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Leopold And His Fiction

Leopold And His Fiction

Down and Outlaws, Shadow The Wild

Wed, Feb 1, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$12 ADV - $15 DOOR

Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Leopold And His Fiction
Leopold And His Fiction
From the very first stages of creating Darling Destroyer, Leopold and His Fiction frontman Daniel Leopold found himself at the mercy of inspiration in a way he’d never experienced. “This is our first album that happened out of necessity,” says Daniel, singer/guitarist for the newly Austin-based band. “With the other records, making music was always a luxury. I could move at any speed, along any meandering path, and I did. This time the songs came to me with such an impact I was forced to commit myself to getting them out before I had a chance at losing them forever. There wasn’t any time to ponder over anything.”

The fourth full-length from Leopold and His Fiction, Darling Destroyer echoes that urgency with a savage yet soulful sound testifying to Daniel’s Detroit heritage. “I hear my upbringing in this album more than anything I’ve ever done in my life,” Daniel says. “The songs were telling me,‘This is what you’re made of, so trust it.’ ” Equally rooted in dingy garage punk and Motown’s pop-minded R&B, Darling Destroyer burns with a frenzied intensity true to its emotional origins. “Looking back, these songs came from a place of fear and vulnerability,” says Daniel, who wrote much of the album while awaiting the birth of his now-five-year-old daughter. “It was my first time ever dealing face-to-face with the severity of that type of emotion and translating it into words. Harnessing its power in the studio pushed me in a way I’ve never been pushed before.”

Throughout Darling Destroyer, Leopold and His Fiction reveal their gritty ingenuity by merging delicately crafted lyrics with blistering guitar work. Co-produced by Daniel and Chris “Frenchie” Smith (...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Ringo Deathstarr, Jet), the album gracefully veers from the self-mythologizing swagger of “Cowboy” and sinister reverie of “Boy” to the dreamy doo-wop of “I’m Better Off Alone” and lilting folk of
“Who Am I.” On “Free,” agitated rhythms and fuzzed-out basslines make for a blissfully frantic lone-wolf anthem, while “Flowers” matches its confessional complexity with the slow burn of the song’s horn-powered arrangement. “That one came while on the road driving through a mountain town way high up in Colorado,” says Daniel of the latter. “I was completely lost and more vulnerable than I’ve ever been in my life, living within a dualism of tension and love, each pulling me toward vastly different arenas of existence. Attempting to apply anything I knew to the responsibility on the way seemed inconceivable, and ‘Flowers’ expresses the feeling of facing up to that.”

From track to track, Darling Destroyer proves Daniel’s easy prowess as a frontman, his vocals endlessly shifting from brutal wail to tender serenade. That unhinged yet nuanced performance reaches a glorious peak on “I’m Caving In,” which Daniel initially penned as a country song but eventually twisted into a heart-stopping blues number. “I’m in no way country artist, but to me, classic country and classic R&B songs are synonymous in terms of what message they’re trying to deliver,” he notes. And with its scorching guitar riffs and thrillingly raw vocal performance, “I’m Caving In” emerges as a down-on-your-luck epic that turns desperation into transcendence.

For Leopold and His Fiction, creating an album as sublimely chaotic as Darling Destroyer took a lifetime of cultivating a aleidoscopic musicality. Born and raised in Detroit, Daniel first began making music after finding a forgotten about guitar in his grandmother’s basement as a child. “It had only two strings, but I took it home and started studying immediately,” he recalls. He also played drums in a band at school and learned to play horns and bass, but his focus remained on the guitar. “I’m an only child and was always alone, but I was lucky enough to have an instrument I could bury myself in,” he says. “It was a kind of gold mine, having such an outlet growing up.”

Moving to California to study writing in San Francisco, Daniel put those years of practice to use when he started crafting songs for the first time. (The band’s name nods to the main character in a novel he attempted to write — his only try.) He then channeled his literary inclinations into the lyrical element of the band. “Especially in the early days of Leopold, the songs were entirely character-driven,” he says. “I’d write a mini-novel for every song.”

Releasing their self-titled debut in 2006, Leopold and His Fiction built up a reputation as a powerful live act and landed gigs supporting ZZ Top, Gary Clark Jr., and Dr. Dog. (The band’s current lineup features Alexander "Z” Lynch on bass and vocals, Jeremy Holmsley on keyboards and vocals, and Mark Henne on drums.) Between their 2009 sophomore release Ain’t No Surprise and 2012’s 3, Daniel co-founded the folk outfit Cowboy and Indian, and spent several years touring and recording with the Austin-based band. “Cowboy and Indian picked up momentum really fast; it was something I had to do, ”Daniel says. “It wasn’t that Leopold ever stopped, but it was clearly imperative that this other project, and these other people, needed me as much as I needed them.”

With his return to Leopold and His Fiction, Daniel revisited his approach to songwriting and strayed from his novelistic tendencies. “You can say any one thing a million different ways,” he says. “For these songs, the more direct I could be, the better it was for their message.” And in that newfound directness, Leopold and His Fiction brought a more deliberate sensibility to the making of Darling Destroyer — ultimately creating the band’s most dynamic work yet. “ It drained every ounce of energy, every bit of inspiration, every dollar —everything I had went into this album,” Daniel says. “ And it all made me realize that if you don’t give yourself up to art that way, it is obvious. It was a really challenging place to be, but it helped me raise the bar to a level that I didn’t even know could exist.
Down and Outlaws
Rock and roll isn't a sound. It's not an attitude. It's a need, it's a fight, it's the saving grace in the wake of a broken heart or something lost.

If you ask what Down and Outlaws sound like, someone might mention The Stooges or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. But at some level, such comparisons miss the point. Call these San Franciscans bluesy, rootsy, dirty; it doesn't really matter. Down and Outlaws are a rock and roll band, pure and simple.

These days, when the definition of rock and roll is increasingly uncertain, the tight-knit quartet's energy, authenticity, and blistering live performances are impossible to ignore or forget.

With strong collective songwriting, Kyle Luck's guitar work, Jon Carr and Chris Danzig's gut-busting rhythm section, and Peter Danzig's howling vocals, Down and Outlaws play because they’ve got no choice. Music has saved the D&O, and they hope to return the favor.
Shadow The Wild
Shadow The Wild was born on a movie set. Lead singer Ari Welkom was playing the part of a vampire killer. Guitar player Fabien Hameline was the assistant director. Between takes, they struck up a conversation about music, which developed into some jam sessions that spawned a decision to start a band when the film wrapped.

"The first time we played together, it was magic," San Francisco born Welkom says. "Fabien's twin brother, Sebastien, was a classical guitarist. He switched to bass. [Drummer] Adam (Timmerman) was the second guy we auditioned. After one song, we knew he was the one." The new band started writing songs, polishing them with numerous gigs on LA's active club scene, touring regionally, playing SXSW, etc.

But there was still a sound they were collectively chasing. They knew they'd know it when they found it, so they stopped performing for a year to hone in on their song writing.

When the band met longtime LA producer Greg Morgenstein, they knew they'd found a kindred spirit. "Greg's attention to detail is immaculate," Welkom says. "He guided us through the recording process helping us polish the hooks, the grooves, the tempos and the dynamics. He made sure we were playing the songs as tightly as possible before recording them. He encouraged us to come up with all sorts of cool parts, then showed us how to incorporate them into the songs."

The first result is "Twin Flame," the band's debut single and the lead track from their eponymous EP, set for release on June 3 via the band's label, My Inner Animal. It opens with the spacy, swirling sounds of a Wurlitzer electric piano and the heartbeat of Timmerman's kick drum. Washes of color from a processed electric guitar solo, played backwards, seep into the track, a nod to the sounds of '60s psychedelia. Dub-like keyboard effects and the band's swooning choral harmonies set the stage for Welkom's vocal, a perfect blend of passion and apprehension. He captures the feeling you get when you're aching for love, while doubting it will ever arrive. "The song explores the dilemma of being in a superficial culture, disconnected from our fellow humans, yet longing for connection." Welkom says. "It's that old - I can't live with you, but I can't live without you – conundrum, but the guy in our song says he'd rather burn with her, than drown without her." Midway through the track, Fabien Hameline takes an eerie psychedelic guitar break that intensifies the feelings of hunger and longing. It's a fitting harbinger for the impressive EP the band has waiting on deck.

While the four musicians in Shadow the Wild have been playing for most of their lives, this is the first time any of them have been in an ongoing band.

Twin brothers Fabien and Sebastien Hameline grew up in France, but American rock inspired their move to LA. "'Rock' is an English word," Sebastien says. "It's odd to hear rock music sung in any language other than English. We both started on piano at seven, then moved on to cello and classical guitar. When Fabien started playing with Ari, I switched to bass." Sebastien's bass lines have the flavor of lead guitar, adding a unique texture to the band's rhythms.

When he was a child, Timmerman was already making percussive sounds with his mouth and teeth. In 4th grade he started drum lessons and in high school picked up piano, guitar and bass. He later graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of music before leaving for LA. "Somebody asked me if I wanted to try out for a band and I've been playing with the guys since that first audition, growing closer, as friends and musicians, every day."

"Our ultimate goal is to write songs that will outlive the band," Sebastien says, "and play them on the biggest stages of the world."EBUT SINGLE OUT JUNE 3
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