A new album from Leadbetter Band brings on the fuzztone classic rock with some killer energy and a live performance tonality that makes you feel like you want to belt out along with the band the entire time.
The Howl album is packed full of wailing guitar tones and an impactful blues undertone that you can feel in your bones.
Songs have a great dynamic range from high octane classic rock feels to folk-rock and even ballads that tell stories with some outstanding detail and the whole record paints with a massive palette.
Guitar solos that have tons of soul oozing everywhere and performances vocally that have passion and a massive arena rock approach that works perfectly for these guys.
You can hear that hard rock influence on plenty of tracks on this record as songs boast a swagger and talent from bass to drums and everything in-between.
Slide guitars and harmonica bring in that southern rock sound and it's all got this feel that sounds like the boys in the band feed off of each other's energies constantly.
This is a huge part of what makes this record so addictive.
This is straight up Rock N' Roll at its finest. It's genuine, fun, danceable, energetic, vibrant, colorful, and has that gritty undertone that serves the band well.
With the release of Howl, we wanted to have a chat with the band about the record and more.
Here's what happened.
RAG: Where did this record come from?
It was recorded in March of 2021, the core tracks (guitar, lead vocals, bass, drums) were recorded live at Tumalo Lab studios in Tumalo, Oregon, right outside of Bend! The songs on the album are a collection of various songs I have written and thought they would fit well together on an album. This is my 9th album released of original music from 2003-present. RAG: There are certainly some different styles on this release. Who can you say are your biggest musical influences?
My very first guitar hero was Hendrix, and then I proceeded to dive into 60-90s rock n roll. I really gravitated toward Pink Floyd, frank Zappa, govt mule and warren Haynes, Otis Redding, Allman brothers, Black Sabbath, deep purple, the list goes on and on! RAG: When and how did this all start for you as a band? Leadbetter Band was born after the final closing chapters of Jive Coulis in the early winter of 2017. In a sense it was a “re-branding” of Jive Coulis. I was the songwriter and front man for Jive, and that is still the case with Leadbetter Band. The original songs played in LB are vast and diverse, from a classic rock sound to bluesy heavy jam sections featuring the Bands unique improv abilities. RAG: What else really inspires or influences you to write?
I like to observe many things for “fuel”. A lot of my songs are social commentaries and reflections of what I see in day-to-day life. I try and have a good balance and attempt to write songs that convey many emotions. My muse these days is my family, my beautiful wife Briana and my rockstar son Silas who is almost 2. RAG: Will we see any videos this year from you?
Absolutely! We did just release a music video for the song “doesn’t change a thing” off of “Howl”. It turned out great. And we’re recording another album in august, so we’ll definitely have at least 2 live videos in the meantime before we release 3 music videos for the upcoming album!
RAG: Are you guys performing live right now?
Yes nonstop. In 2021 I played 226 live performances, and definitely going to have more in 2022. I play solo, duo, and with Leadbetter Band as well as many different fun arrangements with Oregon based musicians. Last summer Leadbetter band opened for ZZ Top in Jacksonville Oregon so that was a big one for us!
RAG: Who are you listening to right now?
I’m always listening to Govt mule, warren Haynes always releases amazing music. I’m on a big Eric Gales and Joe Bonamassa kick as well as jimmy herring. I have a wall of vinyl records too so I’m always digging back in time to do my homework in the classic, prog rock realm.
RAG: What are you doing when you're not working on music?
I love going on hikes here in central Oregon with my dog. Back country split boarding and snowmobiling is definitely in Full swing right now since it’s still winter. But I also love cooking as I used to be a chef in fine dining as well as gardening and growing our own food. I love camping and fly fishing in the summer as well as picking guitars around a campfire.
RAG: What's next for you as a band?
As I said we’re gearing up to record an album in august so we’re rehearsing, writing, and gigging a lot in the meantime. We also have some fun camping trips to do together as well as catching some larger acts this summer like the black crowes, ween, and tenacious d! We have small weeklong regional tours planned throughout spring and summer, and we’re taking the band on the road in September for a 10-day PNW run. RAG: This album feels like it was a big undertaking. What advice would you have for other up and coming artists out there?
It definitely is a big undertaking, and it seems like a mountain. But I’d say when you go into the studio, do whatever it takes to be as human as possible. Even though you’re tracking and those takes will last forever, try and stay in the present moment. That’s when the delivery of the music is purest. Find your happy place and thrive in it. As far as post tracking, it’s good to put a lot of time listening back, making adjustments, then leave it alone. Come back in a week with fresh ears and try again. Send the work to people you trust and ask for their honest feedback. And as we all know, making albums is not cheap unless it’s more lo-fi, so be prepared for that aspect. RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you for the support of not just myself and my music, but for supporting music in general! If music wins, we all win! I am always astonished at how people will come up to me and ask “what did you mean by these lyrics” in whatever song. It’s beautiful that they too love to thrive in the present moment along with the music filling their soul, so thank you for being open!