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Leopold & His Fiction w/ Luke Wade & No Civilians
May 23, 2013 @ 8:00 pm - 12:00 am
Leopold & His Fiction
Naked, stripped down and aching with adrenaline is the rawness of Leopold and his Fiction. A revolving group of friends led by Detroit native Daniel James (lead vocal/guitar), their essential make up sprouted from collaborations made on the road in the whirlwind cycle of touring. From San Francisco to LA to Austin various musical adventures had come and gone, until James found a common vision in the musicians he’d met along the way. Their seminal force is the catalyst for soul-drenched, bare-bone rock ‘n’ roll that shakes with the power of ’73-era Stooges while seducing with the rhythm and blues of Motown.
Originally formed as an outlet for Daniel James to exercise his virtues gained from years in Detroit, Leopold and his Fiction absorbed pieces of the Motown catalog along with the protopunk resonance of Iggy’s Stooges and molded them into a personal version of the rock ‘n’ roll dream. “I lived a heavily drug-induced, alcohol-crazed lifestyle that I thought you needed to live to get to the top of an industry whose facade is fueled by such,” says James. “It wasn’t until I moved far away and met this family of musicians, that I found who I really am, it’s where I need to be.” James balanced his raw, naïve energy and became a founding member of country folk rock act Cowboy and Indian, enjoying a successful run playing festivals including Austin City Limits and recording a full length album.
“Vocal harmony and traditional folk is one side of me,” says James, “but I need to release this direct surge of energy.” Composed and redefined on and off stage, Leopold and his Fiction is a beast in all its glory when plugged into their amplifiers and fully cranked. It’s as if they, themselves, are connected directly into an electric socket. “The band elicits a power when it’s time to perform that is unable to be harnessed in any other medium short of a fist fight,” says James. “Whether that’s on stage or in a recording studio it’s almost hard to contain it. It’s more life than I’ve ever felt before.” It was that sonic fever that landed the group recent support slots for The Cult and ZZ Top.
When James was younger he wrote songs about escaping, and long trips through a desert, never really looking back, always pushing forward. With Leopold and his Fiction the songs have naturally matured. “Leopold is a fictional entity that gives me a vehicle to discover these characters,” says James. “For me, it is similar to writing a novel by cultivating very specified personalities in various and often ominous situations with different outcomes.” The songwriter claims to have gone through a rebirth since coming to Austin. It’s where he fell in love, quit drinking and had a daughter. “With nothing blanketing my receptors I can let down my guard,” he says. “I’ve never been more vulnerable and, in a way, never more fearless. It’s very honest and liberating.”
For the past year Leopold and his Fiction have been working with Grammy-nominated producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith (The Datsuns, Slayer, Jet, The Dandy Warhols, etc…) in recording and capturing a captivating musical journey that is as relentless as it is inspiring. “Frenchie saw our show and listened to our records,” says James. “He was very blunt and said, ‘I’m confident I can make you guys shine!’ He brought a lot out of me and the band. The energy was very positive and the songs are confident, edgy and packed with emotion.” Amidst the band’s hook-filled party rock James was also able to refine his more melodic Neil Young / Jackson Browne side.
“When I was really young and spent all my time listening to records, I would dedicate my attention to songs that facilitated my emotions,” says James. “Sometimes ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,’ other times “Going to California’. The best music for me explores a demographic of both introversion and extroversion. It’s a craft just like any other. I have to work at it rigorously over and over until I find the combination that works best for the song.” The next Leopold and his Fiction album promises a full pallet of artistry from America’s deep, dark underbelly and rootsy fabric to a revival of an Rn’B-tinged, backwoods charm. It goes back to the days when Motown and Stax loaded singles with a hip-shaking groove on the A-side and a ballad in 6/8 on the B-side that could be crooned under the moonlight.
Luke Wade & No Civilians
Luke Wade is a graduate of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX where his first band Hurt Street would form and call home for the six years they toured the Texas college circuit. He was born and raised in nearby Dublin where he worked at the historic Dr. Pepper plant though his college years. His Father, an Artist, and Mother, a dance instructor, both still live and work in the small town. For eleven years starting at the age of three, Luke was a student of his mother’s dance studio, and gives this experience credit for always feeling comfortable performing his music in front of crowds. He credits his father’s influence as a painter for showing him the importance of patience, honesty, and integrity in making any kind of art. In 2009 Luke Wade relocated to Fort Worth where he worked as a bartender at Scat Jazz Loung. Luke’s debut album, “Tomorrow’s Ghosts,” was released in June of 2010 to regional praise and moderate commercial success. It wasn’t until September of 2011 that Luke began touring nationally, gaining a broader base of fans and attention of the music industry. Since then, Luke has played the Mississippi River Music Festival in St. Louis, the PGA tour championship in Kiawah Island, SC, and he and his band No Civilians are currently recording a follow up Album with a plan for a summer 2013 release.