Jarvis Leatherby

Night Demon

Californian NWOBHM flag-carriers NIGHT DEMON appear to be making a few waves around the world, currently in the middle of a European tour; a grand feat for a relatively underground band. "Curse of the Damned", their debut full-length, was recently released under Steanhammer. Gil Lecht took a moment to speak with vocalist/bassist Jarvis Leatherby about the endurance of NWOBHM in the modern metal scene and the metal industry of the American West Coast
By Gil Lecht
February 8, 2015
Jarvis Leatherby (Night Demon) interview
Can you introduce your band Night Demon to the people who do not know you guys?

Jarvis Leatherby - Bass/Vocals
Brent Woodward - Guitar
Dusty Squires- Drums

Heavy metal to the bone!

Can you tell me of your personal background as a musician?

I started playing around age 14.  Really inspired by hard rock and heavy metal at a young age.  Such Banda as Van Halen, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Danzig.

I played in various small local bands in Southern California in my youth, then took a break for a while to work and tour with bands.  I was actually a roadie for Brent's band The Fucking Wrath when we decided to start Night Demon.  The first time I ever got any press was when I was 16 years old. They write about me in the local newspaper and said that I was a very good guitar player, but my vocals were horrible and my band would be better off finding another singer.  This discouraged me for a long time, because I knew that what they are saying was absolutely true.  I was a terrible singer! Through the years, I took this as fuel for the fire to better myself as a singer and a musician.  I started taking lessons and practicing all the time until I knew I was confident enough to start another band and really go for it.  He we are!

What are your personal influences in playing and writing?

I try not to take direct influence from other artists, but it's sometimes hard not to.  I would say anything NWOBHM is just part of my dna, and I find myself naturally writing this style of music just because I have listened to it so much in my life.

I have listened to your new upcoming album "Curse Of The Damned"  and enjoyed it very much - especially the songs "Heavy Metal Heat" and "The Howling Man" - Can you introduce the album to the readers? It's influences? When will it come out?

Thank you!  This album was written over the course of a year between tours and such.  The inspiration is from a comic book called Blood Sacrifice that will be released later this year.  We recorded the album mostly live over a three day period.  We really didn't want to over do it in the studio.  We wanted the love sound of the band to transfer over in record.  We are very pleased with the results.  It will be released in Europe 01/19/15, and everywhere else 01/27/15.

What is a personal experience or story you want to share from creating music or gigging?

Ha!  Well here's a funny one…

We were touring with Raven late last year in Canada and some guy drunk off his ass in the audience kept yelling at us the entire set.  I kept ignoring him because I couldn't understand what he was saying.  Eventually I asked him to come on the stage and tell the audience on my microphone what was so important.  When he came up to the stage he wasted no time and took a swing at me! This was totally unexpected to me and I still had my bass strapped on.  I blocked him with my arms and tried not to fall over and break my bass. He kept swinging but made no contact.  Our drummer Dusty Squires saw this and jumped from behind his drums a body slammed this guy right into the stage and threw him back in the audience. The crows started chanting "fight demon"!

What do you think about pirating of music? do you see it as a good thing or a bad thing?

It's definitely a bad thing! Especially since there are so any sites that stream music now. If you actually want to own the music, you should pay for it. Not only to support the artists, but also to have the highest quality of the product the way it was intended to be released by the bands and labels. A lot of money and hard work goes into making this stuff, so if you like it and enjoy it, the right thing to do is support it so the bands can keep making more music.

What can you say about the scene in the west coast and especially in LA? What are some difficulties of a band there?

The scene is strong for metal in the underground. It's difficult for bands everywhere, but especially in bigger metropolitan cities. In America there are many bands who will actually pay promoters to play on shows with bigger bands. This helps the clubs, but it kills the scene! Many of the bands that do this are not very good. This is why they need to pay. This leaves no room for the bands that are actually good and have a following to break through in a bigger market. It also cheapens the show. When an awesome international band comes to your town, the local support should be the best of the best!

What are some of Night Demon's struggles and virtues as a band playing NWOBHM in a worldwide scene that is mainly dominated by hardcore-influenced metal genres?

We don't see many struggles, actually.  Our fans love us and they are continuing to grow in numbers.  When we play on a hard core show, punk show, or a death metal show, we always go over well.  We play fast and heavy, but are also very melodic. We are confident to play outside our genre and succeed.

How do you see the band doing and advancing and expanding in the future?

There are no signs of us slowing down.  We have toured a lot, and are on your now.  We have dedicated our lives to this, and really do love the rock and roll lifestyle everyday.

Do you guys have any upcoming gigs? Some you are specifically excited about?

We are currently on tour with Skull Fist in the states.  We come to Europe and the end of January for a ten week tour.  Among those European dates, we are very excited about playing the Metal Assault fest in Germany, and the Very Eavy fest in Netherlands.

Alright, is there anything you want to tell our readers?

Yes.  First of all thank you for supporting metal music.  The fans are the life's blood of what we all do, and we are in this together!  Finally, I encourage everyone to follow their passions in life.  No matter how old you are, or what disabilities you think you may have.  Never give up on your dreams and you will succeed! 

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