Leather interview for From Beyond Metal 1/2014

Questions by: Gilbert V

FBM: Greetings, everyone there at Chastain, a new production after some time without recording, how are the expectations with "Surrender To No One"?
LEATHER: Greetings, along with a huge Thank you for your time. I had the same expectation I have always had. The work needs to be of a certain caliber. We, as a band had left on a pretty high note of recordings and songwriting! So we took our time making sure it would hold up against the Cds of the years before. I think we found the balance of keeping the original Chastain sound while moving forward. I'm extremely happy to have the opportunity to say 'Thanks' to all of you that have stayed with us all this time!!!

FBM: How has your new album been received by the media?
LEATHER: It has been well received. I continue to be in amazement from all of the positive and inspiring feedback we get! We have been gone a long time! To think we can still move you musically is a dream. It is one of the reasons Chastain and I began discussing "Surrender To No One." This was most certainly done with all of you in mind! Thanks for waiting so long!

FBM: What are the issues that worked for this album both musically and lyrically?
LEATHER: Chastain and I have always come from the place of self-preservation along with the world's obsession with good and evil. Even after years of not working together, it hadn't changed. The lyrics and music are a call to arms, so to speak. Be strong, have integrity, and be ready to fend for yourself!!! You are all you have my friend!

FBM: Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end result?
LEATHER: Chastain is the producer. He does as much of the final mixing that his ears will allow!! Christian Schmid in Germany originally mixed the album. Then David and our drummer Stian made some adjustments. I am never pleased 100% with the final result. I'm not sure any artist could say that! I also don't listen to the product much when we have completed it. It's difficult to be objective with my own work. I hear only what I would like to re do!! I do my best listening years later, as I have heard Chastain agree with!

FBM: Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a great cover?
LEATHER: The cover art is from Eric Massaro. I'm not sure how Chastain found his work, but as soon as I saw this cover I knew it was the one!! Yes, it's extremely important to draw interest, begin to tell the story with your cover art!!! Especially today when most people don't have an actual Cd to hold and explore!!

FBM: You are satisfied with the work of Leviathan Records ? Considering that they have worked with them on several productions?
LEATHER: Of course I have been satisfied with Leviathan Records!! They have chosen to continue to give me the opportunity to create music! Since it is Chastain's label, I know they will always be on my side. It can be a big, ugly world, the music business!

FBM: It has been several years you did appear in Chastain. How did you come to sing in Chastain again? Do you feel proud to have a mythical female voice in the band?
LEATHER: It has been a few years!! Our communication had increased due my Sledge Leather project in 2012. It led to us into considering music again. For me, it wasn't that easy to jump right back into a Chastain project again. It took months of demos and consideration. It was well thought out.

FBM: How come the current metal scene in relation to the decade of the eighties?
LEATHER: The Metal scene seems the same to me in that there are so many bands, so much talent! The difference is it's not as easy to go out and play clubs. Let alone get a larger arena tour! It has become a pay to play society. Due to social media, anyone can put out music, which makes it more difficult to stand out. Those of us who make music these days are certainly doing it for the love of the creative process!

FBM: There is currently a very important for the promotion of bands such as the Internet, what advantages and negatives of this?
LEATHER: Yes that's very true about social media and promotion!! We can be in contact with the whole Metal world with a press of a key. So many more people can experience our music. The downside being the overflow of one's choices. Our attention spans can only allow so much absorption!! Too much information, too fast!!

FBM: Chastain's career has been quite prolific can tell us what is the best album of Chastain?
LEATHER: I cant answer what Chastain album is the best. I like each of them for different reasons. Having just been turned on to his "Southern Gentlemen" music during the recording of "Surrender to no one" I was quite impressed! With David T Chastain, we probably haven't heard his best work yet. I can only say I hope I'm part of it!!

FBM : Greetings and pleased to have chatted with you.
LEATHER: Love and Metal. Thank you Gilbert, hope to meet you soon!

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