Oklahoma City, OK
Top Ten favorite albums
What is your grand vision for Leather Duchess?
The ultimate objective for Leather Duchess is to create a substantial and long-standing body of work for all the fine folks out there who find what we do to be inspiring and enjoyable. We want to give you anthems. We want to give you chants and a reason to raise your fist. Above all, we want to provide our fanbase with something tangible. We pour our body and minds into the music, yes, but we also want to be poster on your wall, a patch on your tattered vest, or a sticker on your refrigerator. We want the trip to our merch stand to be as memorable as the show itself. Leather Duchess is an entity that yearns to be on your record shelf, not just in your Instagram feed. We want our fans to sit down at breakfast and say to their partner “damn those Leather Duchess chaps sure put on a splendid show last night, and their signature Gunslinger habanero hot sauce goes great on my omelette.” We want our fans to be able to enjoy us without a wifi connection. Truth be told, we’re just a bunch of screwballs who don’t really have any other means of self-expression. This is our only outlet, and we want it to connect with the fans in every way possible.
What is the typical writing process within Leather Duchess?
We have a variety of creative processes, but the songs typically begin with one of Marc’s riffs thundering down upon us from the heavens. Like pulling a feral animal from the wild, it must be caged and tamed. We refine the riff, add in some of Jake’s pounding drum beats and presto - we have the foundation built. Then it’s time for the poesy. The boys leave the wordsmithing to me. I often park myself next to an inspiring marvel of nature such as the Grand Canyon or the Pacific Ocean. I let the lyrical ideas come to me like a dove landing on the branch of an olive-tree. My poetry is spread on top of the song like cream-cheese icing on a moist red velvet cake, creating a succulent treat for the ears to devour. OR we just take a song we all dig and try to change up enough parts so that no one can tell we ripped off another band.
Who are your biggest influences as a vocalist?
I’ve always loved singers who took a limited vocal range or technique and really sold it to the audience. Those are the singers I try to emulate because I find myself in the same situation. I’m no Freddie Mercury, so trying to sound like him would be silly. Singers like Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) and Sean Killian (Vio-lence) would make American Idol judges wince, but they have such a unique and identifiable voice. Lemmy is another great example. I think he had about two or three notes he could comfortably sing, yet his voice makes the listener want to knock down walls and ride a Panhead Harley straight into the gates of Hell. I’m a huge fan of Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys, Broken Teeth). He has the perfect blend of heavy-metal edge with a boogie-woogie swing. Then of course you have the outlaw country bunch: singers like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. That style of music always championed emotion over technical prowess. I also love vocalists such as Justin Hawkins from The Darkness - those singers that just put a smile on your face. You can’t help but sing along to the their songs. It seems that the high gravely style of yesteryear has largely become a lost art, which is a shame. Singers like Rob Halford and Dan McCafferty were like lightning in a bottle and can still move mountains at age sixty plus years old. It’s really quite spectacular. Was there anyone who did more with less than the great Bon Scott? That man was a god among men with a mic. Dressed head-to-toe in ripped denim, he was the absolute embodiment of rock n’ roll. There will never be another. Then there was the great Blackie Lawless, who not only wore saw blades on his arms, but sang with them in his throat as well. My list of inspirations is endless and I could probably babble on about one hundred more. When it comes to my own vocal ability; I’m like a painter trying to paint breath-taking landscapes with only two colors on the palette. You have to figure out what works and utilize the resources you’ve been given.
What is your usual morning routine?
I spring from my bed every morning just as the warming sun crests over the horizon. I then prepare a piping hot batch of brew blacker than the bowels of Hell. I use a French press, which I have painted red, white and blue and renamed the “Freedom Press”. While the brew steeps and conjures the spirit of Satan, I sift through my record collection and pick out my morning soundtrack. I usually pull something from the country shelf, perhaps Merle Haggard or Johnny Paycheck. As the needle drops and the anthems of heartbreak and sorrow play through my speakers, I quietly sip my morning elixir and ponder the great complexities of the universe. After indulging in my mental exercises, I slip into my leathers pound out five hundred grueling push-ups. Once the mind and the body are thoroughly sharpened and hardened, I beat my chest like an alpha gorilla in the mirror for several minutes. This ritualistic routine leaves me ready to face whatever the day may bring.