Leather Leone is a name synonymous with classic heavy metal. She stands shoulder to shoulder with Doro Pesch and Lita Ford as a leader among the first women to make a notable mark in a male dominated genre of heavy music. In 2013, Leone rejoined forces with guitar virtuoso David Chastain for Surrender to No One, the band’s first album with Leather since 1990. Fan response ignited Chastain’s creativity and new music began to surface, culminating in 2015’s We Bleed Metal. Leone also made a guest appearance this year on the debut solo album, Now or Never, from Benedictum’s Veronica “The V” Freeman, sharing vocal duties on the track “Kiss My Lips”.
On November 15, Metalholic reached out to Leone to chat about the new record. On the day we spoke, many in the music community were reeling from the Paris terrorist attack during an Eagles of Death Metal concert. Not surprisingly the attack and terrorism became the first topic of conversation.
“I’m trying to rationalize, it is the world that we live in now. I mean here we are obviously in this country in our safe little bubble where nothing ever happens, and it’s really changing for sure. Frightening is the wrong word, but it certainly gives you a sense of urgency in life, absolutely. The [terrorists] are going to keep us on our toes. They’re just going to bounce around. We think we’re safe in one position and they’re just going to come from another. There are so many disenfranchised people.”
In the wake of the Paris attack, it seems almost prophetic that Chastain‘s new album is titled We Bleed Metal, as it addresses the unity of spirit that the metal community embraces. Leone talked about the new album and her excitement that Chastain was prepared to make a new record.
“Well I am extremely happy that it happened. I didn’t know if Chastain was even going to be interested in one. He really goes day-to-day with what he does, and we had written so many songs for Surrender to No One, and I just assumed that we would record those. What ended up happening was I was sort of walking on eggshells with him insinuating about let’s do this on this song, and this on this song, and he said you know, I’ve got a whole bunch of other stuff I want you to hear. So hence he sent me a whole bunch of songs off We Bleed Metal.”
During the interview below, Leone talks about the title track as well as a few other songs on the new record, and her thoughts on David’s guitar work on this album. She also shares her thoughts on some of the music she’s been listening to in 2015 including Whitechapel, Halestorm, and In This Moment.