Interview by Tony CannellaVocalist Leather Leone left Chastain after the 1990 album “For Those Who Dare”. Now a mere 23 years later she has returned and their new album “Surrender to No One” picks right up where they left off. After listening to this album it seems that no time has passed at all and Leather’s vocals are just as forceful as ever. Recently she took the time to answer some questions via email and this is what she had to say. The long awaited new Chastain album “Surrender to No One” is out now. Please tell us a little about it.
It has been along time for all of us, myself included. It feels exhilarating to be back in the scene. The idea of creating music again with Chastain has brought me a great sense of accomplishment. More importantly, all of the feedback from all of you glorious people is beyond words.How do you feel it’s been received by the fans and media?
Repeating myself, the friends and media have been exceptional. I had no idea of the impact those early Chastain releases had. It is an honor to have been a part of that chapter of life. The music we make is hard and true, so of course all of you relate to the message. Thanks for that!How did the idea come about to do a new Chastain album?
I had asked for his business advice on the Sledge Leather project. We naturally came to having the conversation of our music. I had heard constant whispers from all of you during SLP, so it was flying around in mind. Once I had started to hear our ideas together, I found the inspiration to move forward.I love “Surrender to No One”, it has a classic Chastain sound. Was that the intent?
Nothing was written with any intent, except to be the best the song could be. As Chastain, we do have a unique sound. That will always be. We however, did have some funny conversations about doing a thrash CD.What was it like working with David T. Chastain again?
Working with DTC, was the same familiar path. As I have stated, I am not an easy recording artist. He is a man of patience and diligence. I am pushed to do my best, and then some. I yell, I scream, I swear, but we also do a hell of a lot of laughing, while drinking tea and eating pizza. Good times.Did you guys stay in touch over the years?
We did stay in touch. Years may have gone by, but I would regularly get some type of contact from him. Our communication had definitely increased over the past 2 years.Are there any plans to tour with Chastain?
There are plans, what will actually come of them I’m not sure. We are checking out all possibilities. I am hopeful we will see you all on the road.
Are there any songs that really stand out for you on “Surrender to No One”?
I don’t listen to the CD much after it has been completed. My usual pattern is to have each song be my favorite as I listen to a rough final mix. I did just hear “Evil Awaits” on the radio and I was pleased.You last recorded an album with Chastain (“For Those Who Dare”) in 1990 and then sort of disappeared from the metal scene. What were you up to in the meantime?
When I left music, I was living in California partying. I got involved with dog rescue, trying to figure out what was the next chapter – just living. I hadn’t found anything musically that was of interest to me. Chastain had left a huge expectation on my part of what the next musical step would be for me.Why did you decide to take a break from it?
I don’t have a good answer for that. I know I was frustrated with the lack of industry interest in the band. I had different ideas of where I wanted to see Chastain go as a band. Some of them were probably unrealistic. Maybe my true inspiration had left. It was just time for me.Why did you decide the time was right for a come back?
I had a flow of inspiration due to circumstances in life. It came to me, how selfish to have been given a gift and not using it. I also wanted to re connect with all of you who had been so excited and loyal about Chastain. Again, it was time. I have a weird relationship with time and DTC can be very musically convincing.Did you always feel like you wanted to eventually make more music or did you think it was behind you?
I honestly thought it was behind me. My father, who has since passed, always told me I wasn’t done. So he is with me through this whole new adventure. I have other artist’s who have recently said it’s in our blood. It’s our nature to express this primitive sound called Metal.You also did the Sledge Leather project with Sandy Sledge. Tell us a little about that?
Sledge had also been pushing me to get back into music. It was with her in LA, that I had begun the process of getting back into studio’s to work out the long years of absence. It took sometime, but we did start writing and hanging out in LA. “Imagine Me Alive” was born. It was a privilege to work with great artists and just the experience of hanging with the big boys. I am proud of that CD for sure.Will there be another Sledge Leather album in the future?
At this time there are no plans for Sledge Leather.You recorded the much underrated “Shock Waves” album in 1989. Do you see yourself ever doing another solo album?
The door is wide open for me and my thoughts. I have been reignited. But saying that, I have never been much of a solo artist person; I like being part of the tribe. I want to front a band, one that is truly a band.Thank you Leather for taking the time to answer these questions. In closing do you have any final words for the fans?
Thank you for waiting all these years for “Surrender to No One”. Visit www.chastainmetal.com for all the info on Chastain. Enjoy it! You have my heart!