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by David Necro

An exclusive interview with seminal Metal vocalist Leather Leone of Chastain.

Photos courtesy of:
Dustin Hardman.

David Necro: How did the new album ('Surrender to No One') come together and what went into it?

Leather Leone: The new Cd came about through increased conversation with Chastain. I value his knowledge and advice, I called him regularly when I was doing the Sledge Leather Project. We eventually Just fell into talking about making music again. As I say the circle of life!

DN: How is it working with David now compared to back in the 80s?

LL: It's the same intense ,frustrating, glorious experience! Studio is not a favorite place of mine. I feel confined, too restricted! I prefer the stage. Chastain has certainly gotten used to dealing with attitude after our history .  He gets the best out of me for sure.  It is quite the accomplishment when your creation is complete. As I always say, what a blessing,!!

DN: Who have you influenced vocally? And what you think of their work?

LL: Kate French has been kind enough to let me know I have inspired her in some way!
And the only answer to that is listen to her work!  She is a true Metal vocalist.
But I am not aware of any direct influence.

DN: What is the songwriting process now compared to back in the 80s?

LL: We can now do all of our ideas and parts online. No longer necessary to be in the same
room, which I miss! But other than that, it's still hard work and dedication. The song
Remains the same!

DN: Are you surprised by the response you've been getting as of late?

LL: I am always surprised by people enjoying our musical creation!  That will never change.
All of you outstanding people who have supported Chastain are a gift!  You have remained
Loyal.  "Surrender to no one" is for all of you, sincerely!
DN: How does this new album compare to the other Chastain albums?

LL: As I listen to it, it seems like natural progression for us.  Chastain and I absolutely have our Sound!  It's hard for me to answer that honestly.  It's difficult for to me listen objectively when The Cd is finished.  From your feedback, it seems we have stayed classical while stepping Forward.  I intentionally did the vocals a bit dirtier than before.  I wasn't crazy about the Vocal tone on "For those who dare" and " Voice of the cult". I wanted a much more basic Primal, sound.  No layering, no doubling, no harmonies,  just me and how well I was Breathing that day.
DN: What is one of the most memorable moments in your career thus far?

LL: Every time I have the opportunity to create music is an unforgettable moment in time

DN: Who is your biggest musical influence and why? And did you meet that person?

LL: Ronnie James Dio is my musical reason. When I first heard and met him in 1982, my
Vocal life changed forever. His shear power, beauty, grace while singing Metal, made a
deep impact on me. I think of him daily, and apply all he told me to my music.
Dickinson and Tate are also on board.

DN: What do you think of today's metal scene? Good, bad, or otherwise?

LL: I love the aggression and intensity of modern metal. How much faster and louder can they go? I can't wait to see. Art keeps us alive!

DN: If you could pick out anyone to to tour with, which bands would that be?

LL: Sabbath, Maiden, Benedictum, Megadeth, feel free to give them my number!

DN: Any plans for touring in support of this album?

LL: We have no plans at this, but much stranger situations have arisen.

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