No need to roll out the band comparisons here when a description will do.
Australian punks LEECHES! play loud, raging, wicked, thrashy, old-school, skater-style hardcore rock and roll. They keep the songs short and the song titles shorter. Their debut album – Lords of Dullsville – is about 13 minutes long with three songs under a minute and the epic “What?” coming in at 2:07.
But who cares? They get the beating over with quickly and leave you wondering how you got a black eye and a missing tooth. It’s a short, sharp, shock.
These guys have played with acts such as Radio Birdman, Dead Kennedys, Propagandhi, Misfits, and EYEHATEGOD to name a few and their latest release, a four song split (with Agitated) is another blazing mix of snotty punk, surf and skater hardcore. It’s bloody brilliant!
Back in the day a song like “No One” would be on every mixed tape I made for cruising around in my buddy’s old van we called The Sauce Bus. Those were the days, and if I wasn’t so old I’d get back up on a board to see if I can still land a trick or two, with LEECHES! as a soundtrack of course.
We Are… LEECHES! Glenny (bass), Leeroy (drums) and Benny (guitar and vox)
People say we sound like…. OFF! not really sure why? I suppose we have an exclamation mark in our band name? OFF! are current, play short songs too, are a really good band and popular so it’s an easy (flattering) comparison. They’re definitely an influence on me (Leeroy) as I love the Circle Jerks. If I was to say we sounded anything like either of them I would say the latter, The Wipers too, which is a huge compliment, oh yeah and Black Flag too. All the main players (ha ha). In a nut shell it’s just short, sharp punk rock.
How did you become Leeches! and what’s with the name?
No real mystery behind the name, just like the sound of it. Benny came up with it. We are mates and like playing together. We gave it a go and it seemed to work and be enjoyable.. after a few jams.
We are originally from…..
Benny and Glenny are from the Perth hills, they went to school together. I’m (Leeroy) originally from Abergavenny in Wales.
Tell about the punk/hardcore scene in Perth…
It’s amazing to be honest. There is something for everyone in all genres in Perth. I think the isolation makes for a good breeding ground. It’s a bit of a Perth music cliché, but i think its true. A few more venues would be nice. The DIY thing is also pretty cool for a small city.
What music has had an influence on your sound?
Leeroy: A fair bit of 80s style punk and a fair bit of rock and roll. We base every bit of lead guitar on Chuck Berry. It’s affectionately known in the jam room as throw a “Berry”.
Benny: All the classic punk bands from 70’s through to now I guess. I listen to all kinds of music but thrash just feels amazing to play.
Tell us about your live show…
Yeah just get on and get off. Try to do a good job. Some people just want to hear music and want me to shut the fuck up if i talk, others tell me I should chat more to the crowd. Can’t win, so just play music.
What’s the most difficult part of being in a band?
All the stuff other than the music. It’s such a pain. We don’t want another job. We want to play music with our friends and get a few free beers if we’re lucky. We place importance on putting out new music. I love releasing records. I think the less people involved in the runnings of a band the better, for what we’re trying to do anyway. Not trying to break any records so I don’t see the point in giving someone 10% of fuck all for telling us what shirts to wear.
What do you make of the music industry right now?
Leeroy: Not really sure, it all seems a bit disposable to me, but i grew up with zines and skatemags and dubbed copies of records on tapes. You cherished what music you could get your hands on. I think the masses give up on bands and ideas to quickly as the next morsel is just one more click away on a mouse. The music itself is great at the moment, and on the other hand recording in bedrooms etc is making it so accessible for everyone.
Benny: I don’t really know, it’s pretty different to when I was a teenager, before myspace etc. Whole albums used to be really important, live shows certainly seem to be suffering. I don’t really think it applies to us to tell you the truth.
What influences the band lyrically?
Just subjects we feel strongly about, its not overly political. They are more just rants about things we do or don’t like.
Our most memorable gig ever was….
Bandung in Indonesia was mental. Heaps of kids there in this abandoned shopping centre, the setting was just crazy and the kids were so amped.
I’ve read that Australia is one of the most dangerous places in the world to visit. Why is that?
Ha ha, that old chestnut. I suppose we do have drop bears, meth heads and Tony Abbott, but apart from that its pretty safe. Wear gloves when your gardening, long trousers and enclosed shoes when bushwalking. You’ve got more chance of dying of boredom in the suburbs than a snake bite. Ha ha
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
Leeroy: Gee wiz, off the top of my head seeing Radio Birdman or the Saints in ’75 or when ever it was. Thats too hard, next question please.
Benny: I would have loved to see Nirvana in their element, all those Sub Pop bands etc. And yeah the 70’s Australian punk scene sounded unreal.
Glenny: Probably the 60¹s. I like classic rock. Don’t like none of that ska.
Growing up, at home we listened to…..
Leeroy: Loads of shit metal like W.A.S.P., then I got into death metal and grind but through skateboarding I discovered punk and hardcore etc, etc.
Benny: Punk, grunge was big in my household.
Glenny: Classic Rock, Primus, Mr Bungle, Aphex Twin, Sepultura, DJ Shadow. A bit of everything really…
What tunes are currently on heavy rotation for you…
Leeroy: Sleaford Mods: Divide and Exit. I really love that band, Ex-cult, been listening to Midnight Passenger. Electric Eels, Pissedcolas’s Demo Suzuki , Slates : Taiga ,also been listening to a lot of early Earache bands lately.
Benny: Lou Reed, Transformer, my Mother-in-law just brought me that back from Europe, been thrashing my new SOA 7”, and I am currently listening to self titled Clash record, drinking coffee with Baileys in it.
Glenny: Lately I have been listening to The Saints, Cloak Dagger, The Kryptonics, Nervous Trend, Allah-La¹s, Man or Astroman.
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
Cosmic Psychos, which we’re doing in a month or so. I fucking love them.
If you could only bring ONE record (you can all answer if you like) in the tour van what would it be?
Leeroy: Miniutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime
Benny: You Am I – Hi Fi Way
Glenny: The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Bravery, Repetition and Noise
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
Hanging with our families and friend, going to shows, listening to music, hunting for record bargins, skating, surfing, fishing we all like a beer so the pub is a nice treat.
The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to our music….
Let your red hair down.
What’s up for 2015/2016?
We are gonna record 12 songs soon. We have taken a bit of time off for family reasons, so we will probably go and play over in the eastern states when the record is done. If we can get some money together or get a grant, we would love to go overseas. Just have a bit of fun with it all.