Starting from modest beginnings with 2006's self-titled album, and the latest, 2012's 3,
Austin-based rock band Leopold and His Fiction
, are cranking things up with their forthcoming album Darling Destroyer, out on January 27th
. Although they've always been making that good old fashioned, drive-fast-and-break-stuff rock 'n' roll, they're solidifying it with this upcoming release, with husky, roaring vocals in the forefront and more overall confidence than ever before. After hearing the latest single, "It's How I Feel (Free)" and learning about all of their TV and commercial placements, we decided this is a very exciting band, so we talked to them about their influences and what's coming up next for them in 2017.
There is so much soul in your music - is Texas a factor in that?
Motown vibes all day and night.
These awesome cool guys in our band are Texas so they help me interpret a lot of ideas. I help them set things on fire.
What got you into rock 'n' roll?
When I was young I listened to music in a very natural progression. Which is very unnatural for a youth inundated with every genre at their fingertips. Starting with early 50s RnB and on to Elvis' interpretation of it. Immersed in balladeers and their stories. Until the progression led me to a sound becoming heavier in what was considered hi-fi at the time. Detroit is to rock 'n' roll as the Delta is to the blues. I'm not claiming Detroit birthed it, but it is one central place that so many born and bred in the factory peninsula that it is, have gone on to define and steer a worldwide influence heavily by their sound.
What's it like to have your music featured on TV shows and commercials?
It's a pat on the back. It's also a form of recognition without needing major labels behind you. Most labels are inclined to tell you, "you're not enough of this or that." Or "We just don't see your band appealing to the masses." This lets you know you do appeal to masses. It is literally the exact meaning of a commercial to make a product appealing. Well, we do. And we had the wherewithal to stick to our guns and on our own terms. Our songs in commercials and shows and movies were ALL created because we wanted to make those songs. They just happen to be desired by companies that have products that they want to appeal to the masses. Recognition is the last thing we seek. I'd be lying if I said it doesn't feel good.
When and how did you discover you could sing like that? Because your voice is so dope.
Oh heck. Thank you. I started Leopold and His Fiction 11 years ago after I had been writing songs for a year. I hadn't planned singing at all. We were playing as a drum and guitar duo until we could find a singer, bass, and whatever else. No one fit the bill at the time. So I figured we should record the songs anyways. I sang out of necessity. I'm glad it worked out.
Can you talk about your latest album, Darling Destroyer?
We started recording it 4 years ago after I had I moved to Texas. So I started writing it maybe 6 years ago on the road. But for this album I had a new charge, a brand new lease on life. So its material was a long time coming in my opinion. I look back and think that anything I set out to do, I was entirely capable of. And I was more open minded than I had ever been. I had an amazing support system that helped me achieve any idea I could dream up. Really good people and hard workers in my corner for the whole process. I was scared out of my wits about my daughter on the way and the scenarios and relationships that encompass such a life event and this album was a direct channel to speak about it.
Which song were you most excited for people to hear?
These 11 songs have been delicately chosen from a group of maybe 30 songs. To me every one is a home run.
And what's coming up next for you in 2017?
Touring forever endlessly. Writing more songs. Worldwide travel with these guys in my band. Raising a 5 year old.