A Few Words With...Leather Leone

By John A. Wilcox

Leather Leone is that woman with a voice like a jet engine: powerful, dangerous, propulsive. As a member of Rude Girls, Sledge Leather, and Chastain, Leone has carved out a legacy of hard rocking swagger. After parting Chastain for other avenues some 20 years ago, she returned for their latest effort: Surrender To No One Leather Leone happily lent Progsheet a few moments of her valuable time to bring us all up to date...

PS: What was the very first album you ever bought?

LL: I believe it was Heart - Dreamboat Annie, or Crazy Horses by the Osmonds! Yes, I was a Donny Osmond groupie!!!

PS: How old were you when you realized you wanted a career as a professional musician?

LL: I was around 12, 13. I was singing in a church choir. I remember looking at everyone while I was singing a solo!! I became impressed at how interested people were in the human voice. I was hooked!!

PS: What was your very first paying gig?

LL: I used to sing in a cover band in college, outside of NYC. We played everything from Benatar, to AC/DC. I made $25 each Fri and Sat!!! That is a great question!! Thanks for that memory!!!!

PS: What brought you back to Chastain after over 20 years away?

LL: Our field of communication opened with the SLP project. Eventually leading to conversation about Chastain music. I realized I had missed that time of making music with the man with the southern drawl!!

PS: Do you approach your vocals with Chastain any differently than you would for Rude Girls or Sledge Leather?

LL: I did not. I always approach vocals the same way. Powerful, with expression of the words. And of course, the good ole dirty aggression. It's in my nature to sing this way.I have attempted other vocal tonality! It was never for me!

PS: Can you tell me the story behind the lyrics for Stand And Fight?

LL: Stand And Fight was presented to me from Chastain. I changed a word here and there, but it is from Chastain. As we have discussed, he is intrigued with the destruction of man!! We have always come from a place of standing, fighting, being strong for what you truly believe in!! Surrendering to no one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS: Also, I Am Sin - what inspired it?

LL: I Am Sin is from my deep roots in the Catholic church!! Wow, what that can do to a young person from upstate NY is frightening!! But as all of us can relate to, the simple question of good and evil!! Does it even exist, and where do I fit in, and why am I attracted to both?!!

PS: I'd like to ask you about 2 Sledge Leather songs as well. What's the story behind The Guy Upstairs Lied?

LL: I know some of you thought it was of religious nature! When in fact is was a day when we were sitting at my place writing material for the SLP cd. There had been construction the day before, and we had asked the guys if they were going to be around upstairs the following day making noise that was not conducive to creativity!! They said no, and they lied!! But that's the beauty of music, you can make it your own!!!

PS: Tell me what's behind The Lost Forgiveness.

LL: The Lost Forgiveness was actually Sledge's idea. I had left Germany after the KIT fest, while she moved on to Prague. She had told me it was from her experience while being around all the architecture of religious statues and all the powerful war imagery. She was reflecting on the effect of history on all the people through time!

PS: Any plans in the near future for a full on Chastain tour?

LL: At this time I have no Chastain tour plans to share!

PS: What's your next project?

LL: I have no idea what I will do tomorrow!!!

PS: Please tell me 6 albums you never get tired of listening to!

Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy
Marilyn Manson - Mechanical Animals
Ronnie James Dio - Angry Machines
Heaven And Hell - The Devil You Know
Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell
Iron Maiden - Number Of The Beast


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