Leeches Of Lore - 26/09/2009

LEECHES OF LORE originated at the end of 2007 in New Mexico. In 2008 the band released a six-song EP and their debut album was recently released by MeteorCity Records. One thing no one can accuse the self-titled debut by the New Mexico duo of being is boring. Drummer / vocalist Andy Lutz and guitarist / bassist / vocalist Steve Hammond (they also occasionally employ Noah Wolters for keys and extra vocals) run through eleven tracks of madcap metal with little regard for genre or societal norms, and more over, they pull it off without sounding like caricatures of themselves. Their self-titled effort blends garage rock, stoner rock, country & western music, thrashy speed metal, psychedelia, surf rock, flamenco and more in an oddball but entertaining mixture.


So it appears there is much to talk about and Steve Hammond (guitar / vocals) was available to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com



Congratulations on your debut album which was released recently, of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it. First of all, could you start this interview off with a short introduction of the band, the origin of its name and how you guys got together?


Steve: We formed in late 2007. It was just Andy (Lutz-Drums) and me for about a year. We worked together and had similar tastes in music. We then had Noah (Wolters-Organ/Bass) play at a show with us, and asked him to join soon after. The name of the band comes from the song of the same title. It’s an epic, on-going, sci-fi theme.


How did you launch into writing material for ‘Leeches Of Lore’?


Steve: I had already written and recorded the album myself as a solo project about a year before we met. When Andy joined, we re-recorded everything.


Which approach did you choose to make this album?


Steve: We don’t really try to be different, the music just comes out the way it does because we’re weirdos. As far as recording, it was mostly done at home on inexpensive equipment, hence the “raw” sound.


How can we imagine you work on new songs, what's the typical writing process like for Leeches Of Lore?


Steve: Well, so far I write all the songs, although Noah has a composition in the works for us. I usually write the music first, and then the lyrics.


Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?


Steve: Yeah. Songs just kinda come to me.



What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘Leeches Of Lore, any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album? Was it a conscious decision to do it this way?


Steve: It just came out the way it did naturally.


Can you give us a little background about the songs on the album, is there a story behind them?

Steve: There’s not one unifying story on this album. It’s mostly lots of little sci-fi or science things, or total nonsense.


How important is it to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?


Steve: If this was Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan, I’d say the lyrics are important. But this is much different from that. It’s more about the whole. A lot of lyrics are left open to interpretation and are a part of the music.


Songs like “I am Raptor”, “Pig screams” and “Cougar vs. Bear”, are very thrashy and raw with classic metallic sounding riffs, is this something you wish to develop more in the future, or can we expect Leeches Of Lore to develop more into the western cowboy folk sound like “Western Skies" and “Cenozoic Death Waltz”?


Steve: You can expect us to do what we want. We don’t think of ourselves as just a metal band, although we love metal. There’s lots of music in the world. Why be tied down to one specific genre?


What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to you?


Steve: It depends on the song. Some songs need to be long and epic. Others work better as minute long songs. Songs are kinda like little universes. There isn’t one thing that makes a song great.



Do you have any favourites on the album?


Steve: I like them all. We rotate all of them in and out of our set along with new stuff. It depends on which one we are playing at the time.


Have you received any feedback on the album yet?


Steve: Yes, quite a bit. Most find it enjoyable, many are confused, and others just plain hate it.


Are third party opinions (press, fans, etc.) on your music important to you? Or are your music and band the only things that matter?


Steve: They are interesting to hear, but they don’t influence what we do.


Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective? Which element on the CD are you most proud of?


Steve: Overall, we are pleased. The drums could be bigger. I’m most proud of recording it myself.


Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics?


Steve: Hmmm. The world around me motivates me I guess. I like science and science fiction, history, and like most people associated with heavy music I like the dark and weird side of things.



Could you respond to the following terms in just one word or sentence:


Metal : Machine

Underground : Noise

Internet : Porn

Religion : Stupid

Politics : Stupider

The Netherlands : We’d like to play there

U.S.A. : We do play here


What is your opinion on the metal scene these days? What do you think about the overload of bands at the moment and is there anything missing in the scene?


Steve: It’s hard for me to comment on this. Most of the new stuff I hear doesn’t interest me. I mostly listen to the classics. I’d say riffs, singing and songwriting are missing from most of the stuff I hear. Anybody can scream and grunt, although some do it better than others.


What can we expect from Leeches Of Lore in the future, any touring plans for Europe?


Steve: We are going to try to tour two or three times a year at least. This fall we are going west coast USA. Hopefully we can find some support to keep us on the road permanently.  We would love to go to Europe, but need funding and other support.  We are recording the second album now, which will probably be out next year sometime, as soon as we find the right label.


Where do you see Leeches Of Lore going within the next couple of years, and where do you see your musical direction going for the next album?


Steve: Hopefully we will be touring full time. You’ll just have to wait and see for the second album.


Anything left to say to our readers?


Steve: Thanks for having me!


Thanks for your time!

Eugene Straver




Noah Wolters - Back Vocals, Keyboard 

Steve Hammond - Vocals, Guitar, Bass 

Andy Lutz - Drums, Back Vocals



(2008) Leeches of Lore (EP) 

(2009) Leeches Of Lore Full-length