• Marilyn Manson - THE PALE EMPEROR

    Image: Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Reviews Marilyn Manson
    THE PALE EMPEROR

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    Let’s just call it the way it is. It’s been a very, very long time since Marilyn Manson recorded a really good, memorable release that any of us still listen to on a regular basis. To many, the would probably says that it’s been since MECHANICAL ANIMALS back in 1998. For me personally, I’ll be a bit more

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  • Black Star Riders - THE KILLER INSTINCT

    Image: Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct, Review, Classic Rock, Pitriff Black Star Riders
    THE KILLER INSTINCT

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    When Black Star Riders made their decision to record under a new name instead of as Thin Lizzy, it was met with a lot of opinions. For most, I would assume they were happy that they decided to move away from the name they had been touring under. For many, I'm sure there was a lot of

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  • Lynch Mob - SUN RED SUN

    Image: Lynch Mob, Sun Red Sun, George Lynch, Classic Rock, Reviews Lynch Mob
    SUN RED SUN

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    On THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, George Lynch is regularly a topic of conversation. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Neeley is a personal friend of Don Dokken and I work for Don on his website, but I like to believe that he becomes a topic because, first and foremost, we are big fans of the

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  • Karma To Burn - ARCH STANTON

    Image: Arch Stanton, Karma To Burn, Pitriff, Stoner Metal, Reviews Karma To Burn
    ARCH STANTON

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    There are those of us who know. We will forever be known as the "fortunate ones". There are those of you that have no idea. You will be known as the "unfortunate ones". What is it we know that you don't? We know the sheer greatness of Karma To Burn. For those that are unfortunate ones, let me

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  • U.D.O. - DECADENT

    Image: U.D.O. - DECADENT, Classic Metal, Reviews, Pitriff U.D.O.
    DECADENT

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    I'm sure I'm not in the minority here, but I'm glad that we now have a killer version of Accept with Mark Tornillo as well as the continuation of U.D.O. with Udo Dirkschneider. In short, it's led to both bands stepping up their game and creating great music. While neither side will admit competition with the other band, the fans certainly

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  • Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    ONLY TO RISE

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    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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  • AC/DC - ROCK OR BUST

    Image: Rock Or Bust, AC/DC, Chris Akin, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review AC/DC
    ROCK OR BUST

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    In a year that has see a foundational piece of AC/DC succumb to a debilitating illness and another to his own personal insanity, AC/DC emerges after seemingly forever away with ROCK OR BUST. To be fair and truthfully honest, expectations on this release were pretty low. I know that AC/DC is a band that's been in business almost 50

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  • Whitesnake - BACK TO THE BONE

    Image: Whitesnake, Back To The Bone, Pitriff, Chris Akin Whitesnake
    LIVE IN '84 - BACK TO THE BONE

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    David Coverdale and company have had a very long and successful history that started even before he formed Whitesnake. There's no denying the legacy here. Coverdale has had a fantastic career with Whitesnake, and his time in Deep Purple was every bit as strong to that band as a Sammy Hagar was to Van Halen

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  • Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch
    WARRIORS

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    There's an unwritten rule that I rarely follow here in Cleveland. That rule is that if a band is from Cleveland, I'm supposed to write all glowing things or else be called a hater by the local community. It's sad that it's like that, but the truth is what it is. For years I've lived with that stigma, to the point

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  • Machine Head - BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

    Image: Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Machine Head
    BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

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    What happened to Machine Head really is a crime. Unfortunately for them, it's a crime they perpetrated upon themselves. With a mistake so many made in their youth, this band singlehandedly torpedoed themselves from ascending to the heights in metal held by only the select few like Metallica and Megadeth before them. After THE MORE THINGS CHANGE came

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  • Nashville Outlaws - TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

    Image: Nashville Outlaws, Motley Crue Tribute Nashville Outlaws
    A TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

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    With the music industry pretty much dead anymore, nothing really comes off as shocking. After all, you have very desperate companies trying to hang on and make money from an industry that has about as much relevance today as the typewriter ribbon makers of the world still do. The current trend for the last half decade

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  • Texas Hippie Coalition - RIDE ON

    Image: Texas Hippie Coalition, Ride On, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Review, Classic Metal Texas Hippie Coalition
    RIDE ON

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    I tell this story often, but it's one of my favorites of the past year. I had the chance to interview the Texas Hippie Coalition earlier this year at Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio. I was in a small tent with a bunch of photographers. The tent was fairly quiet really, as the much bigger adjacent

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  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar
    LITE ROAST

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    I get it. You are Sammy Hagar. You've seen huge success in virtually every world you've entered. In music, he was the main focus of Montrose. He parlayed that into a very successful solo career. That wasn't enough, so he joined the world's largest band at the time (Van Halen), and took them to commercial heights that even they

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  • Cavalera Conspiracy - PANDEMONIUM

    Image: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pandemonium, Pitriff, Death Metal, Review Cavalera Conspiracy
    PANDEMONIUM

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    There's always good news and bad news whenever Max Cavalera gets busy with new music. The good is that you get a whole lot of new music, seemingly all in a very short time. The bad news is it's generally spotty at best, because he simply writes and releases too much music at the same time. His band Soulfly released

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  • Slipknot - .5 THE GRAY MATTER

    Image: Slipknot, .5 The Gray Matter, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Slipknot
    .5 THE GRAY MATTER

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    With a ton of speculation and even more wonderment on this band's ability to continue on without founding members Paul Gray and Joey Jordison, Slipknot has returned after far too long of a layoff with .5 THE GRAY MATTER. I've listened to this release multiple times a day for the last week or so that I've had it,

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  • Opeth - PALE COMMUNION

    Image: Opeth, Pale Communion, Pitriff, Review, Progressive Metal Opeth
    PALE COMMUNION

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    Opeth simply fails as a band, at least to me. While I'll admit to never fully understanding the amazement and awe so many have for this band, I've appreciated them from afar. I've listened, and I've at least wrapped my head around what they were trying to do. Their fusing of death metal with progressive elements always made for an

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  • Cannibal Corpse - A SKELETAL DOMAIN

    Cannibal Corpse, A Skeletal Domain, Review, Death Metal Cannibal Corpse
    A SKELETAL DOMAIN

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    So really, what does anyone expect when you get a Cannibal Corpse release handed to you? Ballads, love songs and fun? Not hardly. There's an expectation of severe brutality which the band delivers time and time again. Certainly, it comes with different levels of acceptance to one's ears, but ultimately the only thing that matters if it says

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  • Exodus - BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

    Image: Exodus, Blood In Blood Out, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Exodus
    BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT

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    Unless you call Testament a "thrash band" (which I don't personally), Exodus would rank as my favorite true Thrash band of all time. They have had good times and bad. Occasionally, like on FABULOUS DISASTER, they have misstepped along the way. But overall, they are one of the true powerhouses in the history of thrash metal. Since 2004

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  • Mr. Big - ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

    Mr. Big, The Stories We Could Tell, Reviews, Classic Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Mr. Big
    ...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL

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    As a fan of Mr. Big, I can't honestly say that many people thought that their reunion was much more than a cash grab opportunity for the guys in the band who, while immensely talented, failed to find solo success to match their collaborative efforts. It was never a question of if they could still play.

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  • Slash - WORLD ON FIRE

    Image: Slash, Myles Kennedy, Conspirators, World On Fire, Pitriff, review, classic metal Slash
    WORLD ON FIRE

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    Hey Gene Simmons. The corpse of rock n' roll just had a baby. That baby is not an average baby at all. That baby was not stillborn, but came out kicking and screaming with an intensity rarely seen. This baby is destined for greatness. This infant is out to prove you wrong. While your days of spitting fire and

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  • Davey Suicide - WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

    Image: Davey Suicide, Worldwide Suicide, Pitriff, Reviews, Modern Metal Davey Suicide
    WORLDWIDE SUICIDE

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    I had the pleasure of working directly with Davey Suicide as he prepped his debut release a few years ago for release. I got to work with him on some promotional stuff, some publicity stuff, his website and a lot more of that kind of stuff. In that work, I quickly found him to be far more than the

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  • Ministry - LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

    Image: Ministry, Last Tangle In Paris, Pitriff, Review, Industrial Metal Ministry
    LAST TANGLE IN PARIS

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    Al Jourgensen of Ministry has been threatening to take his ball and go home for a long time now. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I believe that he'll ever retire. Every time he says he's retiring, he seems to come right back with more music that's stronger, meaner and just better than anything in his past. Being quite

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  • Kix - ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

    Image: Kix, Rock Your Face Off, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Review Kix
    ROCK YOUR FACE OFF

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    Kix might just be the last of the '80's bands to release new material. By now, it seems like everybody else you could name from the glory days of yesteryear has made a stab at making music in the new millennium. Of course, a lot of them, we wish they hadn't, and just left us to our misty-eyed

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  • Evergrey - HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

    Image: Evergrey, Hymns For The Broken, Review, Progressive Metal Evergrey
    HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

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    In the world of progressive metal, there are exactly 2 bands which I worship. Those bands are Symphony X and Evergrey. Both bands are immensely talented, feature incredible musicianship, and come full of great lyrical and musical representations that tell amazing stories to the listeners. Following their last release GLORIOUS COLLISION, it really seemed like Evergrey may have

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  • Ace Frehley - SPACE INVADER

    Image: Ace Frehley, Space Invader, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Reviews Ace Frehley
    SPACE INVADER

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    Am I the only one that is tired of not only Ace Frehley, but all members of Kiss past and present? Since they were nominated for the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF CORPORATE, it has been a steady stream of nonsense, bickering, anger, hurt feelings and now emotional trauma. It's over already. Get over it. It's 2014. Kiss is

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  • Blackberry Smoke - LEAVE A SCAR

    Image: Blackberry Smoke, Leave A Scar, Pitriff, Review, Rock Blackberry Smoke
    LEAVE A SCAR - LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA

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    Right up front, Blackberry Smoke is not a metal band. They are a southern-rock band, in the classic, original sense. These days, the term "southern rock" has been applied to everybody from Black Stone Cherry to Nashville Pussy to Crowbar, all sounds that would be alien and extreme in the days of Skynyrd and

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  • Skid Row - UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

    Image: Skid Row, United World Rebellion Chapter 2, Pitriff, Classic Metal, Review Skid Row
    UNITED WORLD REBELLION, CHAPTER 2

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    Part two of the three part Skid Row series known as UNITED WORLD REBELLION has been unleashed. Dubbed as RISE OF THE DAMNATION ARMY, UWR2 picks up where the first EP left off. There's simple math here. Over the course of these two EPs you have 14 songs. If you put the two together, you've got

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  • Downset - ONE BLOOD

    Image: Downset, One Blood, Pitriff, Review Downset
    ONE BLOOD

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    As a fan of Downset, I wasn't really surprised when the band split up in 2009. They claimed that "the band has run it's course". As a fan, I believe that. They definitely had a huge influence on a lot of the bigger nu-metal bands of the 2000s. Certainly, anyone that heard releases like DO WE SPEAK A DEAD LANGUAGE

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  • Madball - HARDCORE LIVES

    Image: Pitriff, Madball, Hardcore Lives, Pitriff, Harcore Madball
    HARDCORE LIVES

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    As a total fan of hardcore metal, it's a genre that doesn't always make a lot of sense. Certainly, there's no real questioning why a band like Agnostic Front is the "Black Sabbath" of the genre. Equally, it's not much of a surprise that Biohazard was so well regarded as they broke the style into the mainstream with the big

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  • Accept - BLIND RAGE

    Image: Accept, Blind Rage, Pitriff, Clasic Metal, Review Accept
    BLIND RAGE

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    Accept continue to rage on. Since his debut with the band, it's as clear as can be that vocalist Mark Tornillo has completely revitalized this band. His first two discs with the band, BLOOD OF THE NATIONS and STALINGRAD, were both masterpieces that sit near the top of the Accept catalog...regardless of who the singer is. This is not to

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  • John Garcia - JOHN GARCIA

    Image: John Garcia, John Garcia, review, stoner metal, review, pitriff John Garcia
    JOHN GARCIA

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    For many of you, the name John Garcia doesn't mean a whole lot. I get that. For some of us - people that have long loved the world of Stoner Rock and Metal, John Garcia is every bit the musical God that people like Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson are in the world of "classic metal". With

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  • Godsmack - 1000HP

    Image: Godsmack, 1000hp, review, pitriff, modern metal Godsmack
    1000HP

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    I must be getting old, because recently, I've noticed my attitude softening toward the dreaded "nu-metal" bands of fifteen years ago. Maybe it's just nostalgia for what I now perceive (incorrectly, I'm sure) as a simpler time, but the burnout and disinterest I felt circa 2002, the year I quit seriously listening to mainstream rock radio has mellowed of late. Don't

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  • Wovenwar - WOVENWAR

    Image: Wovenwar, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Wovenwar
    WOVENWAR

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    More singers should try to have their wives killed if the resulting project to come from that nightmare sounds like Wovenwar. Holy shit is this project great! Being perfectly honest, I wasn't much of an As I Lay Dying fan, so hearing that the surviving members were forming a new project and carrying on with a new singer and new name

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There's always bands that everyone knows, and then there are bands and musicians that made an impact on you that weren't what any would call commercially gigantic.   For me, vocalist Leather Leone has long been one of those musicians.  While she never broke through like a contemporary like Doro Pesch did, her work was always as good (maybe better, to be honest) than the reigning queen of Metal's output was.  Be it the work she did with Rude Girl, the critically acclaimed recordings as the frontwoman of Chastain, or even solo, Leather Leone was almost never considered as a "female metal singer".  Instead, her grit and integrity always left her known as simply a "metal singer".  

After seemingly disappearing from the music scene for two decades, Leone has circled back to not only her career, but her Rude Girl roots.  She has teamed back up with former Rude Girl drummer Sandy Sledge to form a raw, cutting project called Sledge Leather.  To say the least, Sledge Leather's debut IMAGINE ME ALIVE will rekindle memories of past work, although it also showcases a much more deep, mature place from which these metal warriors write from.  Checking in from each other's email inboxes, PITRIFF caught up with Leone and Sledge to talk  about the new project, returning to the music scene, and what's changed since they last left the metal scene.  Here's our e-conversation:

PITRIFF - Where have you been?

LEATHER LEONE (LL) - I went on a long walk about. Wanted to take some time and lost track of her.
But its always amazing to take a left turn , step outside of what you think is yourself. Needed to live , find inspiration, or maybe just party for a while HA HA!!

SANDY SLEDGE (SS) - What a nightmare that Leather stepped away! The nightmare's over.

PITRIFF - Obviously Rude Girl had quite a cult following back in the day. Reunited, how is the dynamic different working with each other?

LL - Working and spending time with Sledge is like butter. We come from the same place most of the time. And accept it when we don't. We are wiser, know what we want and are ok with making it happen.

SS - True. We're picking up where we left off, with years of more experience and things to write and tell you guys about through our songs. Freaky place, this world is. I've found the answers are a lot more clear now.

PITRIFF - The press has indicated that you decided to come back to music as a reaction to the death of Ronnie James Dio. What was it about his passing that made you want to get back to music again?

LL - His passing made me think, have a realization of our time here. Doing what we were meant to do. I cant explain it in words . Watching his passion and the dedication that he had for his work moved me in a spiritual way that day. Its all in his honor. I shared the experience with Sledge, it was an awakening for me.

SS - Ronnie was always supportive of Leather and I, and always told us to keep doing music together. What more do we need? We all have emptiness and answers to find and Ronnie has always represented hope. It's our time to pick up the ball and keep it going.

PITRIFF - Obviously the industry is very different than when you left it originally. What has been different in your eyes since you came back?

LL - Of course technology and the internet have changed the landscape of music. Everyone can get their music out there, be heard ,be seen, be the mass audience. But I see it as the same force, hard f*ing work, tenacity, good songs. That will never change. Sledge and I were just having a conversation about being in the right place at the right time. I tend to believe that theory, her not so much!

SS - That theory... well...It's dangerous to believe in luck too much. I like to play hard, and I like to work hard. Fortunately, so does Leather. The tools that we have now enable us to work as hard as we do without needing someone else's money. That translates to us coming at you PURE. What you hear is how we feel. Not someone pulling strings so that we can get into a studio. I f*king LOVE THAT.

PITRIFF - Who is in the band with you and Sandy?

LL - Sledge Leather is Matt Weisheit - guitar, Rick Lambert - guitar, Chris Davidson - bass, Scott Warren - keys, Sledge - skins, Leather - vox.

PITRIFF - Listening to IMAGINE ME ALIVE, it seems like this might be a highly personal album. Is that true, and what or who is the subject matter about?

LL - It was a very well thought out album. It is a journey of someone who has passed on. They are reviewing their life, and making amends along the way. It is all about the journey for us. I was discussing with Sledge that the next record should just be straight ahead Metal songs, , but we got to much going on inside of us for that right now!

Image: Sledge Leather, Pitriff, InterviewSS - LOL! These ARE straight ahead Metal songs, aren't they? Ohhhh maybe she means the in-between parts ("interstitials"). I'll always be doing 'conceptual' type cd's. It's the only thing that makes sense to me. It's like a book, or a movie. I don't see how you wouldn't want to connect everything. I like smooth transitions. LOL! The subject of IMA is a spirit reviewing the sometimes very tragic events in their many lives and commenting on those events with every song.

"IMA" - The spirit was killed early in this particular life and feels guilt for the people it left behind who are missing him\her. It's saying 'I'm still here with you. "Close your eyes--- You'll find me!" '

"The Guy Upstairs Lied" - It's saying that you can't always expect a god to do what YOU think is the right thing. What you think is the right thing may be short-sighted.You have to understand that but you can still be f*king angry about it!

"Her Father's Daughter" - For the religious this would mean that the person is doing G-d's work. For the athiests, it's the spirit having a good laugh with us about religion. But Leather wrote most of the words on this one, so I think the first answer applies more. It's highly personal to her. I guess I'm the athiest laughing. I'm also the voice of the "devil" laughing on the actual song. But I'm no devil.....*wink*

"A Taste Of Night" - The spirit is recalling an intense time of mystery and discovery in it's life, just before the WWII holocaust happened. How do I know that? I just know.

"One Glimpse" - Death. And the feeling of being slaughtered. Then the miracle of having another spirit wipe those feelings away and get some relief from the devestation. And the hope that comes with that.

"The Lost Forgiveness" - It never ends, does it? The cycle of violence against each other continues. And while the spirit finds forgiveness as a relief, it also realizes that forgiveness won't change events. But still, "Let us behold their strength and with this, their mistakes now end this." The spirit has found the strength of hope as its new religion.

"Sisyphus" - Please look up who Sisyphus is. The spirit is having a good laugh with us all.

PITRIFF - What happened with Chastain? Would you ever work with David again?

Image: Sledge Leather, Imagine Me Alive, InterviewLL - Chastain is alive and well. He is always making music whether he puts it out or not. He is of course extremely supportive. Sometimes I think he is more excited than we are. I am so appreciative of the music we made together. It made such an impact for people that I am just becoming aware of. As far as working together again, stranger things have happened but times change and we always had different ideas of accomplishment.

SS - We'll incorporate any great artist's work into Sledge Leather. And Dave is family to us.

PITRIFF - There's a whole new industry of female fronted metal bands out there right now. What are your thoughts on that?

LL - As far as the females out in Metal today, I am f*king jazzed. I am so proud of them for stepping up and showing their power. I knew back in the day that they would come. Metal UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SS - YEAH! Metal Grrrrrlz! We're going to stay tight. You'll see more about this from us.

PITRIFF - What is coming next for you and Sledge Leather?

LL - The plan for Sledge Leather more music, more music more music!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SS - Killer touring plans.

PITRIFF - In three words or less, give your impressions of Doro Pesch.

LL - Proud of her!

SS - Good job!!!! Call us.

PITRIFF - What am I missing that you want people to know?

LL - Listen to IMAGINE ME ALIVE, then you'll know.

SS - Keep listening. Leather's voice is going to realize its full potential. Thank you, Chris and Pitriff.com for supporting us!!

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