MP3 Leo - Nightmares
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14 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, POP: Today's Top 40
Ian Eddy â lead vocals, guitar
Michael Roberts â guitar vocals
Rek Mohr â bass
Mark Grabowski â drums
For many artists, writing music a form of therapy, for others itâs a social outlet or a way to attract members of the other sex. For Leo frontman, Ian Eddy, music is even more. Itâs a special language that speaks to his soul -- a salve in periods of desperation, a salvation in times of despair. And, heâs ever respectful of its power, so much so he named his band after his relationship with his muse.
âIâm an Aries, and Leo is supposed to be my perfectly matched partner,â he explains. But to me, my music has always been the most important thing, so I named the band Leo because music is like my perfect partner.â
Eddyâs passion for his art rings through loud and clear on Leoâs debut album, Nightmares. Featuring 14 songs he wrote over the past six years, the disc is a sonic diary, a confessional journey through a host of emotional moments in dysfunctional relationships.
âThings have happened, and some things havenât worked out, so Iâve written songs about it,â he says, âI guess itâs all a learning experience.â
Combining disillusionment, frustration and anger, Leoâs songs range from mild and melancholy to bold and thunderous, encapsulating a broad spectrum of influence that includes Led Zeppelin, Helmet, Jeff Buckley, Ours and Muse.
âNa Naâ starts with a lone, surging guitar riff and builds into a lumbering rocker fueled by soaring vocals, poignant counter-melodies and crashing drums. âHorizonâ blends a muscular rhythm with gorgeous harmonies, creating a level of tension that ebbs and flows throughout the song. And âChemical Cell,â the first single from the album, is ominous and stealthy, combining slithery guitars with an evocative, imagistic groove enhanced by Eddyâs foreboding vocals.
âItâs about a particularly tumultuous relationship that was so explosive that after it was over I went on a major drinking binge,â Eddy admits. âSo, it about the repercussions of that and saying that this girl is responsible for putting me in a chemical cell. My indulgences had become my prison.â
Not all of the songs are about dysfunctional relationships and disappointing experiences. âNightmaresâ is about perseverance in the face of adversity, and âBroken Recordâ addresses the transition from youthful innocence to the slap-in-the-face reality of adulthood. âWhen youâre young you have so little to worry about,â Eddy says. âThen one day you realize youâre all grown up and the world isnât all fairytales from when you were a kid. Itâs the real deal and youâve got bills and responsibilities and things to let you down. And through all that pressure, you have to try to keep your head up and see the sunlight.â
Eddy grew up in various parts of Missouri and Ohio. His parents, both of whom are singer/songwriters, were divorced when Eddy was young and the boy was shuttled back and forth between his momâs house in the country and his dadâs place in the city. As difficult as such transitions were, they exposed him to both rural and urban lifestyles and aided his development as a songwriter. While he was always interested in music and often sang with his parents, he started playing guitar, bass and keyboards when he was 15 and, soon after, decided to make music his life.
âI played in different rock bands around town, and by the time I was 16, I was making a living playing shows on weekends with a reggae band,â he says.
He formed Leo in (Cleveland)? in 2001 and went through various members over the years, including drummer Chad Szaliga, who is now in Breaking Benjamin and appears on three tracks on Nightmares, âChemical Cell,â Na Naâ and the title track.
âHe was recording drum tracks for me before he left to join Breaking Benjamin,â Eddy says. âWhen I moved to St. Louis, he didnât want to move with me so he stayed behind, but we loved his playing and we got his permission to keep his tracks. Heâs one of the most amazing drummers Iâve ever heard.â
Bassist Rek Mohr moved with Eddy to St. Louis, which meant Leo needed just a new guitarist and drummer. (Correct this line per Ian) So, Eddy called up guitarist Michael Roberts and drummer Mark Grabowski from the Ohio band Ivet, and convinced them to move to the Gateway City.
âIvet were my favorite Ohio-based band, and they used to play with Leo all the time,â Eddy says. âSo, when I found they had broken up, I felt like it was an opportunity to have them join Leo, and, since they were already fans, they were into it.â
Choosing 14 songs from the dozens Eddy had written, Leo started recording Nightmares
in 2006 at their home studio in St. Peters, Missouri. Roberts, who previously had engineered for Universal Records, handled production. Since they didnât have
to worry about paying for an expensive producer, Leo were able to take their time with Nightmares and try various arrangements before settling on the ones they wanted for the album.
âWe worked really hard on this, so I think itâs pretty consistent,â Eddy says. âChances are, if you like one of our songs, youâre probably going to like all of them.â
Recently, Leo have toured the U.S. with The Burden Brothers and showcased at the South By Southwest music convention in Austin, Texas. And, last February, they hit the road with Breaking Benjamin, which reunited Eddy with his old bandmate.
âI hadnât seen him in a couple years,â he says. âSo it was nice to be able to hang every day for a few weeks.â
While Eddy is looking forward to touring for Nightmares this summer, heâs also eager to get back into the studio and start recording. He loves the songs heâs written over the past six years, but for him, being an artist means never staying in the same place, always evolving and creating what some people might not expect.
âSome of the new stuff Iâve been writing is a bit more political than anything Iâve ever done,â Eddy says. âSo, who knows how itâs going to turn out when we record it? I just know that whatever we do, itâs gonna be Leo and weâre not gonna do anything weâre not all completely happy with. Two months ago I was serving food in a restaurant. Now Iâm living the dream.â
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