“We are the Leaf UK from dismal old Stoke-on-Trent, the bumhole of the Midlands, the Midlands being the  bumhole of the UK. No, really, we love it, where else can you get oatcakes and a vibrant music scene? We make very heavy but tuneful grunge-punky-classic rock, fresh, gnarly and unique!”

How did you all meet?

Mark and I were in punk-goth band back in the mid-80s (yes, we are that old). We knew that we had something special back then. Jarad and I formed Leaf back in the early 90’s and Mark had a brief stint in the band then. Daz (new bass player) and Mark have played together in the intervening period, and I was sound engineer on an early recording of theirs. We go back a long way, our paths twisting and turning like a twisty turny thing.

Who were your musical influences growing up?

AC/DC, Kiss, Sex Pistols and a whole host of classic bands. I did move on to more glammy stuff like Crue…I liked dressing up. Have you seen my stage trousers? Cool as milk. These days we have all moved on…Jarad likes heavy stuff like BFMV, me, indie punk like Idles and Cleopatrick, Daz likes modern edgy stuff and Mark has the widest listening pallet of us all (I have just got him switched onto Turnstile…hee hee)!

What made you want to be in a band?

Don’t laugh, but 70’s glam. I loved The Sweet, Gary Glitter and the razzamatazz of it all. The poses, the hair and the showmanship of it all made me want to be a ‘rock star’. However, it was AC/DC and Highway to Hell, my first album in the early 80s that made me wake up and say “Yeah, I want to play guitar!”. When those chords strike up….phew, that is the tone I want…still.

What has been your best gig?

Impossible to say, partly because we are so self-critical. I am never satisfied with my performance and Mark makes me seem like a Leaf fanboy – he shreds us after every gig, sometimes making me cry. Maybe the one coming next???

Can you tell us a bit about your music? 

We are taking a bit a different approach this year. We have sat back and watched a bunch of friends’ bands release albums. Who to? Their Mum and friends? It is so demoralising to see all that effort and utter talent disappearing into a void. So, we are releasing one song a month over the course of 2023 and probably beyond. We have just recorded the last 2023 batch and they are bangers. Not for us the ‘record, wait, release’, we want to keep it fresh, chart our progression and keep our Mums and friends on tenterhooks.

Describe your music in 3 words.

Melodic, heavy and relevant (i.e. not old fashioned poop singing about demons and goblins or sexy women and in-bed prowess).

What makes your band stand out from others?

We do not copy anyone and are this amazing melting pot of influences from grunge rock to punk and hardcore to alternative metal. We have the age and experience to step back and be critical too; we are hyper-critical and always pushing to write better and better songs.

What are your plans for the rest of 2023?

Release stuff, get photos and videos done, then chop down our 30 plus songs to devilishly snarling sets to play to anyone, anywhere. Oh, and make no money, but have the biggest, widest gap-toothed grins of any band out there.

If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?

Our self-effacing humour and inability to take life too seriously.

Any gig’s coming up?

A bunch of local ones (check our FB and website), we just need a promoter to take a punt and get us on to play to wider audiences. Come and see us, even if you don’t like the tunes, you will love the atmosphere and the humour!

By Siân Parker