St Leonards front man, homegrown local Shane Fritsch is pleased to announce the band’s debut album launch, with a special event to be held this month. We catch up for all the goss about the album and the people behind it.
> Tell us how your band and its new name ‘St Leonards’ came about.
St Leonards is an evolution from my solo project. We all played under the ‘Shane Fritsch’ banner at A Day On the Green and World Youth Day concerts etc. When we started recording the new album together the sound had changed so much from the first album, and it just felt right to move forward as a band.
It feels great to have found two other guys who are as passionate about music as I am, and we are great friends also.
> You’ve just spent three months in the US making your new album. What did that involve?
Our time in LA was amazing. We spent every day working on the album in some way or another and had a great time doing so! Working with such ‘down-to-earth’ and cool people as John and Randy also meant that the time spent was super-productive.
We pretty much arrived in LA on the back of one reply email from John saying that he was keen to work with us on the new record. We literally arrived and planned from there.
We just knew we had to be in LA to make the record happen … it wasn’t going to happen if we sat around in Oz and waited for the people to come to us.
We spent the first month or so establishing ourselves in LA, i.e. moving into a house, buying a car, organising meetings and getting the ball rolling. The second month was pretty much spent in ‘pre-production’, where we locked out a rehearsal room and started working with John.
We then moved into the recording studio for the third month, to track the album!
> You worked on the album with five times grammy award winning producer John Wooler, and have back up vocals from Siedah Garrett (American Singer/Songwriter, famed for her work with Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror and songs from the score of Dreamgirls). Working with these big names must have been inspiring; how much input did they have?
John’s input was massive! He is a very ‘to-the-point’ sort of guy. He doesn’t waste time telling you how good you are or building up egos and things. He just tells you what needs to be done, and we worked together to make that happen. He helped us to carve out our own sound as a band, bringing in incredible musicians along the way to assist in that process. John became such a great mentor for us.
Working with Siedah was amazing too! She came into the studio only about two weeks after the whole Michael Jackson story happened, so it was pretty incredible to hear some stories from when she worked with him. She was such a true professional. Her ability to blend her voice with our sound was crazy and she was so quick at learning parts and making those parts feel right for the song. She was also so friendly and fun to have in the studio.
> Your new album is set for release in September. What will the launch be celebrating?
The album launch in September is to celebrate the release of a special Australian version of the album. We had such incredible support from people back in Australia while we were in the US, so we thought we would release a special edition of the CD while we were back for the two months!
We have a small launch mini-tour planned, and Port Macquarie is our first stop. We will also be launching at Chris’ hometown on the Central Coast, as well as Jeff’s base in Sydney.
While we were in the US, we received great support from the people at Gibson Guitars, and they have continued this support by offering a prize draw for a Gibson SG for those who attend the launches.
Furthermore, we have also printed a special vinyl single of two tracks from the new album which will be given away to every ticket holder at the launch!
The full album will also be available for purchase at these events.
> Where can readers purchase the album?
At this point the Australian version of the album will only be available at the album launches. Some people were able to get in early through an online campaign, which saw the first 50 signed and numbered copies of the album sell in 48 hours!
> Following the launch the band will be going on tour. Where will you be performing overseas?
We start a tour of California in October, which goes for around 7 weeks, in various venues such as The Viper Room, The House of Blues and The Troubador; we will be playing the college circuit as well.
The UK tour is planned for early 2010. We’re all looking forward to coming back to tour in Australia, hopefully late in 2010!
Our music seems to be suited for placement on TV shows and film, and we have a company placing our music on these mediums at the moment.
It’s an exciting time for us as the recording is over and our music will start getting out there and being heard.
>Thank you Shane.
For more on St Leonards visit www.stleonardsmusic.com
You can catch St Leonards in action at the Town Green Inn on Saturday 19th September at 7.30pm . Tickets $20 in advance at Little Red Vamp or $25 at the door.