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A Dirty Dozen with LEAH – October 2019

| 5 October 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “After a crowdfunding campaign that far exceeded the goal, symphonic/Celtic vocal goddess LEAH has revealed that her upcoming winter-themed album, Ancient Winter, will officially see release on November 15. LEAH – described affectionately by her fans as “the metal Enya” – hails from the coast of British Columbia, Canada, and is inspired by Celtic and world music influences such as Clannad and Enya to European symphonic and progressive metal influences.” We get Leah to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

It’s funny, I thought doing a non-metal album would mean there would be far less tracks in each song recording. That turned out to not be true. What that means is there’s many layers, many small nuances going on, and many vocals tracks. It will take several listens through for music lovers to catch everything happening. Depending on the stereo system or headphones you will hear different things emphasized, so I would encourage audiophiles to try listening on different devices and see what you notice that is different!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was definitely a child. My first memory of a love for music was when I remember spontaneously singing a harmony to my mom’s gospel tapes she had in the basement. I didn’t realize what I was doing, only that it sounded good to my ears. I started writing songs by the time I was 12 and got pretty serious about it at age 14. I taught myself guitar first, then piano, and writing lyrics and melodies to go with it happened all at once. When I realized I could sing at age 11, I knew I wanted to be a singer/songwriter.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

In childhood, it was (unbeknownst to me) European pop. I loved pop bands like Ace of Base and Roxette. I was completely addicted to the darker chord structures and melodies that weren’t like other pop bands. I had no idea it was Swedish or European flavors I loved. When I discovered metal later on, again, I was drawn to European metal over American metal, without realizing where the music was coming from. Bands like Nightwish, Epica, Blind Guardian, Opeth, and many others really influenced me and opened my mind outside of cliche song structures.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

This is a really hard one. What influences me now is different from the past. Overall, I’d have to say Loreena McKennitt, early Lacuna Coil, early Sarah McLaughlan, Enya, and Within Temptation.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Again, such a hard question! Off the top of my head, Devin Townsend.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I’ve been called “the metal Enya” and I think it’s a pretty good description for people who’ve never heard my music. I think they get an instant idea of what that might mean and sound like. There’s a lot of very powerful female voices in metal. I certainly can go there at times, but power is not my focus, vocally. My emphasis is more on atmosphere and mood.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Since I’m a solo artist who doesn’t currently tour, I’ll have to answer this differently. Everyone in my house cooks. My husband, me (I’m the better cook), and my kids are practicing the cooking skills too. My three daughters all sing and dance, so my house is pretty much a musical 24 hours a day.

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I don’t tend to get too star struck. I know celebs are just normal people too, but I’d have to say when I met Troy Donockley in person I was over the moon!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

If I wasn’t a musician, I’d be creating other things. I love crafts, dance, painting, or any kind of creative expression. I’m also very entrepreneurial, so I’d be doing all that and making a business out of it.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I think when people ask who the guest musicians are on the album that can get tiresome since all the information is already available, or the interviewer could mention the names and show they did their homework. I like being asked about my personal family life and also music marketing since that’s a very big part of what I do as an independent artist. Asking for one good marketing tip for other musicians is always a good one. I’d say if you want to succeed in today’s industry you must learn the ins and outs of digital marketing — and that does not mean boosting a post on Instagram or Facebook. It’s on a whole different level. It is a steep learning curve, but the most important thing you could possibly do outside of making music. I host a whole podcast on this topic called “The Savvy Musician Show” – available on all podcast apps.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

No, I can’t think of one. All I can think of is what I want to do and accomplish in the future. I don’t focus on what I can’t change in the past.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I think any of Enya’s albums — I’ve always been fascinated by the incredible layering and stacking of vocals and what that process entailed. Also, she records in her studio inside her castle, so that would be a perfect day for me 🙂





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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