
The first part of this interview was posted a couple of days ago. Please look at the previous entries on the blog; it was only two entries ago.
Metal singer Leather Leone is known for her work with traditional heavy metal/shredder band Chastain in the 80s, early 90s, and Leather is back on vocals with Chastain. She has worked with other bands and projects, like Sledge Leather, Malibu Barbi and Rude Girl, and has done some solo work, too. This in-depth interview seeks to shed light on the various phases of Leather’s participation in music.
making metal in the 80s
QUESTION: How was the chemistry early on? How did you feel within Rude Girl at first? You are in your early 20s and in a band!
The early chemistry in "Rude girl" was how it always is when a situation is new. Exciting, hopeful and we were full of fucking Metal. Nothing could stop us, we were fearless, which opening for some of these hardcore bands we truly had to be. It was crazy!! It was an incredible time...We had chose this life style of true dedication, sweat and plain love for metal music.
Believe me it was not a rock star life. It was extreme hard work. Rehearsal every night, shows most weekends opening for the big boys. And since we were not doing the sex thing, we had to be on top of our game. Looking back, I wasn't really even aware of my situation, I was sincerely just trying to become the vocalist that I heard in my head. But that being said, I knew it was a special time . As I had mentioned earlier. I and been introduced to Ronnie James Dio personally and musically. In my mind I had a steep mountain to climb. The voice I had and heard inside of me was not yet coming out. I have him and his encouragement to thank for anything vocally I have. He fuels me still.
QUESTION: CBS/Columbia offers Rude Girl a seven-album deal and Black Sabbath manager Sandy Pearlman was scheduled to produce. Of course, this did not happen. What would you like to share with us regarding this time?
Yes, on paper it all looked perfect. Sandy Pearlman, a CBS deal. Howie Klein, who later became a hotshot behind Madonna, was courting the band. But I always felt something wasn't right, especially when they wanted us to sign for 7 years. Although back then it was common. We had got rid of our bass player looking for a more accomplished musician. That had really upset the label, which I found weird that they wouldn't encourage true musicianship. Through all of that mess the cracks started to show. "Rude girl" had become a selfish, controlling entity which left a sour taste in my mouth; the final straw being as I waited for the band on a Friday afternoon at 1 pm to sign the big deal and start our new careers. I was still sitting there alone with my pen 1 hour later. To this day it is a real problem I have about punctuality. It sends me over the edge if you are not on time.
So I picked up my pen and my bag, thanked the receptionist and walked out. Fucking pissed off I went home and called Mike Varney from Shrapnel records. He and his wife Kathy had become good friends of mine. He had always appreciated my talent and taught me the truth about the business. I told him what had happened. Within 1 week he told me he had demos he wanted me record. Those demos were with a guitar player from Ohio, David T Chastain.
QUESTION: Do you ever go back and listen to the first two Chastain albums from the mid 80s?
I don't go back to listen to that older material that I have recorded. Very hard for me. I just hear the lack of perfection. The wrong notes, the wrong melody, how it could have been done much stronger. Especially as you ask about the first 2 albums. "Mystery of illusion" and "Ruler of the Wasteland." I was very young and very green. I have so much appreciation for everyone who finds inspiration from that early Chastain music. That is all that matters, inspiration, it’s magic when it finds you.
QUESTION: For you personally, in the mid 80s, how do you remember this period?
Me remembering the mid 80's is all positive. A time I would run back to immediately. We were young, strong, fearless, out to be the best due to the fact that I was in the middle of the best. I always had a feeling that the San Francisco scene was very special. It was again extremely hard work, but the drive I had was insatiable. It was, at the time where I belonged.
QUESTION: According to Metal Archives, you were in Malibu Barbi starting in 1986. How long were you in Malibu Barbi?
It was never my band or band I wanted to be involved with. They had called me to record 2 songs as a favor, not sure where their vocalist was that day. I did the 2 songs in an hour. I left, end of story. I hear they sell it throughout the world. I have never received any royalties.
Chastain - Fighting To Stay Alive
Chastain - Ruler of The Wasteland
Chastain - Ruler Of The Wasteland (LIVE 1987)

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