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A Dirty Dozen with LEONARD CERZOSIE JR and JIM TAYLOR from LENNE – May 2021


According to a recent press release: “Back in the early 2000’s, Leonard Cerzosie Jr. started a band with his brother called The Infinite Staircase that did very well as an independent band. the band worked with artists like Earl Slick from David Bowie’s band, Candlebox, Sevendust, and even Zakk Wylde. In 2009, they scored a slot on tour with Black Label Society, Sevendust, and Dope that sealed a lot of friendships they still have to this day.” We get Leonard and Jim to discuss new music, influences, and 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?

There is nothing very direct about “Letting You Down” or what a listener may take from it. A few of us in the writing process had just recently lost a parent at the time of recording. So, there was a lot of intensity we were experiencing that we were trying to capture. We expressed a lot of that in symbolic imagery to leave some ambiguity. I think that’s where listeners will discover different meanings throughout the song after hearing it a few times.

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

Lenny: When I was about 10 years old, I loved MTV. I was obsessed with Poison & Motley Crue videos. My parents gave me a guitar when I was around 11. It was all downhill from there!!

Jim: I took piano and violin lessons from an early age along with listening to classical, movie soundtracks and Celtic music, discovered classic rock and then when I was younger i saw the video for Metallica’s “One” and was smitten.

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

Lenny: In Junior high, this metal head kid used to bust my chops for wearing hair band t-shirts to school everyday. One day, he handed me a mixtape and said, “Listen as soon as you get home.”. I did. I put the tape in and hit play. The drums to “Iron Man” started. Then, Iommi’s evil guitar kicked in. That was the first time I heard Black Sabbath. THAT changed everything for me.

Jim: The Chieftains very early but then Metallica, and specifically Hetfield’s style and playing just floored me. My grandfather was a major influence as well. Between him and Hetfield I wanted to mold my own style.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Lenny: Jim Morrison, Ozzy, Axl, Randy, and Dimebag.

Jim: So many! but to narrow a few: Metallica, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Beethoven, and Ennio Morricone.

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

Lenny: Paul McCartney. Because he’s a Beatle.

Jim: Tossup! One would be Mark Knopfler.

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?

Ambient keys over rolling grooves with distorted, dropped low ends and quirky melodic vocals.

Lenny: I’ve had someone say I sound like the guy from Creed. Cringe.

Jim: Groove riffs with extreme melodic hooks surrounded by ambient soundscapes.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Lenny: Having a way to express beyond words.

Jim: Feeling those riffs, making someone feel in general.

8. 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?

That depends!! But we are all pretty partial to getting sushi. And the acoustic is ALWAYS out!!

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

Lenny: It was a while ago, now. But my biggest star struck moment was when I ran into Dimebag Darrell at The Luxor in Vegas.

Jim: Corny but meeting these fellas i collaborate with in this project! honored to call them friends!

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Lenny: Marijuana Quality Tester.

Jim: Motivational Speaker, head cheerleader.

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 single moment. It’s kind of like making a career out of a lifetime of missteps. lol.

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?

Lenny: Blizzard of Ozz. I spent hours a day after school trying to master that album. It’d be cool to go back and see Randy record “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley.”

Jim: Anything by Zeppelin, they crossed time and space with classical music and hard rock!




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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