LEAD THE FOLLOWER might very well be the next big thing to come out of Texas. So catch them now and be first to spread the word of greatness before the rest of the World catches on. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
When you mention tech metal and Texas in the same sentence I come to think of Watchtower. What is it that inspires you to write and play the music you do?
-It’s really hard to put a band into a category with all the “sub-genre’s” there are these days. Like our bio says “put it into whatever category you want, we just hope you dig the tunes.” LTF was actually started by two drummers, Wes Niemoeller (Rhythm Guitar) who is a drummer turned guitar player and Jesse Gonzales (Drummer). Most of the songs started with a drum beat and then guitar riffs were written to them. This is why our stuff is so percussive and poly- rhythmic. We are all big fans of bands like Meshuggah and Mnemic (and a bunch of others) which helped to shape our tastes and our approach to what we do as musicians.
I like the play on words in your band name. Is there any greater significance to it?
-The name came about one night when Wes And I were talking about how long we had been working on this project (since 2006) and what little amount of progress we had made up to that point. We realized that in all our past projects we were a part of the groups but not really the driving forces behind them. We decided that it was time to stop relying on others to do things, take control of our own destiny and do whatever it takes to get this thing off of the ground. I believe my quote was “Fuck this follow the leader shit! Lead the fuckin follower”. Our own personal motto if you will. We liked it, it stayed.
What is the Texan scene like for a band like yours? Are there a huge crowd of appreciative fans?
-The Texas scene is cool for a band like us. We aren’t what you would expect from Texas metal but that’s what makes it fun. Our music is very specific but catchy enough we think for most metal enthusiasts to enjoy. The feedback has been great so far.
What would the world of complicated metal have looked like without Meshuggah?
-Pretty boring if you ask us haha. They’re a band that redefined how heavy music is played. Even back in the days of the ” None” EP, we knew that they weren’t just a band but a completely new genre of metal waiting to happen. Not very many bands can say that they pioneered a sound, those guys can. Eternal respect.
How do you go about finding out what to do and how to do stuff when you are new as a band? Is there some kind of catalogue you can browse finding stuff out?
-This band is new, but we are all veterans so to speak locally. We draw from our past experiences and the experiences of friends and peers. If we come up against a situation we’ve never dealt with before, we just try to approach it as practical and level headed as possible. I’m sure we’ll discuss management a little further down the line.
How hard is it to promote your band with no label backing, no physical copies of the music and playing the kind of metal you play?
-Not too hard really. It gives us the freedom to deal with things at our own speed rather than on someone else’s time line. With technology being where it is today, you can do a lot more of the work yourself. You just have to be motivated to do it. We figured that most homes these days have a computer and it’s much easier to download songs into your music library or mp3 player than it is to keep up with CD’s. Stickers and shirts with a web address on them work out better than you would think. We plan to start recording a full length album around March or April which will be pressed and packaged, but our demo we decided to keep simple. There will probably be some copies made eventually, it’s just not a priority right now.
What kind of live scene are you a part of? Are there any other bands in your area that suits you playing live?
-We are a part of the Austin metal scene as a whole. Austin is pretty diverse as far as metal goes actually, the unfortunate part is that there aren’t enough of each type to create separate scenes. There are a few bands that have a somewhat similar style to ours but not many. We’re also just getting started so this could change.
How far do you see this whole digital evolution taking the music industry? Is it the death knell of the physical record as we know it?
-Unfortunately so I think. There are just so many ways to send and receive information now that physical copies of things are becoming less and less necessary. I had a guy tell me recently that the cool thing to do lately is press cassettes of your music. I thought “didn’t we just phase out cassettes not all that long ago? How can they be “retro cool” already?” I thank the DJ culture for keeping vinyl alive though.
What would you say has been the hardest ordeal so far for Lead the Follower?
-So far the hardest ordeal for LTF has been staying patient and waiting for the right circumstances. Finding band members for this project was no easy task and we could have settled a number of times but the music would have never been what we envisioned it to be. Letting it happen naturally and in its own time has much longer lasting effects.
What do you see for the band in 2012?
-Hopefully a lot more gigging, a full length album and really just a chance finally to introduce Lead The Follower to the world.